Social media has completely shaken up the fashion industry, which has been doing things a traditional way for too long – runways, magazines, etc. With the social media breakthrough, predominately Instagram, it has allowed people the ability to have access to the same audience, which before only big companies could afford to reach out to. The social media impact on fashion has influenced the younger generations to be even more fashion-forward than ever before. With this audience and this access, the ability to reach out to people across the globe and to show the world who you are and what you do has leveled the playing field for designers to showcase their creations and build awareness.
It is no longer the “American dream” people are chasing; it’s now become the “social media dream”. Social media has become a place for designers and influencers to plant their feet and start building their brand. Given its cool, casual atmosphere, it has allowed brands to “learn as they go,” and gauge their audiences’ reaction along the way. Through these positive or negative reactions, it has created a “trial and error” process, if you will. For example, if you see that you are getting more engagement (likes, comments, reposts, etc.) with certain photos, and not the same engagement with others, it is a good indication of what people are more fond of. Then, building off of that helps give you guidance as you grow and scale your business.
Even long-time designers have started to do away with the archaic way fashion has been. Big brands (such as Tom Ford, Burberry, etc.) have started to reject the show system, and have turned more to social media, something I suspect more brands will continue to do.
As a designer myself, before social media, I often wondered how it would be to one day have my own line and be able to compete with the brands that have been around for a long time. I just never thought it would be possible to breach, not knowing where I’d start and how to market it. Then, social media. It created an avenue for me to express my individuality through fashion, and as long as I gave people what they wanted to see, my audience would continue to grow. That is just what happened. The more it grew, and the more intrigued they got watching me build my brand, the more it drove me. It has been rewarding to know that my story has been visible and shared with so many. My followers were a part of the process. They’ve watched me grow from inception to the brand I have today. Fashion has been a big part of my life, and social media has allowed me and many other designers to breach into the market with something new, unique, and different, and to let the world know who we are.