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How has social media changed the fashion industry?

Instagram appIt's undeniable that the popularity of social media platforms has risen in recent years, and the ways fashion brands conduct business have changed as a result. With platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat becoming more effective as marketing tools, we can expect this change to continue.

Take for example Brooklyn Beckham or Kendall Jenner, both are young people (17 and 20 respectively) who have been given huge responsibilities for fashion houses, thanks in large to their social media presence.


Brooklyn Beckham was given the role of photographer for Burberry’s recent fragrance ad campaign, a position that received mixed reception online. However, while many argued that this role was given to him because of how prominent his parents, David and Victoria Beckham, are within the fashion industry, this may not necessarily be the case. Brooklyn Beckham’s Instagram account has 7.4 million followers, this means that Burberry knows that he has a good photographic eye, but also he has a following that are ready to engage with the things he shares, meaning that Burberry already have a participating audience before the campaign has even begun.

The same is true of Kendall Jenner who has been dubbed the ‘ultimate Instagirl’, and while she rose to public knowledge from her appearance in reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, her 59.7 million Instagram followers and 15.3 million Twitter followers have allowed her a host of modelling opportunities, including becoming the face of Estee Lauder.

These aren’t isolated cases, several high-end fashion brands base their hiring practises for fashion shoots on a person’s social media presence. This includes more than just the models and photographers, some brands won’t hire a person for a shoot unless they have a social media following even if that person is a make-up artist or even a producer!

A personal experience

SnapchatOne of the main reasons why fashion labels are turning to social media is because it gives the illusion of engaging with a person’s personal life; this is particularly tempting when that person is a celebrity. Instagram, as a photography-based platform, is the digital equivalent of sharing holiday or wedding photos with a friend – they give an idea of what happened, but the pictures you decide to show are highly curated.

The same goes for Twitter, which offers an audience a glimpse into the life and opinions of the person tweeting, and allows an audience to believe they know this person’s personality from what’s being shared.

Of course, the images shared on Instagram in cases like this are just as curated and controlled as the fashion shoots that appear in glossy fashion magazines, but they have the added benefit of drawing a younger audience than would not necessarily buy a physical copy of Vogue for example, meaning fashion labels are expanding their audiences.

How social media is changing the landscape of fashion

Burberry has been one of the brands most engaged in the shifting landscape brought about by social media and Internet culture; they were the first brand to live stream a catwalk show, making the performance a public event as opposed to the more closed off affairs they tend to be. They also debuted their Spring/Summer 2016 collection over Snapchat.

While Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are the biggest platforms for fashion labels to engage with audiences, they are becoming more experimental, meaning fashion brands can’t just be designers anymore, they also have to be willing to experiment with media content production.

While most companies are hush-hush on how much social media has impacted sales, those who engage with social media, especially Instagram, are seeing faster online sales growth.

This engagement with social media is also changing high street brands. By not having to wait for magazine publications to see what will be - and won’t be - in fashion in the next season, high street brands are able to create their own versions and allusions to high-end fashion designs, showing that the growing immediacy of the fashion industry is having a positive impact on high-end and low-budget labels.

At Fiore, we offer handbags and accessories that never go out of style. For more information contact us, or pop into our Abergavenny store. You can also keep up to date with our latest products by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

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