YouTube launched a creative facility in New York two months ago that is now opening its doors to those in the fashion industry with a dedicated bootcamp ahead of the A/W 15/16 catwalk shows this season.
The YouTube Space New York, as it’s officially called, is a 20,000-square-foot combination of both pre-staged studio sets and production rooms on the sixth floor of Chelsea Market (see images below). It is free to book for so-called “YouTube Creators”, so long as they have over 5,000 subscribers.
During the first week of February, it will also become a destination for those interested in the fashion industry to come in and learn how to improve their YouTube strategy.
“YouTube Creators, Bloggers, Instagrammers and other industry influencers are invited to come learn the basics of creative strategy, audience development and tentpole programming within the Fashion & Beauty verticals. You’ll walk away with the tools to start designing your YouTube strategy and effectively leverage Fashion Week as a tentpole event for your channel,” reads the invite.
This fits with YouTube’s focus on also using the space as a place for learning. The New York version is the fourth of such collaborative facilities opened by YouTube around the world, following Los Angeles, London and Tokyo. Another is due to follow in South America.
The fashion events in New York will include workshops on building creative strategies for the channel, growing audiences and how to become comfortable and conversational on camera. There will also be a panel conversation from leading influencers in the industry discussing how to navigate and cover fashion week.
“People think of YouTube as a West Coast company, but we’re here because New York is at the intersection of many creative communities — fashion, film, big media companies and of course, Madison Avenue,” Lance Podell, the global head of YouTube Spaces, told The New York Times ahead of launch.
The space itself otherwise consists of both empty studio rooms for creators to bring in their own sets and props, as well as some pre-staged ones. Those are currently comprised of the likes of a diner, boardroom and hipster apartment, as well as the original bar and stage from New York’s infamous 1970s club, CBGB; on loan for just another two weeks. Next up will be a New York Subway car. Even the bathrooms are bookable within the space, and accordingly designed to look like the inside of a club.
There are also state-of-the-art post-production facilities available for use, not to mention the equipment including cameras, lights, boom microphones and more. The aim, according to YouTube, is to provide the “resources, tools and guidance to unleash innovation and encourage experimentation”.
Right in the middle of the space is a Google BrandLab, where brands and agencies are invited in to play with the latest digital tools, and learn about things as detailed as how to do a meme. The idea is to place the brands right in the middle of the chaos and the creative vibe and see what sort of collaborations might follow.
While brands are not discouraged from using the studios or production facilities otherwise, the general rule is that they’re not for creating commercials. It’s on that note, the YouTube Creators maintain their lead, and of course, their creativity.