How Social Media Influences the Fashion Industry

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 By Jacqui Simses

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Social media has been impacting the fashion industry in numerous ways. The traditional approaches to various areas in the fashion world that have been practiced for many decades have shifted using various social media platforms to interact with the consumer, as a means of networking with others in the industry, and as a way of building an online presence. Social media has impacted not only the way in which the public can instantly access runway shows and keep up-to-date with favorite designers and models, but it has also influenced the choices of models that are currently being used as well as even providing inspiration to designers for their newest collections.

Inspiration for Designers

Designers and major influencers in the fashion industry have traditionally found inspiration for their designs and creations in various ways whether their inspiration derives from a random object, a specific place, a piece of artwork, a certain time period or anything else really that a designer views as inspiration which eventually can be translated into a collection of clothing.

More recently, though, the fashion industry is recognizing a major shift in its inspiration for designs and trends, all thanks to social media and blogging sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. Social media has influenced a number of designers in recent years in unique ways which are changing the way many designers go about creating new fashions.

One example to consider is ZAC Zac Posen’s Spring-Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collection which was strictly influenced by comments and suggestions from his over 640,000 Instagram followers. This all began when Posen posted images of sunsets from a vacation on his Instagram account and followers began asking for prints in these hues, and “through the comments and pictures we got a new perspective about out creations,” said Posen. As a result, a maxi dress in the hues of the sunset from that Instagram image was part of his 2015 collection.


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Now, a fashion designer’s inspiration can be made easier by a speedy trip through social media sites such as Pinterest. Clare Waight Keller of Chloé observed that “A mood board that would have taken a few weeks of solid research now can be assembled in an afternoon on Instagram.”

Another example is the Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez who had claimed Tumblr as a point of reference for their Spring 2013 collection, citing the social media platform’s unexpected juxtapositions of imagery and all-but-infinite content.


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Social Media’s Influence on Choosing Models

The influence of social media has also rapidly changed how today’s models are chosen. Kendall Jenner, for example, has been dubbed the “ultimate Instagirl” for her huge social media fan base: 48 million followers on Instagram and 15.3 million on Twitter.


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The same goes with recent models who have climbed the ladder of fame within the modeling industry within just a first few short years with the help of social media such as Hailey Baldwin, Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid and her younger sister, Bella Hadid.

Pinterest’s Influence

Take a picture now and save it for later. Pinterest is the hot spot for categorizing photos from this year’s New York Fashion Week. If you want to take a look at a clothing line from a particular show, see the collaboration of designers involved in Fashion Week, or Pinterest is your social media resource.


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Twitter’s Influence

When it comes to NYFW show updates, Twitter is the way to go. By following @NYFW, users can get a first look at runway video replays, hair and makeup moments and updates about shows in progress.


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Snapchat’s Influence

This year, low and behold, one of the most popular apps for tracking New York Fashion week 2016 is Snapchat. Here’s why. With Snapchat, users get the utmost “behind the scenes” or “feels like you’re there” experience. Snapchat users can not only follow celebrities and watch them attend the shows of their favorite designers, but NYFW followers on Snapchat can also gain personal insights about designers, and featured clothing items. Here’s the real kicker, in a way, Snapchat users also gain access to a free front row seat and a first look at NYC Fashion Week shows as they are happening! What a way to save a pretty penny on fashion week tickets. While we’re at it, let’s not forget about the way Snapchat let’s fashion lovers be their own reporters. Snapchat users, located in NYC and the surrounding area can submit photos and videos of their own to be featured on the New York Fashion Week Snapchat Story.


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So the point is, with social media sites only growing from here and fashion trends, designer influences, the choosing of models and more are all shifting to show major influences from social media sites, it’s a brave new world for the fashion industry!



Banks, L. (2014, December 2). Inspiration meets social media. NY Times. Retrieved from  inspiration-meets-social-media.html?_r=1

Hope, K. (2016, February 5). How social media is transforming the fashion industry. BBC News. Retrieved from

Kline, J. (2016, September 15). New York fashion week used these 5 social media apps. Growing Social Media. Retrieved from

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism