In one day, I went from no knowledge of fashion to being pulled in and immersed into the world of it. The wormhole that is Instagram was mostly to blame for my new found obsession. More specifically, it’s fashion influencers. The sight of their flashy and eye-catching outfits made the scrolling inevitable and the follow button a neon sign. Down and down the rabbit hole, you start to realize the mass influence that they have on their followers. That is why companies rely on fashion influencers and their social media following to help with their marketing.
Fashion influencers are the trendsetters of the generation and brands want in on their impact. Want to make a trend happen? Pay influencers to wear your designs. Take Dior’s saddle bag revival as an example. Influencers were gifted with the new saddle bag and had posted a picture with it on Instagram, all at the same time. The next thing you know it, the bag was everywhere on Instagram and making its comeback as the new “It” bag.
Big brands want to promote their products through influencers and are spending $255 million every month to do it. According to Dana Rebecca Designs, 85% of Instagram users surveyed said that they followed fashion, style, and lifestyle accounts. Another 92%, according to MuseFind, also reported that they trusted influencers more than an advertisement or celebrity. Those findings show that brands are tapping into the digital marketing media platform with good reason.
Luxury brands especially understand the importance of fashion influencers. At their shows, front-rows are filled with industry people but also macro or micro fashion influencers snapping away on their phones and sharing the show with their followers. Brands such as Fendi and Ferragamo are also taking influencer marketing to a new level. In addition to the general sponsored Instagram post, they are now including influencers in their campaigns for new products. For Fendi’s latest campaign, they recruited influencers Caroline Daur, Natasha Lau, Ebonee Davis, and Melissa Martinez to star alongside iconic actress Sarah Jessica Parker for the release of their baguette bag. Their marketing strategy ended up being a major success for the fashion house. The revival of the baguette bag generated lots of talk in the fashion world and can be seen everywhere, as it is the new It bag amongst celebrities. As for Ferragamo, they chose a digital campaign, recruiting major influencers Caroline Daur, Tony Liu and Lindsay Schuyler of Diet Prada, BryanBoy, Carlo Sestini, and several others to star in a series of short movies. The campaign was part of the launch of their new website, targeting China’s biggest social media platform, WeChat. The international range of Ferragamo’s group of influencers gave the campaign a lot of opportunities for engagement from their followers and exposure to their global audience.
When the world’s most prominent and highest-paid fashion blogger, Chiara Ferragni, celebrated her wedding to Italian rapper Fedez, she went above and beyond for the marketing. All according to LaunchMetrics, the brands involved received major exposure, especially French fashion house Dior. Designing two dresses for the big day, they received $5.2 million in audience-driven Media Impact Value (MIV)–a measurement created by LaunchMetrics to quantify the economic impact of marketing–with another 5.6 million globally of engagement itself, driving 15% of the total MIV. Even after 7 months, the wedding is still fresh in everyone’s mind, mostly due to Chiara’s constant reminiscing posts of that day. The post of her dress is also a constant reminder of the wedding, where one of the dresses created by Dior included some lyrics and symbols of the song, husband Fedez proposed to her to with. That post itself was described as the buzziest of them all by Launchmetrics. Prada, Alberta Ferretti, and Lancome were also some of the other brands that were apart of the event, each gaining huge exposure. The wedding overall generated $36 million in Media Impact Value, making it a bigger marketing event than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. These brands ended up being a part of one of the most influential marketing events of the year.
Influencers may also save the industry from the problem of fast-fashion, though many may disagree and say that they are the problem, having smaller influencers promoting and taking sponsorships from fast-fashion brands. With all the promotion of luxury brands and the concept of making investments in designer pieces, the desire for higher quality products is increasing with the yearly revenue to show for it. With the steady increase in luxury clothing sales, fast-fashion companies are now trying to push more and more products out by the day. Influencers in the high fashion niche are pushing back with the message of less fast-fashion consumerism and more sustainable fashion.
The ability for influencers and social media accounts to have a push and pull type relationship with brands is a good start for the fashion industry. Something else to note is that not all of them are paid marketers. For example, the Instagram account Diet Prada is one of the most infamous accounts for airing out dirty laundry of fashion brands. Their most notable work is their takedown of Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, regarding their Chinese ad controversy. Even the namesake brand in their handle (Prada) which is praised by them was called out for their part in releasing a racist product. Their account is helping to tackle problems within the industry. Standing up against bigger brands and protecting the smaller ones, their vigilantism for fairness is a common theme on the page. Making their contribution to the industry many that smaller brands rely on.
Social media is a marketer’s dream, and influencers are a powerful new part of business. As Mark Zuckerberg said, “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” It’s “the Holy Grail of advertising.”
Image Credit: ModaLisboa