By Melissa Fares and Gina Cherelus
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Kors Holdings Ltd and Ralph Lauren Corp were among the top-mentioned brands by social media users during New York Fashion Week, the result of a push by fashion houses to build buzz among fans who otherwise would not be exposed to their shows.
Both companies were among the top five brands that received the most mentions on Twitter Inc during the week, which occurs twice a year and is considered one of the industry's highest exposure events, according to marketing technology company Amobee Brand Intelligence.
Michael Kors received 70,902 related tweets and Ralph Lauren garnered 46,971 tweets from the start of Fashion Week on Feb 11 through its finish on Thursday.
The brands had elaborate social media strategies, which included behind-the-scenes videos on the messaging app Snapchat and live footage of shows on Twitter's streaming video service Periscope.
As of Friday, they were also among the top five mentioned brands at event venues on Facebook Inc's photo-sharing app Instagram, according to data from Ground Signal, a location-based social media search company.
Engaging with users of social media is increasingly important to designers because it helps them draw attention of consumers, not only buyers and press who attend the show.
The strategy is also a way to reach younger fans. According to Ground Signal, roughly a third of Instagram posts were from users under the age of 25.
“We know we need to be where our customer is, and today she is on all of these platforms consuming more content more quickly than ever before,” Lisa Pomerantz, a Michael Kors spokeswoman, said by email.
Chatter on social media sites can drive demand for designers' collections. Rebecca Minkoff, a maker of luxury handbags and clothing, promoted designs on several platforms under the hashtag #SeeBuyWear. Its New York-based store did four times its usual business following Saturday's show, a Minkoff spokeswoman said in an email.
Major fashion houses did not receive the same level of attention as widely known music artists with their own fashion lines. According to Amobee, rapper Kanye West's Yeezy line drew more than 800,000 tweets, and singer Rihanna's Fenty x Puma collection brought in over 140,000, topping the list when it came to Twitter traffic.
Other brands with significant Twitter mentions included PVH Corp's Tommy Hilfiger, Malan Breton and Coach Inc.
(Editing by Anjali Athavaley and Cynthia Osterman)