New York Roadshow manager Betty finds the last quarter the busiest time of the year. With over 40 fashion boutiques around US and UK, Betty has to establish and build relationships with studios, organize the floor plan and ensure the roadshow receives tremendous media attention.
Presence of roadshows globally has been vast. From events like the New York Fashion roadshow in US to plus size Curvy Couture Roadshow in Australia, companies have used this platform for brand awareness. The plus size Curvy Couture Roadshow in Australia is unique in itself as it focuses on the representation of curvy women only. This plus size fashion roadshow sees work from local designers such as Embody Denim, 17_Sundays, Harlow, Lucabella, Robyn Lawley Swimwear, Meri by Design and many more. Brands like L’Oréal and Marks & Spencer too have successfully used this marketing exercise to engage with people.
At a hairdressing roadshow in Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2013, where the event was spread across nine cities and attended by over 2000 hairstylists, L’Oréal made quite a splash. And then again in 2015, Dutch born stylist and L’Oréal Professionnel’s ambassador Olaf Van Den Wildenberg, dazzled Cairo with a two live chignon up-dos at the IT Looks S/S’15 Roadshow at Dusit Thani Lakeview.
India is also warming up to the concept of roadshows. The launch of the Marks & Spencer store in Lokhandwala, Mumbai a couple of years back is a good example. Several models in M&S apparel sashayed down the streets, taking the Mumbai crowd by surprise. Here’s a quick peek:
Roadshows are a great way for fashion designers to showcase their collections and build network. They can lead to sales as well, but more importantly, they enable brands and designers to meet their audience in person, understand their likes, dislikes and reactions. This also helps designers understand what the potential target audience expects of the brand.
While roadshows are gaining popularity as a marketing and branding tool in some sectors in India, especially travel and tourism, the fashion industry is yet to explore its full potential.