New York Fashion Week starts today, but one new look isn’t on a runway.
Snap’s new Nico and Veronica Spectacles have high-end styling that might pass for pricey shades. The flat-top Nico is a Saint Laurent D-Frame knock-off and the butterfly Veronica is a dead ringer for Dolce & Gabbana shades. Both are $ 199.99, about $ 50 more expensive than the standard Spectacles.
The unisex styles are more subtle than Snap’s brightly colored Spectacles. They’re black-on-black and the camera lenses are less obvious than they are on both iterations of the original model. From this perspective, they’re a win. Too bad the influencers Snap is hoping to capture are all on Instagram.
Instagram Stories, which shamelessly but effectively ripped off Snapchat, has twice as many daily active users as its rival. Influencers in particular prefer the platform, in part because Snap made no effort to help them earn cash.
“We have historically neglected the creator community on Snapchat that creates and distributes public Stories for the broader Snapchat audience,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel acknowledged during a 2017 earnings call. “In 2018, we are going to build more distribution and monetization opportunities for these creators.”
What followed was a Creators Summit and analytics tools, efforts that were likely overshadowed by a deeply unpopular redesign that forced Snap to backtrack.
Even Spiegel’s wife, model Miranda Kerr, who frequently defends Snap, is still an inveterate Instagrammer. As a member of the fashion flock it’s a natural choice. Last year, when Vogue held its Forces of Fashion conference, it was Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom who sat between designer Marc Jacobs and Vogue Creative Digital Director Sally Singer, not Spiegel.
At least one person at Vogue is impressed by Snap, though. Selby Drummond, a Vogue accessories editor, is leaving the magazine to head up fashion and beauty partnerships at Snap. Drummond emceed Forces of Fashion last year, and has been one of the most visible Vogue editors, playing a pivotal role in the various iterations of The Fashion Fund, a show that followed the young designers competing to win the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award.
Drummond’s departure comes after Eva Chen, former editor in chief of Conde Nast pub Lucky, became director of fashion partnerships at Instagram in 2015.
Despite Snap’s dramatic moves before NYFW, it hasn’t captured the attention of the crowd. Snapchat has little content and no prominent partnerships this week while Instagram is filling up with posts. There’s such a thing as being fashionably late but for Snap, it’s too late to be in fashion.