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Donna Karan App Shares Gowns With the Masses

  |  January 3, 2013   |  Comments

The Facebook app offers a glimpse into the making of red carpet gowns.

Ever wondered how a dress goes from the mind of a designer to the body of a celebrity?

Donna Karan Atelier, the fashion brand's collection of custom gowns, is providing some insight with a Facebook app that gives users a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of red carpet attire.

Users must like the Donna Karan Facebook page to use the app. Since the app launched in mid-December, the Facebook page has gained 3,000 likes for a total of 195,000.

Each of the app's featured gowns includes a series of how-it-was-made steps in reverse order - like a blog - with the most recent content/steps higher up on the page.

"You're following the journey from inception/concept to the first swatch to detail and then kind of through where it goes to a celebrity fitting or sometimes a trunk show in between," says Aliza Licht, senior vice president of global communications at Donna Karan International.

Donna Karan began gathering content for the app in September.

Users start by selecting an icon representing an anonymous dress. They then explore the design and production process and learn about the dress' inspiration, design, fabric sourcing, production, and fittings.

Of the content, Licht says, "It can be anything - from the way something is stitched to the embroidery or color swatches...or it could be the inspiration, like water in Turks and Caicos or it could be about a wine."

Once a dress has been revealed on the red carpet, it is added to the Gallery, where fans can see which celebrity wore it and view images from the event. The Gallery includes five gowns labeled D, E, F, Y, and Z. That's because Licht, who is also the voice behind DKNY PR Girl on Twitter, says she typically uses the letter X when talking about dresses and/or celebrities. In this particular case, from X, she moved on to Dresses Y and Z. Dresses X, B, and C are currently featured in the app's Gallery. Licht says Donna Karan decided to "take Dress A out of rotation and hold it for a future event."

DKNY PR Girl's handle, @dkny, has 426,000 followers.

Twilight's Ashley Greene is currently the only celebrity in the Gallery. Licht, however, is optimistic the Gallery will include additional celebrities after the Critics' Choice Awards on January 10, Golden Globe Awards on January 13, and/or SAG Awards on January 27.

The Gallery also provides users with additional content like designer sketches.

Fans can like, comment, tweet, and pin each individual post on the dress profiles. Tweets with the #DonnaKaranAtelier hashtag are pulled into the home page. The home page also features a timeline of the most recently added posts, as well as the Most Talked About post, which is the post with the most shares.

Donna Karan worked with social media agency We Are Social on the campaign.

Inspired by the behind-the-scenes view DKNY PR Girl has provided Twitter followers since 2009, a We Are Social rep says the app visually showcases the time, effort, and attention to detail required to create custom gowns and place them on the red carpet.

"People are really enamored with celebrities. They like to hear what's going on and it's interesting to see how they get to the red carpet," Licht says. "Without divulging any major trade secrets, it's fun to take [users] along on [the] journey. This is a much more visual representation. Will it tell you everything? No, but it gives [users] snippets, which is a fun thing."


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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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