The 3rd annual Fashion 2.0 Awards, held in New York last night, felt to me like a graduation night for all of us social media nerds of fashion—or more like we transitioned from the nerdy kids in the class to the popular clique. The personalities behind some of the most followed Twitter profiles—OscarPRGirl‘s Erika Bearman, DKNY’s Aliza Licht, Bergdorf Goodman’s Cannon Hodge—were the new celebrities, mixing with a new generation of influencers including bloggers, online editors and a handful of fashion startup founders. Industry veterans like Robert Verdi and Norma Kamali added an enthusiastic “stamp of approval” to the night.
Three years ago no one was acknowledging the innovative work fashion brands had started to do online; from witty tweets to impeccably produced video content and later, addictive mobile apps, these new digital fashion channels were engaging, smart and most importantly social, a very new development for fashion brands. So, like the CFDA Awards honor achievement in design, Fashion 2.0 Awards honor digitally innovative brands whose risk taking inspires others.
In the spirit of social media, we let the public cast their online votes for their favorites, which created a heated competition among the brands this year. We’ve seen Rebecca Minkoff organizing her army of Minkettes to vote daily and DKNY advising her followers to cast their votes prior to their Sunday coffee. The latter won out, and last night DKNY took home the largest number of awards including Best Twitter and Best Blog. Newcomer Kate Spade snagged the Top Innovator award for their overall online strategy, Marc Jacobs won Best Website honor, Bergdorf Goodman was named Best Facebook and Tiffany & Co. honored for their addictive Engagement Ring Finder application. Arizona Muse, Kinga Rajzak, Zuzanna Bijoch, Mariacarla Boscono and Tati Cotliar won the unofficial “Best Fashion Dance” award when Prada took home Best Video for their SS12 campaign. The first Fashion 2.0 Visionary Award was presented to Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-Founder of Gilt Groupe, who accepted the award on behalf of herself ande partner Alexis Maybank.
The Awards were presented by Style Coalition bloggers Corporette, eye4style, Gala Darling, Where Did U Get That, Style It Online, Second City Style, Fashion Pulse Daily and Clutch22, each of whom shared personal anecdotes relating to each category prior to announcing the winners and in between the honors, host Robert Verdi regaled the audience with tales of his youth “raised by salespeople from his local NJ mall.” Keynote Speaker Norma Kamali, who delivered the speech of the night, spoke about her early fascination with technology, an interest that bloomed in the early sixties when she worked for the airlines; her inspirational words sent the Twittersphere into overdrive.
We can’t wait to see what these talented innovators produce in the coming year!