Is Social Media Ruining the Fashion Industry?
Social media is significantly changing many facets of our lives. From dating apps to smart phone video recording at concerts, no corner of life has been untouched by this rapidly changing social environment. Not surprisingly, the discussion about how social media has been reinventing the fashion industry is a hot topic of conversation right now. However, social media is a way to bring to light new designers, influencers, and allows for a personalized story of the brands consumers love. We have never before been able to feel like we are there with the designer in real-time, until now.
Historically, fashion was solely dictated by experts to tell the story of a brand. These experts were a handful of people who decided what was “in” and what was “out.” The rest of the fashion world was to ideally follow suit or fall behind. There was still room for innovation, but the power was in the hands of the select few to distinguish what trends and brands thrived after hitting the runway.
Just a few years ago, print magazines, billboards, and television commercials connected fashion-seekers with designers. But, there was still an absence of one-on-one conversation between consumers and designers. Designers didn’t have the ability to have personalized interactions with their consumers, and consumers could not provide crucial feedback regarding the brand. Enter social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the three main platforms that fashion houses have been using to engage with their client base in a personalized manner and to tell their story.
Additionally, social media creates a space for fashion influencers to pave their way into the fashion world. These influencers are able to give insight into trends and showcase new and emerging designers on a frequent basis, unlike print media. Bloggers such as Chiara Ferragni, Wendy Nguyen, Kristina Bazan, and Blair Eadie have been able to assist in connecting consumers with designers through their social media platforms, while making their mark on the industry through entrepreneurship.
It works like this: If a group of people connect with Chiara Ferragni and Chiara Ferragni is wearing Miu Miu ballerina flats, tags them in her post, her entire network gets exposed to Miu Miu’s brand. The market then goes to Mui Mui’s page, falls in love with the fashion design and becomes a life-long consumer.
Additionally, social media allows consumers accessibility into fashion on a global scale. Consumers are exposed to fashion that we may have never been able to witness in our lifetimes. At any moment, we are able to search fashion trends are in Tokyo, Milan or Paris. Consumers are able to be inspired by fashion bloggers, fashion designers, and trendsetters of fashion in other countries. We are able to be inspired on a global scale, rather than restricting our views to our country or city. Due to this, we are truly able to hone our style not just based off trends in our country, but the world. It’s such an exciting thought!
Moreover, let’s face it, social media is not going away any time, soon. For any designer to swear off social media in today’s technological age would be to alienate their target market. Social media allows for companies to personalize their brand by showcasing editorial shots, runway photography, and behind-the-scenes photos of the designer. These personalized shots make the consumer feel that they truly know the brand from the inside out. Consumers get to see the heart behind the brand, the reason why, the detail and the craftsmanship that goes into the art of their clothing.
The discussion about how social media is changing the fashion industry will be one that continues to evolve as the fashion industry evolves. However, social media allows for those who adore fashion to have a global discussion regarding the brands and designers they adore. To be able to connect with these brands on such an intimate level through social media platforms breathes a new life into the fashion industry.