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Innovating on Snapchat: Misha Nonoo, Ann Taylor Loft and River Island

It’s been a big week for Snapchat announcements in the fashion space, with new campaigns and some innovative thinking coming out of a very diverse set of brands.

River Island's new branded Snapchat filters
River Island’s new branded Snapchat filters

It’s been a big week for Snapchat announcements in the fashion space, with new campaigns and some innovative thinking coming out of a very diverse set of brands: New York designer Misha Nonoo, American retailer Ann Taylor Loft, and British high street store River Island.

Here’s a breakdown of what each of them are doing…

Misha Nonoo

Womenswear designer Misha Nonoo is foregoing the typical New York Fashion Week show once more this season and presenting a “live lookbook” on Snapchat via Refinery29’s account instead.

Combining much of what Snapchat has to offer – from stills to videos, not to mention the native illustrations possible on the app – it aims to be a fun interpretation of the designer’s “day to play” ethos. The partnership with Refinery29 also cements the brand’s intention to hit the millennial consumer.

“Our customers lead enriched, full lives, they are constantly on- the-go. I want to reach them where I know they are, on their mobile devices,” Nonoo explains. “Snapchat is a recent discovery for me, and it has put the fun back into social media. I want to inject that same creative, experimental energy into how I present and share my collection.”

The content will go live starting at 10am EST on Wednesday, September 7. Every piece will then be immediately available for purchase via the brand’s new direct-to-consumer site It marks a significant moment for the brand of exiting from all wholesale accounts in order to focus solely on e-commerce. It also follows a number of experiments by Nonoo using Instagram as a shoppable lookbook.

Misha Nonoo
Misha Nonoo’s Snapchat invite

Ann Taylor Loft

Shoppable is also the focus for Ann Taylor Loft’s new foray into Snapchat. The American retailer is using Snapchat Memories to upload product shots of items it featured in a recent Story, meaning it can save and share further detail on things it has otherwise referenced in a more informal sense.

The brand also includes the style number and the unique SKU on each shot so that it can be Googled to get to the relevant e-commerce product page, reports Glossy. While Snapchat isn’t directly shoppable, this workaround solution has the potential to drive at least some traffic, not to mention trackable data for the brand.

As Thomas Rankin, CEO of social analytics firm Dash Hudson, told Glossy: “You’re never going to remember that style number. But if it’s something you saved and care about, it makes it easier to find it later. It’s better than having no way of finding it at all. On Instagram, there are a couple of different ways to shop, but for Snapchat, this is particularly important, because there is no other way.”

Ann Taylor Loft (Image: Glossy)
Ann Taylor Loft on Snapchat (Image: Glossy)

River Island

British high street store River Island meanwhile is bringing the Snapchat game into the real world, with a “Snap & Share” campaign that encourages shoppers to engage with the app when in store.

The retailer has developed a number of bespoke branded filters that customers can add to their Snapchat posts and stories exclusively when they’re in one of the 280 UK and ROI River Island shops.

The filters fit with the brand’s new polaroid-inspired advertising campaign (as below), but will vary and update across the season. Customers are then invited to share their images across further social channels to be in with the chance of winning a £1,000 shopping spree and a digital camera.

“When devising a plan for the launch of our new autumn/winter campaign, we wanted to explore new innovation and technology, seeking a fresh way for us to connect and engage with River Island customers. We decided to use Snapchat for its mass reach, popularity and ability to cut through to consumers with strong, creative content,” said Josie Roscop, marketing director of River Island.

River Island's AW16 campaign
River Island’s AW16 campaign

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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