If you are a fashion retailer, designer, or anyone who relies on promoting their products or services in the fashion industry; you need to be on Instagram. If you are not actively engaging with the Instagram community, you are missing out on a serious commercial opportunity that could have far-reaching effects for your business. With social media, a significant part in many people’s daily lives, how brands harness it and utilize it for their own gain will say a lot about where their company will go in the future.
The Real Test for Instagram and Commercial Fashion
The really big test for one of the most popular social media platforms for fashion related content, (yes we are talking about Instagram) will be when the generation that has grown up with the visually based platform becomes old enough to have a purchasing power of their own. This will be the true test of the knock on effect of Instagram and its influence which has the potential to become a purchasing powerhouse of significant scale with ‘shoppable’ content.
Brands and retailers who are currently utilizing Instagram well include; luxury designer clothing, accessories and cosmetic French brand Chanel, mid-priced America shoe brand Toms and iconic UK department store Selfridges. All have used the platform to partner with charities to do some good while giving them a public relations boost, to drive engagement for their highly anticipated fashion shows and to source boutique niche labels to satisfy their customers’ tastes.
See also: Top 6 Instagram Trends to Follow In 2016
The Rise of Streamed Fashion Shows for Start-Ups
Currently, there are opportunities for brands to live stream fashion shows. Why would a fashion brand do this instead of showing a collection at one of the major fashion weeks? For starters, they would cut production costs significantly. Because it is such a new concept done by very few, it has a unique appeal which many long-standing attendees of fashion weeks may applaud.
While to traditional fashion insiders it may be seen as high risk, it has the potential to be the way forward for new and up-and-coming young designers who cannot afford to do a big show at a fashion week (which can cost anywhere between $2 million to €8 million dollars and last less than 10 minutes). What is the level of demand online and on Instagram for these types of shows? The answer is a huge demand. The spring 2016 fashion collections which debuted in September 2015 for example, led to the engagement on 44 million unique Instagram accounts as well as 350 million interactions.
The Fashion People Making Real Money from Instagram
“Insta-Models” are the new “Super Models”. These are the people making serious cash on the social platform. The biggest “Insta-Models” are also the biggest professional models in the modelling industry today who have carved out a niche for themselves to maximize their earnings in a notoriously brutal industry where you are always susceptible to the younger models coming up behind you. These “Insta-Models” have a lot of star power on Instagram and smart brands are tapping into this as a new form of brand ambassadorship.
Topping the current list are Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne. These models reportedly earn $300,000 dollars per Instagram post which the brands they work with pay them to capture the model’s Instagram followers and their influence to boost their brand’s profit margins. For a deeper insight into this fascinating online world and ever evolving platform which currently has more than 400 million users; see this “How Influential is Instagram to the Fashion Industry” infographic produced by Evoke.ie.