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Alibaba Brings New York Fashion Week Online to Audiences in China

As America’s fashion capital slowly reopens amid the coronavirus pandemic, New York Fashion Week is back with a new season unlike any other.

Kicked off on Sept. 13, the five-day event features a new hybrid format that has a limited number of socially distanced audiences at physical shows as well as more virtual technologies and digital programming aimed at a wider global audience.

Alibaba Group said Thursday that it would broadcast NYFW: The Shows’ entire roster of events and presentations across its Youku video-streaming platform and e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall. Together, these channels could potentially reach nearly 900 million Chinese consumers.

The streaming collaboration is the latest to come out of Alibaba’s three-year partnership with IMG, which owns and produces NYFW: The Shows. The partnership has so far included initiatives that support young, emerging Chinese fashion talents while also helping U.S. designers gain exposure and build their recognition among China’s style mavens.

“Through this partnership, we aim to bring the energy and excitement of New York Fashion Week to our viewers in China,” said James Lin, Alibaba Group’s head of fashion for North America. “Iconic and emerging American brands are already seeing great success in China through their flagship stores on Tmall, and we look forward to working with even more American designers to help them expand their global footprint.”

The NYFW experience is designed so that Chinese consumers can easily access and shop at participating brands’ flagship stores on Alibaba’s platforms, Lin added.

For the fashion event, Alibaba has launched a dedicated portal to stream all the runway shows taking place at Spring Studios in New York City as well as brands’ virtual presentations and lookbooks. Audiences can also watch behind-the-scenes footage from the shows and designer interviews produced by IMG.

“Alibaba is the perfect partner to introduce American fashion brands to new consumer audiences in China and around the world,” said Jennifer Taylor, vice president of global consulting and business development for IMG’s fashion events and properties division.

“Alibaba’s digital technology and e-commerce expertise will give all the designers participating in NYFW: The Shows the opportunity to accelerate their business growth by showcasing their collections to hundreds of millions of fashion consumers,” she said.

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