angel chang.jpgOur old friend and current office mate Angel Chang is a contestant on The Fashion Show, Bravo’s newest reality show hosted by Isaac Mizrahi. Angel has already proven herself as a designer: She’s an Ecco Domani winner, and a former DKNY designer, among other accomplishments. However, she is maximizing her exposure on the show with some pretty ingenious marketing concepts that have never been tried before on a reality show. The most interesting is an interactive necklace that she will wear that features a different word each episode. Viewers are expected to text that word to 83733 on their cell phones and Angel will reply with a personal message inviting viewers to meet up with her at a specific location.  She will also be Twittering, Facebooking and selling limited edition tees. It’s all explained after the jump in a message she posted on Facebook.  





 When I was invited to participate in the show I had to think deep about what this really meant for me. After all, these types of shows are known more for their entertainment value than for any promise of advancing a designer’s career. Being the technophile that I am, I contacted mobile behavior guru Allison Mooney at Next Great Things and learned the different ways people could interact via wireless communication and social networking today.

We came up with a ground-breaking idea that has never been done before on reality TV. Using “The Fashion Show” as medium for a much larger experiment, this is what we came up with…

1) Necklace – Viewer Interactivity:

In each episode of “The Fashion Show,” I will be wearing a necklace with a word relating to that day. Viewers are asked to text that word to 83733 on their cell phones between 10 and 11pm tonight.

If viewers get the word right, they will get a response from me to visit a certain website or meet up at a location that weekend. “Meet me for a taco at La Esquina this Sunday at 2pm.” “Come grab a drink with me at Café Select Saturday night.” The message will change each week. These physical meet-up spots will allow me to meet me viewers and friends.

2) Group chat on Twitter

I will also be on Twitter during each episode, so viewers can “chat” with me as each event is happening on TV. We will be using social networking to do real-time group chats to bring viewers closer together. Do you like my shoes in the first scene? I’ll tell you who made them. How about my t-shirt in the first challenge? I’ll make one for you!

3) Limited-Edition T-Shirts

I will also sell limited-edition t-shirts relating to each week’s episode. A new design will launch each week! Die-hard reality TV fans can pre-order the shirts and receive them in time to wear during their viewing parties for the matching episode.

4) Facebook Page

Viewers can join my Facebook Page to view pictures of what’s happening at each week’s meet-up location, updates on my limited-edition t-shirts, and links that I’d like to share with fans.

I am excited to be testing this new form of viewer activity on such a national platform and hope that you will join me tonight -- on your TV sets, on your cell phones, on your laptops, and in person this weekend.

As the inventor Dennis Gabor once said, “The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented. It was man’s ability to invent which has made human society what it is.” We must push the boundaries of what it means to be a fashion designer today, stimulate new ways of thinking, and find ways to stay ahead in today’s fast-changing world.

Watch me on “The Fashion Show” on Bravo every Thursday at 10pm starting tonight!