18 July 2024


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Fashion and social media

Fashion and social media
By . Pragya Pandey

Worldwide, there are 3.80 billion social media users in January 2020, with this number increasing by more than 9 percent (321 million new users) since this time last year. Globally, more than 5.19 billion people now use mobile phones, with user numbers up by 124 million (2.4 percent) over the past year

As our dependence on social media grows, and it becomes more integrated into our lives, we’re becoming more influenced by what we see online than ever before — especially when it comes to fashion.

In years gone by, fashion was presented to us through glossy magazines and catwalk shows. Through these controlled channels, fashion was kept exclusive, determined by designers and magazine editors.

With platforms like Instagram, we can essentially become our own magazine editors, sharing our personal style with potentially millions of users. While catwalks and glossies still remain a part of today’s fashion sphere, fashion is more fluid and interactive than ever before — changing the way fashion brands connect with their core audience.

Social media has created a far more versatile playing field for brands seeking effective marketing strategies. Perhaps the most noticeable upgrade stems from the fact that consumers and affiliates can now become the greatest asset of all.

If a new designer collection is on the runway, you can watch the fashion show from your couch with live-streaming platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Designers recognize the purchasing power that consumers hold, and today, that buying power means more than that of the traditional industry gatekeepers.

Industry gatekeepers—like buyers for major retailers and magazine editors—kept fashion exclusive. They had their kingdom of trend-happy consumers under tight control. Fashion Weeks consisted of runway shows where high-profile editors and endorsed celebrities sat in the front row, and the chosen pieces from designer collections would not be seen in stores for another four to six months.

With the rise of fast fashion competing for consumers’ attention and easily shoppable social media posts on Facebook and Instagram, consumers are finding themselves with overflowing closets. This insatiable shopping appetite does not mean we have insatiable closest.

Luckily, another empowering benefit of social media is that it has made it easy for consumers to sell their clothes just like retailers. With social media, consumers can easily reach a community of interest and sell their clothes without the overhead of a second-hand shop.

If you see a blogger wearing an outfit you love on Instagram, you can find and purchase the items right from your phone and have them delivered to your door thanks to shoppable applications that integrate with social media. 

Companies know that 7 in 10 users will tell others about positive social media interactions with brands. As well as reading reviews and taking note of what others have to say, I also regularly gain inspiration from social influencers. I know they are getting paid for the ads, which does impact my decisions when considering holidays, cars, etc. However, it’s a little different with fashion as I can see for myself whether the clothes and accessories look good…….. 

It is easy to conclude that social media for fashion is a double-edged sword. But even after the long term impact is considered, it still represents a significant catalyst for the growth of the industry and can be one for the nurturing of the industry as well. With the use of social media platforms, new designers and talent are being discovered every day across continents, new ideas are being shared and a truly global fashion outlook has developed. This will help fashion reach every segment of the population in the long run.

Pragya Pandey is kolkota based popular fashion Diva and owner of a clothing brand called MAAIYA


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