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Every season, a new app or technology tries to capture the influential fashion crowd. Last fashion week designers could be seen turning their runway shows into Flipagram mini slide shows and editors were spotted capturing the speed of the New York fashion minute in Hyperlapse’s compressed videos. But perhaps the most buzzy app of as of late is the Ashton Kutcher-backed Secret.
Designed to allow users to anonymously share their thoughts, Secret experienced popularity during September’s New York Fashion Week when models, editors, designers and various socialites attending shows, used it to share their commentary of the shows and parties, and to trade insider tips.
Where were the celebrities? Who had the location of Alexander Wang’s impromptu after-party? What did editors really think of the front row or the clothes peppering the runways?
“I went to several shows last fashion week and a couple of them I genuinely did not connect with. With Secret, I can share my thoughts based on my personal taste not my professional opinion – unfiltered and honest without the danger of public scrutiny,” explains Jamie Schneider, stylist for Ashley Benson and Eva Mendes.
One reason for the popularity may be the shift in the fashion industry. Where editors and stylists once toiled in the glamorous but private corridors of publishing, the popularity of street style blogs and reality televisions shows such as The Rachel Zoe Project and Kelly Cutrone’s Kell on Earth, have turned private lives and closets into the same heavily-dissected public fodder previously reserved for movie stars.
Ashton Kutcher’s investment may stem from his own personal empathy for that kind of scrutiny. “As a public figure I believe in the right of privacy. I believe that there is a difference between curiosity, an idea, and a belief. Secret is a platform that allows people to find consensus or fragmentation, to find community for their private thoughts, without affiliated judgment,” says Kutcher.
Indeed there appears to be great need for private expression. The app has experienced enough popularity that it has hackers hunting for vulnerabilities in their code and recently enhanced its capabilities to automatically detect suspicious images and keywords after critics accused it of fomenting cyberbullies.
Fashion may turn out to be the light hearted element in Secret’s journey. One September runway show attendee revealed the humorousness of being packed tightly at shows with her “secret”. “I just farted next to Lily Aldridge and she heard me.”
Another user commented on stylist Brad Goreski being second row at designer Zac Posen’s show as “fashion’s equivalent of showing you the door”.
Or for some in fashion, whose paycheck may rely on toeing the party line, it may simply provide a much-needed release. One editor wrote, “I work in the fashion industry and hate it. It is so fucking fake. I wake up everyday and have to pretend I am someone who I’m not and NYFW has made me feel like a shitty person.”
Her secret has received 662 “likes” and 161 comments.
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Jeriana San Juan