09/10/2012 09:48 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

WATCH: 60 Seconds of Social Media

Fashion Week is in full swing in New York, and with an all-access pass courtesy of social media, everyone has a front row seat.

You can watch live runway shows, catch backstage Hangouts on Google+, and stay caught up on all the action with a stream of images and articles from Tumblr's tricked out #NYFW tag page.

It's no surprise that Instagram is a major player, and this year sponsor American Express is taking advantage of the photo-sharing site's popularity, partering with fashion photographer Garance Doré for three Instagram Towers, each stationed in the Lincoln Center lobby. Besides photos from Doré, users can tag their own photos with #AmexFashion for a chance to appear on the 10-foot-tall walls.

And in what might be a sign of the future, two companies, BumeBox and B Productions, are teaming to provide real-time Tweets and comments on top of branded live streams and deliver analytics back to brands.

Why are fashion brands embracing social media and the Internet? Because they know there's a lot of money to be made. One study predicts that apparel and accessories e-commerce will grow by 20 percent to $40.9 billion this year. And almost half of consumers now say they would rather shop for clothes online than offline.

Catch up on fashion and social media in the latest episode of Freshwire's "60 Seconds of Social Media" below.

Did you see last week's episode on social media and medicine? Check it out here.