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Bang, Gilt, and DVF

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If you know what those three terms mean, you’re most likely a fashionista. And if you’re reading this blog, you’re most likely into social media. Are fashion and social media a natural marriage? I think so.

Bang is Marc Jacobs’ latest fragrance for men. Not only is it storming the digital advertising space (see the ads on the ears of today’s New York Times below), it is also trying to infiltrate the world of social media, starting with Facebook’s poke-loving users.

Bang’s Facebook Page features a “Bang! You’re It” game where users can virtually “bang” their friends to earn points – the “bang” is supposedly similar to the Facebook “poke”. The more points you get, the more chances you have of winning prizes, including a trip to the Marc Jacobs fashion show in NYC. Wink, poke, like… why not bang?

While the name of the game – and the fragrance – is suggestive, the designer argues that it has many, different meanings. At the launch of the campaign, Marc Jacobs said, “when the word ‘BANG’ came to me, I liked that it was a sound and also that it felt like something was finished, done, end of story and, you know, kind of complete.”

In spite of the brand’s etymology, the social media slant plays up the sexy ads, and promotes viral engagement and branding opportunities for Marc Jacobs.

Gilt, on the other hand, is one of the many members-only premium shopping sites that has shopaholics religiously awaiting their sales to buy brand names in a frenzy.  It utilizes email, Twitter, and Facebook updates to promote ongoing and upcoming sales.  Last year, Gilt launched their iPhone shopping app, and recently launched applications for the iPad and Android.

Jyothi Rao, Gilt Group General Manager for Women’s, is featured today on eMarketer. When asked how Gilt is participating in social media marketing to fully leverage its sales opportunities, she says, “The most important thing with social media is not just to be pushing information out, but to be engaging in a dialogue with your customers…. You’ll see us in the role of trusted editor, engaging in two-way communication with our membership base. We  have wonderful relationships with bloggers. Of course Facebook and Twitter continue to be very important instruments.”

What she said about social media may be applied not just to fashion brands, but to everyone in the space looking to carve out a community.

Last but not least, DVF stands for Diane Von Furstenberg, fashion icon and world-acclaimed designer. DVF is one if the most popular and well-loved designers on Twitter, with over 93,000 followers. She is one of the growing number of fashion luminaries who are giving the public access to behind-the-scenes, with updates on upcoming designs, trends, shows, appearances, sales, and other data that used to be kept for those “in the know”.

In an Mashable article on how the fashion industry is embracing social media, the designer further advocates transparency in fashion.  “Ignoring the Internet [and social media] is madness,” she said. “We decided to have a presence because it was a very organic way for us to communicate online.”

An organic way to communicate online? That’s what social media is all about. The great thing about these three brands is that they are utilizing social media tools to encourage communication and interaction; nothing is forced, and the user can initiate and control his/her exposure.

I have always been a big fan of Marc Jacobs, Gilt, and Diane Von Furstenberg, but their presence in online and social media makes me admire them even more. And it makes me want to go shopping.

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