Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Oct 24, 2016

Tmall's 8-hour catwalk a glitzy preamble to Singles' Day

Tmall yesterday live-streamed an eight-hour fashion show in Shanghai to rev up for the coming 11.11 online shopping fest.

SHANGHAI - 80 brands took part in the marathon Tmall Global Fashion Show yesterday, with fashion industry icons such as American stylist Nick Wooster (also the image consultant of the show), Elon Musk's mother Maye Musk, photographer Tommy Ton and Victoria’s Secret model Sui He making appearances.

For eight hours, the show saw about 200 models showing off apparel, footwear and accessories from brands including Adidas, Burberry, Gap, Paul Smith, Trussardi, Guerlain, La Perla and UGG at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Centre.

But the event was more than just a showcase for the season’s latest fashion. Viewers were also able to pre-order the items they saw on the runway at discounted prices—ahead of Alibaba’s massive 11.11 sale. They could use a 'buy now' button in the Tmall and Taobao mobile apps while watching the event live. Transactions will be completed on 11 Nov itself.

Streaming live on Mobile Taobao, Tmall.com and Youku, the catwalk was the first in a series of promotions that Alibaba is running to pump up consumers in what the company said would be its most global, most interactive Single’s Day bazaar so far.

Alibaba has always injected entertainment into the festival, and this is the first year it is utilising live streaming as well.

Alibaba Group chief marketing officer Chris Tung said in a statement: “For big-name fashion brands across the globe, Tmall has become not only a distribution channel, but also a [co-branding] powerhouse as well as a global gathering place for lifestyle and fashion trends.”

In addition, Elle and WGSN released their collaborative study findings on six trends at a press conference prior to the show, namely “curated life,” “fun is everything,” “genderless fashion,” “athleisure,” “power dressing” and “the Eastern character”.

May Ng, vice president and general manager of e-commerce in Greater China for Gap, told Alibaba in the video below how the show gave the brand "a chance to connect with consumers in ways it otherwise couldn’t on its own".

Viewers who weren’t ready to buy during Gap’s seven-minute showcase yesterday can still view the same apparel on the brand's Tmall flagship store and other online retail channels, Ng said.

Also, Shirley Tai, general manager of Guerlain China, said she saw similar benefits to participating in the Tmall fashion show in this interview.

“I believe by riding on this event it will roll out our brand to more cities and to more consumers,” Tai said. “This is more than just selling a product, but selling the overall experience to our consumer.”

Following Sunday’s fashion show, Alibaba still has a number of initiatives planned in the run-up to 11.11. Subsequently, other brands, 600 of them, outside the fashion industry will be streaming their own live broadcasts on Tmall to educate and excite targeted consumers about their 11.11 product offerings.

An augmented-reality game where players can chase Tmall’s cat mascot through offline environments, a la Pokémon Go, to receive coupons and prizes, will be launched. Alibaba will also officially pilot 'Buy+', where shoppers will experience the entire shopping process from product selection to payment all through virtual reality (VR).

Katy Perry has already been named a global ambassador and headline performer for the 11.11 gala.

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