You might think #NYFW is a collection of egocentric fashionistas, but New York Fashion Week represents an extremely powerful connection between brands and consumers. This semiannual spectacle, now 72 years in the making, is more than just runways and red carpets. It's collective culture incubator of tech, fashion, innovation, food, and media; and harnesses the power to make or break the biggest brands. Here's how:

It's a Media Launchpad
Move over Instagram, Periscope is the "it" app this week. Beyond fashion, #NYFW has been established the make or break forum for upcoming trends, media included. Designers and brands gravitate to the latest mediums to clinch first mover advantage and render competition as laggards. Pay attention to Periscope, it's going to dominate social in 2016.  

It's a Tech Hub
Collaboration between tech (Uber) and fashion (Givenchy) continues to eliminate the divide between style and software. Lifestyle brands are a powerful movement positioned to dominate consumer markets, and increasing accessibility to #NYFW shows for "civilians" is a result of innovation through tech.  

It's Genius Brand PR
Love them or hate them, but consumer obsession with mega-influencers like the Kardashians can't be ignored. Key influencers are vital to catalyzing awareness, demand, and brand persona ("lifestyle") to new products - more so than traditional media.  Linking personalities to brands (and runway shows) generates overnight success, and drives engagement to levels marketing pros have never seen. It's the new PR strategy, and it works. (Hint: The Kardashians launched a family of apps this week) 

It a Design & Content Curator
Curation (sorting material and presenting in a meaningful way) is a dominant tool in marketing strategy this year, and demands a source of inspiration. For the next year, clothing, houseware, tech, automotive, and countless other products will integrate designs, materials, and trends  inspired by #NYFW. Influential bloggers, product developers, and brand strategists all want to leverage the newest trend, so expect to see this week's style rippled throughout consumer brands, media, and goods as soon as next month.