Fashion Presets: Social Media Marketing for the Self Obsessed Pt. 2

Fashion Forward: Lightning Fast

Its becoming more and more apparent that apparel designers and fashion buyers are taking cues from fashion bloggers, and this has done wonders for their bottom line. Gone are the days when the design to retail cycle could buffer seasonal looks and allow trends to develop cyclically. Instead, the Western world has started catching up to our counterparts in places like Tokyo, where fashion trends pop up on an almost daily basis and spread like wildfire.

Advances in video, high speed sharing, and a spread of knowledge about fashion shows and brands has brought the fashion industry to its knees. We see new things faster, and we have access to a community that has an almost curatorial obsession with acquiring, displaying, and then quickly discarding the latest trends. Stores like H&M, Zara, TopShop, and others capture the demand-supply cycle at an unbelievable speed. This contributes to the wasteful ways in which we consume everything at lightning speed. (My solution to this problem is to source everything secondhand, but that is another post.)

Just look at the 16,000+ members of Wardrobe Remix, and the way that fashionistas with blogs (like tavi, who rules, by the way…) are being invited front row to major fashion shows.

The tradeoff here is fascinating to me. The value is in the influence that the fashion bloggers hold over the buying public– which is, in fact, itself!  There is definitely a particular sector of buyers who are keyed into trends and drive the market.

Sometimes this leads to what we call the good old “Ripoff.” For instance, through our relationship online, I watched my friend and fashion blogger Rachel (Softspoken) develop a unique business model around vintage knit hats and scarves that were unlike anything that was out on the market at the time. She started gaining some notoriety, press, and some wholesale work from distributors. Her work was gorgeous, captured the handmade/DIY spirit that was becoming a major trend, and she handled all of her customers with care. Before you know it, she started spotting her very same designs replicated and sold at Urban Outfitters at a much reduced rate. As her friend I was horrified, but as a social media person I thought it was fascinating, like a bad car crash you can’t believe you witnessed.

Have you seen this happen with any designers or shops you love?

I’d love to read more examples of this happening in the fashion community, and hear your opinion. Drop me a line!

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