EXCLUSIVE: Rakuten Announces Partnership With NYFW: The Shows

Rakuten, the shopping platform that offers cash back and rewards, has officially partnered with New York Fashion Week: The Shows to launch the first “Wear the Runway” event aimed at making the runway accessible for a broader audience of consumers.

The shopping platform’s NYFW event is part of the company’s larger goal of connecting with consumers through accessibility. Vicki Wagner McRae, senior vice president of brand, creative and communications at Rakuten, told WWD that the company sees “consumers are more motivated than ever to opt for quality, investment pieces and they are open to shopping for these luxury items through nontraditional channels to ensure they are getting the best price.”

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In fact, Rakuten’s recent research shows that almost a third of womens’ shopping decisions are influenced by runway shows at NYFW, which McRae said further informed Rakuten’s primary goal to “open up designer fashion to be even more accessible for a broader audience of shoppers, many of whom are already following runway trends. We hope shoppers will enjoy some savings — while sourcing style inspiration, excitement and hopefully some new pieces for their own closets.”

With its ”Wear the Runway” event Rakuten is providing a direct response to what it sees consumers shop today, explained McRae. “We know that shoppers are more engaged in luxury than ever before; they’re shopping with intention, thinking of high-end pieces as investments. These buyers are open to new platforms that provide access to what they want at the best price. Rakuten fits seamlessly into this ecosystem, offering cash back for shopping the designer brands, consumers know and love.”

Notably, Rakuten’s official NYFW debut was in Winter 2023 with its Super Bowl campaign “Not So Clueless” which featured Alicia Silverstone and Christian Siriano. The company launched exclusive pieces inspired by Clueless and designed by Christian Siriano for Rakuten on the runway. The consumer response said McRae, “was amazing” and ultimately triggered “a deeper partnership with NYFW with the goal of reaching the young Millennial woman where and when she is thinking about fashion. Our mission is to make Rakuten the most rewarding way to shop and that includes offering access and savings when our members shop their favorite designer brands and luxury retailers with Rakuten.”

During the “Wear the Runway” event notable designers and Rakuten retail partners including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Altuzarra and Rebecca Minkoff will host an exclusive presale offering members access to items from their latest collections. These hero pieces will be available for a limited time (ending Sept. 25) and months before the styles enter stores with 10 percent cash back available from more than 40 participating fashion retailers from Sept. 11 to 13.

Moreover, to further help make runway trends accessible to consumers, fashion journalist and Project Runway host Elaine Welteroth is taking on a new role as Rakuten’s in-house style consultant. Welteroth will share styling tips, identify hottest trends from this season’s shows and share her must-have products through trend reports and product curations being released throughout NYFW. Consumers can shop picks on Rakuten.com.

“New York Fashion Week’s reach extends far beyond the runways, especially with its reach into street style and digital content over the last few years,” McRae said. “The buzz around the designer’s latest releases and the influence it will have on shoppers’ style and self-expression is much larger than just the events happening in New York City. Rakuten’s “Wear the Runway” event supports exactly that — opening up access for our members to experience the trends straight from designers all with the savings from cash back.”

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