Fashion Month in the Age of the Influencer

All eyes have been firmly fixed on London Fashion Week over the last few days – and not just on the shows, but behind the scenes, too. With the increasing popularity of social media, the general public is now more and more privy to all sides of the fashion week carousel and not just the carefully curated shows they’ve have had to stick to in the past.

This is due in part to the rise of influencers (and their smart phones!) attending the shows – as a team, we have all commented on how few celebrities attended LFW this year compared to previously, yet have noticed more and more bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers and other such influencers commanding the front rows. They – along with journalists – are giving us behind the scenes access to some of the most coveted shows and fashion week events and a realistic look at what is viewed as a glossy few days of fashion.

It’s no wonder that the industry is going this way – influencers’ numbers are swiftly rising (the likes of Sarah Ashcroft, Lydia Elise Millen and Nyané Lebajoa have almost half a million followers each) and brands are becoming all too aware that these social media superstars are a more accessible way of advertising – think of all of those Snapchats, Instastories and Instagram pics of catwalk shows, goody bags, Uber rides, invites, lunches, vitamin water, etc, etc etc.

In addition, brands who aren’t showing at LFW are able to build up buzz around their own social channels and collections throughout the course of the week by hosting events aimed at key influencers, dressing them for their Instagram outfit posts (with tag, of course), inviting them to take over the brand’s social media channels, etc. It’s a marketing opportunity that agencies such as us and in-house PR teams grasp with both hands – it’s a tried and tested, extremely effective route to raise our clients’ profiles. A quick glance through the first few posts on my Instagram account and I’m greeted by three (sponsored) posts about the Rita Ora x Tezenis show tonight, pics from our client Ego’s blogger brunch, a post advertising a blogger’s LFW video with Accessorize and numerous journalists posting about the cars that are chauffeuring them around during the most hectic week on their calendar.

As a marketing technique, it’s up there with the best of them and it will undoubtedly continue to evolve throughout the seasons. And with the shows becoming more and more instant due to social media – and some brands responding by making their collections available to buy immediately – the question is, what format will fashion month take in years to come? Will influencers takeover the front rows completely? Will all brands have their collections ready to buy as soon as that final model finishes her walk? Will we be able to shop looks via Snapchat and Instagram? It’s hard to know, but I do know one thing – we love the direction the fashion world is going in!

– Jazmin Cabrera, Director and Co-Founder

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