Three’s company – how digital is slowly but surely muscling in on the longstanding catwalk and beauty collaboration

Three’s company – how digital is slowly but surely muscling in on the longstanding catwalk and beauty collaboration

The benefits of cross-industry relationships have been proven time and time again, and there’s no longer-lasting, successful marriage than that of beauty and fashion. Where one goes, the other follows. And this is perfectly highlighted by the continued partnership between catwalks and beauty brands. Fashion weeks, runway shows et all are not only where you’ll witness the latest womenswear collections, it’s where you’ll see the great and the good of the beauty world get their products, looks and trends centre stage. summed up nicely the brands debuting at NYFW fall 2019. There’s the Bobbi Brown x Ulla Johnson range, R+Co’s Backstage collection, MAC’s Art Library collection and the Puma x Maybelline collaboration, to name a few. The runway is the perfect partner for cosmetics companies to get noticed by their target audience, and for make-up artists and brands to foster the emerging make-up trends for the seasons ahead.

As a result, brands are tripping over themselves to get their products used on models walking the shows, ultimately revelling in a nice post-show sales boost. The aforementioned big names unveiling their looks at NYFW fall 2019 are testament to that. So what’s changed? It’s nothing new that trends emerge once they’ve been shown in all their glory on the models – who’s betting Pat McGrath’s flower lashes for Valentino’s show, complete with her FetishEyes mascara of course, end up on every festival goer this summer – but what is new is that there’s another industry muscling in on the long-standing fashion and beauty partnership. You guessed it, step up social media.

While catwalks have been documented on TV since day dot, the way make-up artists are using technology to give consumers a fly-on-the-wall insight into the backstage beauty antics is changing the immediacy of how quickly consumers can, well, consume these items.
Charlotte Tilbury, a make-up artist for the titans of the fashion world, has seen stratospheric success for her namesake beauty brand since its launch. And, a catwalk make-up artist long before her brand launch, she is now not only making up the models, she is using the runways as her own personal company billboard, and she’s breaking ground in how she does it. Fly-on-the-wall Instagram stories providing an insight into the backstage area are followed by a step-by-step guide on how to create the look yourself, product list et all, followed cleverly by an oh-so simple Insta story swipe up where you can purchase all the products in one hit. Not only does this approach give her customers the feeling they are immersed in that unobtainable world, but it gives them a fast way in which to literally buy into it. And in our ‘want-it-now’ society, it’s a marketing goldmine.

Of course, she’s not alone. Other make-up artists and brands are on the same page. Vivienne Westwood recently did an Instagram Live of her entire show, drawing consumers in with her signature looks – awash with colour and diversity – before using her platform to spread an environmental message, something picked up not only by the FROW set, but also, via the power of social media, those watching at home. Victoria Beckham has of course just announced the imminent launch of her own make-up range, one which will inevitably end up on the catwalks. And what was she keen to stress when talking about the launch? The brand, as well as her fashion work, will be marketed through social media – more specifically her YouTube channel, which is said to be a main focus for Beckham going forwards.

Digital, it seems, is fast becoming the third wheel in the enduring romance between catwalk and beauty, and if the flurry of recent developments are anything to go by, it looks set to continue.


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