By : McKeni Franklin
Many things have been affected by social media. One of those things happens to be the fashion industry. Gone are the days where notable fashion publication like Vogue and Elle are the only source of the newest trends and who showcased what on the runway. Social media has that job now. In an industry where truly nothing is constant and change happens all the time, it seems like social media has truly left a mark on the fashion industry. So the question now is, will social media become a staple piece in the industry or will it become a fad and go out of style?
The meetings of the world of fashion and social media was almost inevitable. When it comes to seeing and being seen, these two things are almost simultaneous. It’s almost a match made in heaven. Of course designers and brands are taking full advantage of this perfect match. Burberry especially took advantage of it when it was revealed that Brooklyn Beckham would be the photographer for the brands latest fragrance ad campaign in early 2016. Nevermind the fact that Beckham was 16-years-old at the time, and most likely didn’t have as much experience as more renowned photographers would have. All that matters is Beckham has millions of Instagram followers, which means he has the reach. “Brooklyn has a really great eye for image and Instagram works brilliantly for him as a platform to showcase his work,” said Christopher Bailey, chief creative and chief executive officer of Burberry. This has become the new reality of the fashion industry. BBC says that “It’s now the number of followers on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, rather than your experience necessarily, that can secure you a top job,”(Hope,2016).
Online Influence reiterates the above statement by saying that, “Online Influence is key. Experience is no longer enough it would seem; your following on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat or Facebook can be vital to securing the top job. Not only has social media affected photography, it has started influencing how models are now signed,” (2016). A perfect example of this would be Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid. All of them have a huge social media following and all of them have had very successful modeling careers so far. Kendall Jenner even landed the very prestigious September issue of Vogue this year, much to the chagrin of many people.
But of course there are upsides to the fashion industry being more social media friendly. By having Instagram pages and other social media platforms, more upscale (and intimidating) brands seem more authentic. Lee Friend, founder of fashion photography company Fashot, says that when fashion brands post on social media, “”They’re trying not to make it look too slick. It’s meant to be loose and conversational rather than structured and professional.”
It looks like the hold social media has on the fashion industry is here to stay, but will it end up helping or hurting the industry in the long run?