Friday, November 21, 2014

FEATURED: THE FASHION INDUSTRY & INSTAGRAM

Today we're featuring an article submission written by one of UCLA's students, Coco Keyu Xu. Coco discusses the growth of Instagram as not only a hyper-visual social media platform, but also as a marketing tool utilized by the fashion industry.



Coco Keyu Xu

     "Three years ago I made my first Instagram account. Back then it took what felt like only a few minutes to scroll down through all of my daily feed -- I could hardly find any official accounts of the brands and designers I liked. Most of the popular posts were either about cats, food, or bathroom selfies captioned with quotes on life and desperate hash tags. #boring.

     But all of the sudden, I couldn’t even tell who started it, or when it happened, my feed was flooded with street snaps, new fashion campaigns, product releases, and backstage photos of fashion shows. The madness was heightened to an unprecedented level during the past season – Spring 2015: whenever I opened Instagram, my phone would be bombarded with hundreds of new posts and it would take me literally hours to finish reading them. (3 hours, to be exact -- I timed myself on one occasion.). But who exactly is contributing to Instagram’s fashion invasion and how?


Fashion Bloggers
      

  These fashionistas are perhaps the vanguard of the movement; they are the people you will love and hate the most. Their unique styles will constantly inspire you to mix and match your clothing creatively. Possessing all kinds of connections and resources within the fashion industry, bloggers will keep you consistently informed, never stopping to post their outfit details and the events they attend. But, be careful! Although they are chic and avant-garde, sometimes they can go too far. For example, the Moschino all-pink Barbie outfit Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni), blogger behind The Blonde Salad, wore is indeed eye-catching, without its brand appeal, its stylishness and practicality are questionable. The worst part about following fashion bloggers on Instagram is that they spam. A lot.


Models & Celebrities



     Fashion and models have always co-existed. Evoking both envy and admiration from their followers, they expose not only their work lives, but also their private lives as well. Models make themselves look fun and approachable; their popularity helps different brands advertise to a larger audience, while simultaneously allowing them to earn sky-high salaries. Even though there are those who are no longer “young and fresh”, like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell (@iamnaomicampbell) - they remain in the industry as true fashion icons, a status that cannot be achieved without social media.


       

     
     On top of the previously mentioned, Instagram also features a slew of designers, editors, and photographers, all powerhouses of the industry. Many brands have their own official Instagram account to update followers on new products and campaigns.

     So, how do you feel now? No matter what your feeling towards Instagram is, you have to admit it has revolutionized the fashion industry. With the help of social media, marketing and promotions are way faster and more effective. However, while it opens doors for talented and emerging designers, it might have made the already intense competition even more cutthroat. On the bright side, it generates more opportunities for creative business ideas. For example, for this spring, DKNY launched a new line with model Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) and casted models from ordinary fans who posted their own photos on Instagram with #CaraWantsYou, #Cara4DKNY. Who doesn’t want to shoot ads with the world’s most in-demand model? To be honest, I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep well for days. The campaign went crazy - a win-win situation for DKNY, Delevingne, and fans like me who still felt appreciated even though we weren’t chosen.

     On the other hand, while Instagram’s invasion may have made the fashion world seem more accessible, sometimes it can be too overwhelming. It’s easy to feel lost. Compared to magazines and blogs where content is filtered and categorized, Instagram throws all kinds of information right into your face, and it depends on your ability to choose and filter what you want to get the most out of it. Not all the styles advocated by the fashion celebs are necessarily good - it’s your decision to pick which ones you like, and are best for you.

     Although it doesn’t mean that the traditional way of access to fashion is obsolete, the effect of Instagram on the industry is unarguably tremendous. The “mutual invasion” of Instagram and the fashion industry produces a paradox: it provides you with so much information that it appears to draw you closer to the fashion world, but deep down, the glamorous lifestyles make you somehow feel even more distant. The fashion industry is seen like a star up in the sky, where its dazzling light is visible, but still unattainable. Regardless, it doesn’t matter if you’re prepared for the change or not, because fashion is always evolving and it never waits for anyone."


Recommended Instagram Accounts:
Fashion bloggers:
@chiaraferragni, @songofstyle, @rumineely, @cindiddy
Models:
@caradelevingne, @joansmalls, @liuwenlw, @karliekloss, @rosiehw
Celebrities:
@therealoliviap, @chungalexa, @badgalriri
Designers & Brands:
@karllagerfeld, @jasonwustudio, @eliesaabworld, @maisonvalentino
Magazines/editors/photographers:
@joannahillman, @voguespain, @annawintourv, @kerrybazaar, @zannarassi, @miroslava_duma@mariotestino, @theoutsiderblog


6 comments:

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