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Digital Shanghai Fashion Week attracts 2.5 million viewers in three hours

By Kristopher Fraser

30 Mar 2020

Coronavirus has all but killed any fashion shows at least until fall, and even that's look up in the air at this point. However, Shanghai Fashion Week wasn't going to let COVID-19 steal its thunder, and went ahead with a new digital approach pioneered in partnership with Alibaba's Tmall. In the first three hours of the new online viewing format, Shanghai Fashion Week managed to attract 2.5 million viewers.

Leveraging Alibaba’s technologies, the weeklong show is the first-ever global fashion week event to host its entire roster of runway shows online and go fully digital. All shows are exclusively livestreamed in China on Tmall, China’s B2C marketplace, and Taobao Live, Alibaba’s dedicated livestreaming channel.

More than 150 brands ranging from U.S. designers like Diane von Furstenburg to rising Chinese independent designers like Shushu/Tong all showcased their latest fall/winter collections via Alibaba's digital platform. After coronavirus forced the cancellation of many fashion events, Alibaba stepped in to help Shanghai Fashion Week with a digital solution.

“We have integrated some of Alibaba’s most-advanced technologies to bring a new and elevated experience to consumers," said Mike U, general manager of Tmall Fashion and FMCG, in a statement. "This partnership with SHFW allows us to leverage our experience in digitizing brick-and-mortar retail stores and explore a new format for brand and product launches, bringing together technologies like livestreaming, short-form videos, DingTalk and Tmall Flagship Store 2.0 in a full-chain solution.”

Tmall has also made a see-now-buy-now format more accessible for designers this season. Watchers of this year's Shanghai Fashion Week can immediately purchase the items they see on the runway without having to wait another season for collections to hit the shelves.