Digital gets Fashionable–or is it the other way around?

February 22, 2010

By Josie Tao (Hong Kong)

(Image taken from

Next minute you’re out

Anyone who watches Reality TV knows Heidi Klum’s tagline in Project Runway– “In fashion one day you’re in, the next day you’re out”.  But a look at what is happening at London Fashion week will prove that Fashion is moving a lot faster than what Miss Heidi has anticipated.  Thanks to digital and social media, reactions to what’s hot and what’s not pile up to millions by the time your minute rice comes to a boil.

London Fashion Week brings new meaning to Fashion Forward

New this year to London fashion week is a “LFW Digial Schedule” where you can find information and access to realtime streaming of live fashion shows.  Viewers can now have front row seats to any show that catches their interest in their comfortable and less stylish pajamas.  Viewers may also watch Fashion Films via the website–one of the most notable movie is probably one put together by British Fashion Council celebrating 25 years of British Fashion with a showing of 25 most stylist and innovative dress designs.

(image taken from

Fashion going Digital= Fashion Editors working a double shift?
Realtime access to shows at London Fashion Week is bound to send Fashion Magazine Editors straight for their 9th double espresso— now bloggers and fashion addicts are reacting instantaneously to the new looks and styles.  Indeed editors reveal that they definitely feel the pressure to duck backstage immediately after each show, interview, or meeting in order to constantly provide updates online.  Because lets face it, being fashionable means having access to the newest, coolest and most exclusive—now this information of what is new is no longer exclusive. What’s trendy about finding out the latest style a couple days–if not a couple weeks later in Vogue Magazine when that “news” is already day old bread?

Henry Holland and model Agyness Deyn aka Aggy(Image taken from )

Fashion going digital—what’s the appeal?
It is no secret that Fashion Week is the craziest and most important moment for designers, not to mention the most stressful–just look at what happened to Alexander Mcqueen.  So why add the extra stress of up-to-the-minute tweeting and exposing your collection without the flattering filter of your editor,model,celebrity friends??

The House of Holland even developed a Blackberry application that allows anyone to buy the collection immediately as they see the designs parade down the runway.  This allows dedicated fashionistas to get first dibs on designs before they are even launched in-stores.

One key advantage designers like Henry Holland sees in going digital is associating their name to some of the most innovative technology.  In 2010, where not knowing what facebook  equals a social death-sentence, going digital means you’re one of the cool kids–and this is the most important image for a designer to broadcast.

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Partnership with Yahoo: What’s in it for Microsoft?

February 22, 2010

By Josie Tao (Hong Kong)
Let’s talk details and numbers
Back in 2006, oldschool Microsoft wanted to team up with Yahoo to rival against search engine godfather Google. Remember the $47.5 billion bid Microsoft offered to buy out Yahoo? Despite what looked to be a hostile and aggressive attempt that got completely shunned, it is now apparent that the two Tech giants have been in close talks after Microsoft’s high profile moves.
With what seems to be shaping as a 10-year deal with Yahoo, Microsoft will be able to tap into Yahoo’s Internet search audience and advertisers.

So what does Yahoo have that Microsoft wants?
Microsoft makes the majority of its profits through its software products (Microsoft operating system, Microsoft office). But the personal computer is the the only component that makes Microsoft such a household item—it also has a strong presence in home entertainment such as Xbox and MSNBC. The average living room in America will have a slice of Microsoft in it.
Right now, comScore Inc tells us that two-thirds of the world’s search is done through Google—while Yahoo amounts to 7.4%, China’s Baidu takes care of 7% and Microsoft (Bing) at only 3.2%. A simple calculation will quickly tell you that only about 10% of current search engine activity occurs in Microsoft and yahoo combined.
Mind you, there is a hefty pricetag for a lousy 10% of combined search engine activity—Yahoo will be keeping 88% revenue from search ads in the first five of the 10 year deal. Meanwhile, Microsoft will pay most of the expenses.

If its not the big bucks, then what is it? Just ask Hong Kong billionaire Li Kai Sing.
Anyone recall Microsoft’s advertising campaign tagline in the 1990s “Where do you want to go today?” If we take a closer look at the pattern of how people search online, there are two main ways internet users find information: search engine (yahoo, google etc) and social graph (facebook, forums, twitter).

In 2007, Microsoft paid a fortune for a small share of Facebook–$240 million for 1.6%. Our very own Hong Kong billionaire Li Kai Sing has poured $60 million into facebook.
With a Yahoo-Bing partnership in place and an on-going relationship with Facebook, Microsoft clearly sees the value and influence search engine and social graph play in online activity. Microsoft will soon have both tools to give them a clear picture of internet user behaviour: What are people looking for ? What are they talking about? What’s interesting? Not only does Microsoft want to know where you want to go today, but more importantly how can they influence you on those decisions?

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