Fashion PR and production agency KCD Worldwide announced last night that it would be launching a digital fashion show service to make life easier for time-crunched reporters and editors. 

Positioned as an alternative to runway and presentation formats, these will be accessible by invitation only, with a password required to gain entry. 

The live-streamed shows will include runway footage, interviews with designers and cost between $150,000 to $300,000. Brands wishing to take part will be required to display the clothes head to foot and to provide detail shots, as well as information on products for use by those watching.

Paul Guring will be the first designer to show online only on February 15th, when he debuts his first collection for ICB.

Burberry (see its augmented reality effort below) and Dolce & Gabbana have live-streamed shows to the public in the past with great success, but still also hold runway shows during ‘fashion weeks’ around the globe.

Viktor & Rolf tried doing a digital show in October 2008 in Paris, but returned to an in-person format the following season, saying it hadn't saved any cost or effort.

Even still, fashion designers have (for the most part) left this space untapped, while high street stores have experimented more.

Elle UK’s website redesign now includes footage of shows, while Dune and Thomas Pink have integrated ‘catwalk style’ clips into their product pages. Not to mention Uniqlo and Victoria’s Secret doing similar things with video last year.

Will this service be enough to entirely replace the physical runway show? It’s unlikely. Seeing something in person, the way it moves, the experience, the subsequent networking, the in-person opportunity to interview a designer – you can’t replace these parts of a runway show.

However, for those designers with budget who might not be a prominent, this could be a great way to dodge the calendar bombardment of the fashion week schedule.

Vikki Chowney

Published 24 January, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

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