Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicks off today in New York City, and the world will see thousands of glamorous photos emanating from the event. But American Express will provide a unique perspective for attendees, displaying street-style fashion photography courtesy of fashion photographer, writer, and illustrator Garance Doré on three Instagram Towers stationed in the lobby of Lincoln Center, the central hub for fashion’s biannual show-and-tell.
Doré, who is editor-in-chief of the project, dubbed Garance Doré Style, will actually call the shots. "She is an incredible, influential force in fashion," says Deborah Curtis, vice president, Entertainment Marketing & Sponsorships, American Express, "and we are giving her a sense of freedom to capture what she feels is the essence of the experience."
While Doré will be working Fashion Week, scouting for inspiration and taking note of themes that she will depict via photos that will be continually updated on the tower displays, fans of fashion will also get a chance to have their pictures featured on the Instagram Towers by submitting their own street-style fashion images through Instagram using the tag #AmexFashion. Doré will regularly select the most interesting pictures for inclusion. "We wanted to look for a way to really broaden the reach of our broader consumer base into the fashion experience at Fashion Week," Curtis explains, noting, "Typically, it’s an industry event, and the ability for consumers at home to be able to even submit their photos of inspiration around fashion to be considered for selection on the towers is really exciting territory." (Many of the public’s photos will also seen by a wider audience through American Express’ digital partnerships with the likes of The Fancy after Fashion Week ends.)
The Instagram Towers now in place at Lincoln Center stand 10 feet tall and will be programmed with about 150 photos a day. Curtis likens viewing surfaces on the structures to mega tablets because they allow users to scroll back and forward through images and even "like" them. "It’s a very interactive experience," Curtis says. "It’s not a static page."
American Express, in partnership with agency Momentum Worldwide and digital production company Fake Love, created the Instagram Towers specifically for Fashion Week. "In fact, this is the first time that we’re going to be showcasing them, but it likely will not be the last," according to Curtis, who says the Instagram Towers provide a great way to showcase and take advantage of the excitement generated by photographs.
As social media evolves, the visual aspect of sharing is becoming increasingly important. "We definitely see that as a trend, and certainly fashion is the perfect place for that to come to life given that it is such a visual and visceral experience," Curtis says. "This type of engagement really lends itself beautifully to a Fashion Week experience."
Aside from erecting the Instagram Towers, American Express, which is now in its 11th season with Fashion Week, will also present a number of exclusive events for its cardmembers, including a Rachel Zoe fashion show and meet-and-greets with emerging designers made possible through a partnership with MADE, which supports new talent to the fashion industry.