Fashion has always been social, but social media is taking fashion to the next level

Nicole Scherzinger's Twitter dress, created by Cutecircuit

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New York Fashion Week is here, and we’re getting in on the action. So we’ve teamed up with men’s e-tailer Frank & Oak to bring you Fashion-Tech Week – everything you need to know from the intersection of tech and fashion.

In July, London-based fashion house and tech shop Cutecircuit created the “world’s first” Haute Couture Twitter Dress for singer Nicole Scherzinger. MicroLEDs embedded in the dress spelled out fan tweets that scrolled across the front in real time. Of course, fashion’s embrace of social media isn’t always quite so literal, but that doesn’t mean the industry isn’t going all in on social. Check out 13 ways the worlds of Instagram, Twitter, and more are changing the face of style.

Buy Me!
Launched in October 2014, the Dash Hudson app transforms Instagram photos in shoppable advertisements. But they’ve got competition. Twitter launched “buy” buttons in June, and this summer, Instagram announced they would introduce a variety of new ad formats – integrated shopping among them. The introduction of Buyable Pins on Pinterest promises to transform the platform into a massive commercial enterprise.

The Fails!
Fashion houses are hardly immune to the pitfalls of social media. Nor are fashion designers – just ask Marc Jacobs, who in June accidentally sent out a nude photo to his more-than-250,000 Instagram followers, with the message “It’s yours to try.” (Presumably it was supposed to be a direct message.) Never one to let publicity go to waste, however, Jacobs released (NSFW) a t-shirt emblazoned with that very message last month.

You Are the Product!
In June, startup Olapic raised $15 million to help fashion houses harness user-generated content to help promote their duds. Working with clients like Calvin Klein and Christian Louboutin, the platform allows brands to turn their biggest fans into advertisements on social.

The Hardware!
What would fashion be without a healthy dose of self-congratulations? For six years, the Fashion 2.0 Awards have recognized brands for their innovative use of social media. This April’s ceremony handed out prizes to Opening Ceremony for Best Instagram and H&M for Best Facebook.

The Filters!
Retailers and fashion brands are getting in the Instagram game themselves, creating custom filters and stylized photo shoots especially for their customers. A big fan of Christian Louboutin? Download Louboutinize for customized filters – the app reportedly has 300 million users already. A Neutrogena-branded photo filter proved a massive hit in China in 2013, and Topshop set up shoppers with a complementary styling and makeup session – followed by an Instagram shoot, naturally – in its UK locations.

The Numbers!
For many in the industry, Instagram has proved an unlikely, and thus far unreliable, way of keeping tabs on the ups and downs of the industry. Digital marketing agency Stylophane’s analytics offer a glimpse into the public consciousness via social media, tracking likes, follows, and post performance.

Now go forth (and pictures or it didn’t happen).


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