AFP

NEW YORK - It may be stilettos at dawn to get a ringside seat at New York’s most exclusive fashion shows, but forget the fur-clad heiresses, today’s VIP is the Internet.

The explosion of social media is perhaps the greatest revolution in fashion since Mary Quant’s mini skirt, transforming the industry’s branding and fan base.

And that revolution is on display like never before at New York’s seven-day fashion week binge of couture that kicks off the 2014 fall/winter season that next heads to Europe.

“It’s been incredible, absolutely incredible. Social media has made such a difference,” Lubov Azria, chief creative officer of fashion house BCBG Max Azria Group, told AFP.

The front-row presence of Vogue supremo Anna Wintour may remain the important accolade for any designer, but Twitter and bloggers are chipping away at the monopoly of magazines.

“It used to be where the editors would come in, whether they liked the collection or not, they would have a certain point of view, and that’s what everyone saw,” said Azria.

“Now with social media, we have a voice. We have a way to express what we feel, why we feel certain things. It’s incredible.”

As a result, BCBG’s typical client, the socialite “who dances and dines,” has slightly changed.

“I think it brought a younger crowd and it also brought the crowd that perhaps never knew this or this about the brand. It brings awareness,” said the Ukrainian-born designer.

Fashion houses all have websites, many offering e-commerce, as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Runway shows are now streamed live online, attracting an audience of millions across the planet.

But Marc Jacobs, who recently stepped down from his post at Louis Vuitton to concentrate on his own brand, has become the talk of the town by trading not in dollars but in social media currency.

At the Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, fans and fashionistas collect a free perfume sample for every instagram, tweet or any other post that includes the hashtag #MJDaisyChain.

The more creative the posts, the better the prizes. And at the end of the week, the winner gets a Marc Jacobs handbag.