Brave new digital world

Elle Thailand moves forward to embrace VR — virtual runways

Polpat Asavaprapha, president of the Bangkok Fashion Society, centre, and other Elle Digital Fashion Week 2020 designers. (Photos courtesy of ELLE Digital Fashion Week 2020)

In this fashion week season where many major events such as Milan Fashion Week are preparing a mix of live and virtual shows, Elle Thailand is seeking to balance the buzz of the catwalk with precautions imposed by the global Covid-19 pandemic by organising its first "Elle Digital Fashion Week 2020 Powered by Lazada".

Claimed the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the Oct 2-4 Elle Digital Fashion Week 2020 will be organised as a livestream event where the audience can have a brand-new viewing and shopping experience from their favourite fashion houses.

Under the management of Post International Media, Elle Thailand recently announced a collaboration with business alliances Lazada and Mistine to host such a virtual runway. The digital event will be held in partnership with the Bangkok Fashion Society (BFS).

Poomchit Balankura.

Poomchit Balankura, general manager at Post International Media, said Elle Fashion Week has been an institution for Elle Thailand, and now in its 21st year, the fashion week continues to showcase the spectacular vision of Thai designers' now world-renowned capabilities to an international standard.

"This year, the grand event has been re-envisioned into the 'Elle Digital Fashion Week 2020 Powered by Lazada', a major partnership project to reshape current fashion presentation norms and fashion industry traditions during the Covid-19 pandemic, not only complying with social distancing measures, but also creatively integrating a full-fledged virtual runway, where the audience can still enjoy the true experience of a fashion show through a front row audience at your home," said Poomchit.

Neeranart Pausawasdi.

Neeranart Pausawasdi, editor-at-large of Elle Thailand, notes that the challenges of this event lies in the transformation of the traditions of a fashion show event into a completely new platform like the virtual runway.

"The 'Elle Digital Fashion Week 2020 Powered by Lazada' has been a major collaboration effort to push the boundaries of what a fashion event can offer. We want to play a major part in driving the change in the Thai fashion industry, which has adapted and thrived on a more digital marketplace. This is the reason why we see the significance of our partnership with Lazada. Together, we have created a 'See Now Buy Now' function which enables viewers to immediately shop the collection the moment they enter the runway," said Neeranart.

Thanida Suiwatana.

Thanida Suiwatana, chief business officer at Lazada Thailand, added the company has devised projects like the Lazada Thai Designer Club, in partnership with the BFS and many designers to congregate over 50 Thai brands, expanding their reach and connecting them to their rightful consumers digitally. In addition, this will help enhance their presence and enable sustainable growth for notable brands across the platform.

"One of this year's highlights is none other than the unveiling of new collections by seven major Thai brands exclusively at Lazada including ASV, Kloset, Issue, Milin, Painkiller, T And T, and Vickteerut where they will be unveiling their virtual runways through LazLive, Lazada's livestream feature on the application," explained Thanida.

Ongart Wongdacharoj.

For the event, Mistine, a cosmetics brand, will be contributing and creating new make-up looks befitting of the season for women with quality Thai products renowned at an international level, said Ongart Wongdacharoj, marketing director at Mistine.

Polpat Asavaprapha, president of the BFS, admitted that the Thai fashion industry has quickly adapted to the digital era.

"The ever evolving lifestyles of people in the digital age has caused a shift in the way designers and brands operate. The seven brands that will contribute to the 'Elle Digital Fashion Week 2020 Powered by Lazada' will be embodying their visions under the #saveTHAIwearTHAI theme. We continue to encourage the support of Thai brands. Even though our lifestyles have changed, the role of fashion to deliver happiness to our shoppers will never change. Please don't miss out as each of the brands interprets the theme and trends in their own entirely specific way," Polpat said.

"Elle Digital Fashion Week 2020 Powered by Lazada" can be viewed from Oct 2-4 via and the Lazada mobile application.