A New Day – How Fashion is Being Revolutionized by Social Media

“Social Media has never been as important as this year. Bloggers are now invited to sit in the front rows, not only focusing on early-days streetstyles.   They work closely with brands on the marketing side, but are also more and more involved in the creative process.” [1] 

Social media has changed the fashion  industry.   It has become collaborative.  It is no longer the industry telling people what clothes to wear and how to wear them.   It is no longer only authorized journalists covering the collections.  It is now a conversation between consumers telling one another.   “Social Media is now the most important runway.”[2]   “Fashion itself has gone viral.”[3]

So what medium seems to be making the most impact on the industry? 

Front-row seats at fashion shows are now being set-aside for well-known bloggers, a place previously reserved for “A” list celebrities.   Designers like Karl Lagerfeld are now meeting with bloggers and asking their opinions.  They have no doubt realized  their impact on fellow consumers.  This change in behaviour acknowledges the bloggers’ powerful status.

Photo credits.

QR Codes - built into fashion - literally!
QR Codes – built into fashion – literally!

Quick Response (QR) codes are also making an impact on the industry.   When fashionistas scan the black and white codes, they are directed to more information on the product, enticed to enter contests, learn from “how-to videos,” and make purchases.   This is a clever technique because it not only initiates action which often leads to more sales, it also allows companies to collect valuable user information they can use for future campaigns and promotions.

But possibly the biggest influence on the industry right now is Instagram which a fast way to share photos with friends.  “The fashion brands on Instagram seem to get that their audience are highly visual people and have learned how to tap into that through images, whether they’re gorgeous photos from London Fashion Week (@burberry) or lifestyle photos like those @katespadeny shares.” [4]    Such a visual industry is completely suited to this medium, engaging consumers like never before.

“Our electronic networks are enabling novel forms of collective action, enabling the creation of collaborative groups that are larger and more distributed than at any other time in history .”  [5]

These collaborative groups that have formed offer both threats and opportunities for the fashion industry.   If consumers decide they don’t like something, they won’t tell one friend, they will tell everyone who follows them on their blog or twitter account which could be hundreds or thousands which might be damaging.  But I see the changes as good.  Social media is providing a community forum for the industry where  designers have more access to consumers and consumers have more access to designers.   This is a positive change that provides many opportunities for designers who are embracing it and using it to their advantage.

“The luxury of fashion is not always about money and objects; in this case, community, timing, and vision are just as equally coveted.”[6]

[1] http://socialmediatoday.com/laurentfrancois/439803/social-media-main-runway-fashion-industry
[2] http://socialmediatoday.com/laurentfrancois/439803/social-media-main-runway-fashion-industry
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-macy/how-social-media-is-givin_b_1443008.html
[4]  http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/09/instagram-fashions-latest-darling/244846/
[5] Here Comes Everybody, page 48, by Clay Shirky, 2008, Published by The Penguin Group.
[6] http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/09/instagram-fashions-latest-darling/244846/
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4 Responses to A New Day – How Fashion is Being Revolutionized by Social Media

  1. dcavasin says:

    So true, “Fashionista’s” need visuals to see what the latest trends are all about. Instagram has an impact on still photos, but what about the use of YouTube for live fashion shows?

    • katgirlmac says:

      Absolutely – there so many things I could have covered that it was hard to narrow it down. In the end, I chose bloggers, QR codes and Instagram because I found some really good articles on them. It would be great to do a piece on YouTube as well. Thanks for your comments.

  2. I’m new to Instagram and I didn’t realize the impact it would have on the fashion industry, but that makes a lot of sense. That would be a great social media tool for designers and brands to show their creations and catch people’s interest.

    • katgirlmac says:

      Thanks for your comment. I just posted a link to an article at the end of my last blog “A Few Reflections…”. You might find it an interesting read as it talks about some of the demographics on Instagram which is one of the reasons it appeals to the fashion industry. This stuff is addictive…

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