Social Media in Fashion

Designers and models have been making headlines due to the ongoing fashion shows at the four major fashion capitals of the world, New York, London, Milan and Paris, particularly on social media.

On the eve of various fashion week shows, sneak peeks of a designer’s wares are broadcasted all over the internet for the world to see. When it finally comes to the big day every writer, editor and model have their phone glued to their hands, watching the show through an iPhone lens, Tweeting and Instagramming every detail of the exclusive shows.

Although this gives the non-fashion elite a front-row seat without physically being there, has this changed the role of the fashion show?

Martin Raymond founder of trend – forecasting agency The Future Laboratory said to Vogue’s Sarah Harris: “It’s a spectacle and a social media push. The catwalk show has moved into the arena of culture and awe. I remember Angela Ahrendts, now at Apple – one of the things she said while she was CEO at Burberry was: ‘We are no longer in the business of fashion, we are in the business of entertainment.’ The idea of spending a million on a West End show is nothing, spending that on a film is a drop in the ocean, so the notion of spending a million on a fashion show is relative.”

The fashion industry uses social media to its full potential. It has helped them to forecast fashion trends, consequently securing future sales. By using social media, designers can promote their line, and interact with other useful contacts who just by association can increase interest from third parties.

Ruth Chapman, CEO of matchesfashion.com said: “This global gathering generates theatre and drama, and via street style photography it engages and inspires our customers too.”

According to Reuters, clothing chain, Topshop gained the largest online audience for a live-streamed London fashion show with 2,000,000 viewers tuning in from more than 100 countries to watch the latest collection from Topshop Unique.

Justin Cooke, Topshop’s chief marketing officer, told Reuters: “People have been trying to figure out for some time, how do you make these ‘likes’ into something relevant, how does the social aspect mix with your brand, and I think we are going to be the first brand to unlock that, we’re going to be the case study…(to) commercialise that social audience.”

Topshop was able to see directly how the live coverage being streamed online helped their sales, as avid watchers were able to immediately purchase the looks on the runway. Many items, including a dress which was the first look on the runway, sold out before the show was even over.

Lucy Yeomans, editor-in-chief of fashion retail site Net-A-Porter.com and former editor of UK’s Harper’s Bazaar. told Reuters: “I think anyone who doesn’t tap into the power of social media is just missing a massive trick, it’s not just a marketing tool.”

House of Holland and Alice Temperley have also used online marketing strategies to showcase their lines to a wider audience.

For the full article on Reuters click here.

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