Foo and Foo founder Elizabeth Hilfiger will bring her spring collection and FooCore basics directly to the people Thursday night, with a live shopping event dubbed “Foo Tube,” the designer told WWD.
True to the brand’s spirit, the content was conceived with a friendship theme in mind. The interactive programming features Hilfiger and cohost Dae Shik Kim, a producer at Vice News and a personal friend of the designer, along with appearances by models Quenblackwell, Brianna Jack, Michael Rosales, Torrey Dudley and Rudy Romero, plus some surprise guests.
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As for the fashions that viewers can expect to see, Hilfiger, daughter of iconic fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, offered a breakdown:
“Select pieces are going to be on view on some of my friends…we have main season Foo and Foo spring 2021, and FooCore spring 2021 will be on the ‘Foo Wore It Best’ [segment],” she explained, “and then we have the new FooCore summer collection, which is this tank and this T-shirt dress that’s super easy and simple. We’re going to be launching that for sale for the first time on the livestream.” She also plans to introduce new colorways during the livestream.
For Hilfiger, Foo Tube is part entertainment, part commerce, with a tutorial element that offers ideas on different ways to wear the clothing. She believes it’s this interactive element and unique ability to connect with fans that makes livestream shopping a fitting vehicle for her emerging fashion brand.
“Foo and Foo has always been a digital space. We launched it as just direct-to-consumer, with the focus not only being on shopping on the website, but a digital experience. So, when the opportunity came, when I heard about livestream, I was just like, ‘Wow, like, that’s perfect,’” she said. “Because it’s a small brand, it is quite hard to get into stores, to really connect to the consumers.”
COVID-19 precautions don’t help, Hilfiger added, since they take pop-up shops and other real-life interactions off the table. It’s a conundrum for all sorts of fashion brands, but it particularly matters for her apparel, because “it’s so interactive and hands-on.” She even describes Foo and Foo clothes as “fidget wear.”
Take the Lighter Leash hoodie, for example, a double pocket hoodie festooned with leashes, snaps and other hardware that allows people to configure how they connect in a multitude of ways.
“There’s so many different points — kind of like points on a graph, almost — or coordinates, basically, where you can connect them. You could have all five Lighter Leashes on the hood, or you can just have one and that one can be connected to two snaps or different ones,” the designer explained. “The clothes are all about, like, moving with you, depending on how you feel.”
That sort of product begs for a live demo, and Foo Tube aims to deliver.
A lot of the heavy lifting will be provided by Stage Ten, a livestreaming company for entertainment whose integration with Shopify enables live shopping features for merchants.
Viewers, after RSVPing at StageTen.TV/FooTube, can tune in on Stage Ten and Foo and Foo’s websites at 9 p.m. EST. The livestream will also be broadcast online over YouTube, and Hilfiger plans to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Foo Tube on Instagram.
Stage Ten allows for sharing its livestreams on up to 32 social media platforms. The company will also handle Foo Tube’s live viewer interactions, spanning text chats and even vetting participants who want to appear during the show and engage with Hilfiger and her guests.
“The storytelling reaches a whole new level, because the audience and the viewers are actually able to become part of the story,” said Melinda Lee, president of Stage Ten Networks. “It’s really empowering for the audience, and they do become part of the story.”
“Instead of just watching with a sit-back experience, the audience [can] engage, and if there’s voting on a poll or even if there is some chat, they are able to affect the hosts and those in the livestream,” she elaborated. “Even putting up a decision for votes can move the livestream in a certain direction.”
The company has seen this up close, having worked on interactive livestreams for partners like ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Group, whose “Wild ‘n Out” project featured voting, audience segments and even commerce aspects. Stage Ten has also worked on a YouTube Originals pilot for Jack Douglass and numerous livestreams in the entertainment sector, including online broadcasts for John Krasinski, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, Chrissy Teigen, YouTube Music and Atlantic Records, among others.
It’s also worked with smaller, independent partners on fashion-related projects, and offers a stand-alone product that lets influencers livestream on their own.
But Foo Tube is Stage Ten’s entry into streetwear fashion, and it’s collaborating closely with the brand to create a polished, professionally produced show.
“Foo and Foo is going to be really exciting to us, because it’s very values-driven and it touches on a little bit of that Millennial influencer kind of vibe, that socially conscious, gender-neutral fashion inclusivity,” Lee added.
For Hilfiger, platforms like Stage Ten and others are ushering in a new generation of commerce. “I think [live shopping] really is the future of retail for everyone,” she said. And, she added, this is just the first of more to come.