Social media has had a profound impact on the world at large, from individuals and how they interact, to major industries. The Fashion industry is no different, an industry which previously relied heavily on print media, the advent of social media has changed the way it broadcasts to the world. Gone are the days of only an elite few having a front row seat, we’ve entered an era where the everyday consumer has the ability to experience the world of fashion, have an impact and make their opinions known. Followers, sharing and hashtags mean that everyone can find and view what they’re looking for with the simple tap of a finger.
Social media has created a platform for the average consumer, regardless of their means or where they may be in the world, to be a participant in the world of fashion. From live streaming of fashion shows to following their favourite designers on Twitter or Instagram, the every day person is able to feel part of the process and designers now have access to a pool of inspiration that would previously have had no voice in an industry shrouded in secrecy. Consumers are able to broadcast their views by sharing posts and commenting on what they’re seeing, providing the Designer with an awareness as to what the greater consumer market is looking at, liking and wearing. This provides Designers with the ability to anticipate fashion behaviours, likes and dislikes, by knowing what the consumer is looking for, as well as the opportunity to steer them towards their designs.
Influence on buying trends
With the easy ready access that social media sites provide, consumers are empowered, they have the ability to view trends worldwide, what’s hot, what’s not and what the celebrities are wearing. Coupled with the capability to make purchases online, consumers are making informed choices without having to wait for them to arrive in their local stores. This provides the added advantage for retailers in that they are able to track the purchasing behaviour of consumers, giving them insight into what their buyers should be considering for the upcoming season. Social media has created a global village, driving instant gratification.
Keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry has never been simpler. Fashion designers are able to easily touch base with fellow Designers, keeping up to date with what’s trending and getting themselves recognised. Designers have access to icons of the industry that would have previously been unreachable and the ability to showcase their talent in shared forums. The significance of recognising the various players in the industry, and interacting on all those levels, is of the utmost importance, as influence now comes from many sides and being recognised can be as simple as being acknowledged by a fashion blogger with a robust following. Social media influencers play a huge and powerful role in this arena.
Build your brand
The wide reach of social media means fledgling Designers can now get recognised significantly more easily than before. They have ready access to what was previously reserved for only the select few, screen time to the decision makers, and the masses alike. Making a name for yourself, and getting your designs out there, has become a much easier task. With access to a smart phone you have the ability to showcase your talent and an average fashion blogger has the capability of projecting your images to thousands.
As with all artists, a designer finds their inspiration from many places, during their travels or a spectacular sunset. With the plethora of imagery readily available on social media, inspiration is literally at your fingertips. From what’s hot on the catwalks of Milan to a wetland of flamingos with their striking hues, it’s not something that you have to imagine any longer, you have access to a bird’s eye view.
Marketing yourself and your product has always been a challenge, the expense, coupled with access, means that for a large portion of Designers starting out, it was simply not possible. Social media has provided an immediate and cost-effective means of communicating with the world with access to free advertising and the ability to create your own platform and audience.
Villioti Fashion Institute is an accredited tertiary institution that takes pride in making the ordinary extraordinary. Led by Spero Villioti, who has run a successful fashion brand for more than 30 years, Villioti Fashion Institute prides itself on being “extraordinary in the details”, which is what sets their students apart from others and secures them a future in fashion.