Virtual Runway

No industry is safe from economic woes. “The cost of a fashion show has become prohibitive,” David Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren’s marketing chief, told Time. “And because of the economy, fewer members of the press and buyers are making the trip to New York to see the show.” The new plan: Ralph Lauren’s Rugby collegiate brand having a virtual runway show available on the site where models walk in an office on a treadmill with a green screen behind them.

The show will cost less than $50,000 to produce and will get 40 million page views. The typical runway show costs $1.5 million for an audience of about 700. Also online viewers can purchase the items they’ve just seen on the e-catwalk.

But not all fashion shows will make the digital leap. The Ralph Lauren collection will still march down fashion week’s runways.

Designer Alexander McQueen livestreamed his Paris show on his website and Louis Vuitton includes shows on Facebook.

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