From penny loafers to peplums, we've seen the fashion world evolve time and time again over the years. Another piece of the fashion industry that has changed is the way brands reach their consumers. The introduction of social media is a prime example of this shift. It's given brands the ability to do more than just get in front of consumers on a billboard. Now, brands have the potential to interact directly with customers on a daily basis.
How Marketing Fashion has Evolved
No longer does one have to rely on the glossy pages of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar to see the latest trends in fashion. Although brands are still advertising in magazines, they're also utilizing a free source of marketing: the digital world. Even some of the world's most luxury brands have delved into digital style. Check out the infographic to see when they began to put down their social media footprint.
How Magazines are Adapting to the Digital Age
According to the Huffington Post, magazines didn't quite take off on tablets like publishers had hoped. They would have needed to completely redesign their magazines to work in that medium, and many opted to reproduce their print product in what many compare to a PDF. However, publishers have gradually gotten smarter. With social networks popularity continuing to rise, editors have begun to design magazines with them in mind. Instead of replicating the magazine, they're designing for the digital platforms.
For instance, the iconic Womens Wear Daily moved from daily to weekly printing in March of 2015, due to an ever-growing online audience. This switch gave them the ability to focus their efforts almost solely on the digital realm.
How Brands are Utilizing Social Media
A photo posted by H&M (@hm) on
It comes as no surprise that brands have flocked to Instagram in droves. With the platform's sole focus on visual content, fashion brands and houses can quickly and easily share their creations with millions around the globe. Chain stores like H&M all the way to major fashion institutions, like Marchesa, are sharing countless photos of sketches, the catwalk, and celebrities wearing their brand.
Snapchat became an unlikely hero during the various fashion weeks across the United States and Europe. How? Snapchat uniquely offers “Live Update stories to users showcasing large events happening around the world. You guessed it - Snapchat provided live updates of New York, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, giving users a front-row seat to the shows and exclusive backstage access. This unprecedented access gave followers a chance to see celebrities attend the shows, follow today's most super of models, and hear directly from the designers about what inspired their latest line of fashion. Burberry made waves in the world of Snapchat in 2015 when they worked with the social media platform to advertise their Mr. Burberry launch, making them the first luxury brand to do a Discover special.
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In addition to fashion week, brands themselves are creating and using Snapchat accounts to keep their followers in the know on a daily basis.
On Pinterest, a designer's piece of clothing can be repinned hundreds of thousands of times. Not only does a pin have the potential to reach thousands of men and women, but it's also free advertising for brands. And now, Pinterest has introduced the buyable pin option, which makes finding and buying fashionable clothing and accessories much easier. One of the oldest luxury brands, Fendi, got in on the Pinterest game in 2013, which is when many fashion houses began jumping on board with this social media. Brands like L.L. Bean, LAZARO, Carolina Herrara and J.Crew are utilizing the visual social platform to share not only their clothes but also other lifestyle tips and tricks that fit their brand.
What Social Media Means for Fashion Start-Ups
The journey to success in the fashion industry is not an overnight one. However, small brands, start-up boutiques and bloggers have a better chance than ever for success. The ability to get your brand in front of the perfect target audience is helping launch careers and businesses alike. For instance, Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal started her now multimillion-dollar fashion empire on Myspace and eBay. She was able to leverage social media to gain a powerful and representative audience before she even launched her website.
"The only way to support a revolution is to make your own." -Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS
Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times
The Rise of the Fashion Blogger
Pre-social media, people relied on the fashion magazines' writers and editors to provide the latest trends or what's hot right now. That's no longer the case. By simply logging onto any social media account, you WILL encounter a fashion blogger. The connection that bloggers have with their audience through social media is different than that of a big brand. They're just like you and me, with a passion for beauty and fashion. By leveraging social media, they've transformed their blogging platforms into their own brands. See some of the most iconic bloggers turned moguls including Danielle Bernstein with We Wore What, Chiara Ferragnia with The Blonde Salad, Aimee Song with Song of Style and everyone's favorite humor-filled fashionista, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller.
A photo posted by Leandra M !!!Cohen!!! (@leandramedine) on
Social Media's Ability to Evolve an Industry
The Era of the Social Supermodel
Before the age of social media, men and women alike idolized models like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell from the pages of magazines. These supermodels seemed like unattainable goddesses that you hoped you would one day encounter. No longer is this the case. Today is the day of the “Instagirl as dubbed by Vogue. Due to personal accounts and paparazzi, supermodels like Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn and Doutzen Kroes are proof that the supermodel is back with a vengeance. Now, instead of these girls being celebrities we can only admire from afar, they're giving us a look into their personal lives through their snaps, tweets, posts and shares.
A photo posted by @karliekloss on
Has Social Media Taken Away Fashion's Exclusivity?
Though many view social media positively when it comes to fashion, not all are feeling the warm fuzzies. An article by David Yi from Mashable stated a pretty good argument against social media during fashion week. He asked if fashion week was even necessary since smartphones consume attendees, taking snapchats and Instagramming it for all of their followers. The original purpose of fashion week was to exclusively preview the next seasons clothes to the “higher-ups and influencers in the fashion industry to interpret the trends to consumers.
With social media allowing consumers like you and me to engage almost immediately with these shows, is there even a point for the leaders of the fashion industry to be attending the shows?
Blue Compass: Helping Everyone Access the Catwalk
Whether your company has thousands of followers or is just getting started on social media, you have countless opportunities to remain top-of-mind and connect with your target audience on social! From a competitive audit to recommendations or even a full-blown social media strategy Blue Compass is here to help make your life easier.