The demand from consumers in the fashion industry is shifting from big designer fashion brands to social media stars. Designers are starting to base their work off of the trends that these Internet influencers present online, in order to reach their huge followings. They are becoming aware that their customers want new products to resemble what is trendy on Instagram. Social media is changing the fashion industry and the way that the big brands we know and love run.
PHOTO: Rachel Wine
Vogue used to be the major source of inspiration and insight for the eager fashion lover, patiently waiting for the new magazines and trends to be released. Now, just open Instagram up and scroll through your feed; I’m positive you will find a new style that is trending at the moment that will become your current obsession. Just look at Chiara Ferragni: with 12.5 million Instagram followers, she runs the fashion world just one Instagram post at a time. Named blogger of the year by Vogue, she has been able to build a platform based on her unique style that has launched many new trends. She currently holds more fashion credibility than any big magazine. After big designer brands see her thousands of likes on Instagram, they are tempted to either get in touch with her to get sponsored or even to make their own version of her viral trends. Also, look at Aimee Song, otherwise known on Insta as songofstyle. By posting photos of just her street style, Song has become a New York Times bestselling author and has been placed on Forbes 30 under 30 list. Not only does she have an influence over 4.3 million Instagram followers, she also the ability to tell all of those followers which trends are in and which are out. This major shift in the fashion industry is happening because consumers are constantly exposed to these “Instagram famous” individuals whom they aspire to dress/be like. Social media has truly become a top influencer of clothing purchases.
So where is the individuality? Once a post is up with a new trend, it feels like the next day everyone has it. The individuality and uniqueness of fashion has been lost through the social media craze that takes control of our everyday lives. There will always be new trends and there will always be more Instagram posts to check, but one’s style should be unique and expressive, rather than just trying to fit in with the trends. So, next time you see something “trendy” on social media, ask yourself: would I like this if I walked into a store and no socialite uploaded a picture of themselves in it? Will I like this in a month after the trend is over?
COVER PHOTO: Sabrina Kogut