Forget Fashion Week: Pinterest and Instagram Offer Collection Previews

Oscar de la Renta fall campaign on Instagram

J. Crew released a sneak peek (and early access) to its newest September looks on Pinterest, including a direct line and email address to the retailer’s personal shopper, so pinners could place orders before anyone else.  While putting a brand’s catalog on Pinterest first is unusual and saves paper, it’s the accompanying personal access that makes it particularly atypical.  Perhaps a hint at a growing trend?

Bergdorf GoodmanWhat J. Crew’s “Style Guide Sneak Peek” offers is a combination of early availability and instant gratification, a more accessible version of luxury labels who make at least a few looks off their runways instantly shoppable.  Some brands are combining other aspects of this kind of access, like Oscar de la Renta, who revealed his fall campaign over Instagram, and Juicy Couture, which also gave its audience a sneak peek at their fall ads over social media.  The brand launched a Facebook microsite, Wild at Heart, this month, with links to shop some of the featured looks and to read more about Alexandra Richards — one of the campaign’s “Influencers.”

The way these brands are using their social networks to offer visual previews joined with actual product availability points to a growing trend in personal, connected social media outreach.  Bergdorf Goodman, arguably the ne plus ultra of department stores, puts up Instagram photos of displays around the building with a direct line to call about the outfit shown.  After about a decade of keeping phone numbers as buried as possible, this kind of all-linked-all-access-pass is great.  And, ironically, the way these brands use social media as an open gate for the customers makes it a lot easier to either shop with a human or at least feel like you are.