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[Is social media transforming the fashion industry?]

Aug 2016

Is social media transforming the fashion industry?

What did fashion look like before the dawn of social media? The same (well…kind of). Constantly changing but accessible through printed magazines like Vogue, Elle, Grazia and GQ. Vogue has been around since 1892 so a lot has changed since then.


© Chanel 2016

How has social media impacted these publications and the brands they feature? And where do children of famous parents come into this? Is 7.6 million Instagram followers enough to be considered for a new fashion campaign? Yes. Earlier this year saw Brooklyn Beckham appointed as the photographer for a recent Burberry fragrance campaign; to great anger from the industry, particularly profession fashion photographers. “Insulting to every artist out there” was one reaction at the time. Could it be Victoria Beckham’s influence in the fashion world or purely down to the numbers? We think it was more likely the latter.


© Instagram 2016

Online Influence is key. Experience is no longer enough it would seem; your following on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat or Facebook can be vital to securing the top job. Not only has social media affected photography, it has started influencing how models are now signed. Models like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne have a huge online following. Kendall Jenner has 60.5 million followers on Instagram alone and Cara Delevingne 30.8 million. These are huge numbers and engagement is extremely high too! One million. That is the total likes on one recent photo shared on Instagram by Cara. And Kendall has had 6.6 million views on a recent video upload. This content is being seen and is undoubtedly changing the fashion world in the process. But how have fashion houses and more boutique brands adapted to the rise of social?


© H&M 2016

Victoria’s Secret is on top when it comes to Instagram followers at 41.5 million (an increase in 5 million is only 3 months). Sweden’s H&M come in second place at 15.1 million and Chanel come third with 13.4 million. Brands are using social media as it is cheaper. Instagram offer an online canvas as opposed to the more traditional (and expensive) billboard. Speaking of billboards, brands and agencies will now generally not consider a photoshoot that goes on a billboard unless everyone involved has some sort of following online. Social media influence is crucial to not only the choice of model but the entire backstage team. Make-up artists and stylists are now also chosen based on their influence across social media. This medium has also changed the look of fashion communications. Brands are now trying to make imagery that doesn’t look too slick, much like how the entertainment industry embraced the YouTube generation. Loose and conversational is the term being thrown around. Not amateur, not professional but relatable.


© Victoria’s Secret 2016

So there you have it. Social media has had a big impact on fashion and will continue to do so. Through social media, content has become more tangible. Before you could only discover the latest looks and trends inside a weekly magazine; now you can watch an array of mini clips posted to Instagram and really see what it looks like.


© Instagram 2016

This is the same for Snapchat which is looking more and more like a moving, interactive magazine. When Burberry chose to use Brooklyn Beckham as their next photographer they knew exactly what they were doing and it worked. Behind-the-scenes photographs and video content posted on their Instagram and Snapchat feeds had 15 million plus impressions during the eight hours the shoot was live.


© Topshop 2016



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