Not too long ago (roughly only two years ago, in fact), the fashion industry scoffed at sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook as a means of testing product opinion, unveiling new designs and solidifying or building a consumer base. Not so anymore though, the wave of social media has even crested the ever-aloof and stand-offish fashion industry. Where once, fashion insiders kept a cool distance from their loyal customers, now they’re attempting to connect with, understand, and relate to them like never before.
Perhaps it’s the infringing constraints of the economic downturn, the rise of entrepreneurs, or simply the mass and instantaneous awareness that the internet offers, which we’ve come to embrace as a means of, not only knowledge, but financial stability; whatever the reason, fashion professionals have embraced social media, and it has in-turn, paid the industry back tenfold.
YouTube Fashion Short Films
The biggest trend over the last year in fashion marketing has been YouTube short films. These two – five minute video segments feature chosen pieces from a designer’s new collection that are then streamed, bookmarked, and linked the heck out of, all over the internet. This is a great tool for the industry because it affords longer ad spots than television commercials allow for and gives a brand the chance to zero-in on its direct consumer base.
DKNY recently featured just such an ad, with the aid of fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution. You may have seen bits of the DKNY “Heads Will Roll” film on the season finale of Bravo’s reality TV show “Kell on Earth,” which chronicles the daily life of Kelly Cutrone. You can read more about the DKNY ad here. Notable fashion houses such as Chanel and Dior have also made use of YouTube’s popularity, each preparing their own profitable short films.
Social Media and Bookmarking Sites
Twitter and Facebook of course are the most commonly used and referenced social media sites, and make no mistake, fashion and the two get on quite well together; but there are a few others just beginning to emerge on the fashion scene.
According to Macala Wright Lee, blogger for Mashable.com, there are a couple new sites that will be sure to influence social media, and undoubtedly, fashion.
Up-and-Coming Social Media Sites:
If you like to be ahead of the curve, I would go ahead and sign up now for the sites mentioned above because I’m sure they will grow quickly.
Interactive Fashion-based Sites:
Aside from the standard social media sites where you can meet and connect with like-minded people, there are also some interactive / hands-on sites which allow fashionistas to create mood boards, hone their graphics skills, and shop or browse in new and exciting ways.
Offers users the chance to create mood boards using Polyvore’s signature fashion graphics.
Weardrobe: The main Weardrobe website contains, among other things, a branch-off link to Covet. Covet contains an interesting new feature for shoppers: The Stylyzer ™. The Stylyzer ™ acts as a sort of personal shopper, assessing the user’s particular style requirements, favorite trends, and most flattering colors before making a purchase.
Fashion Mobile Applications
The newest trend to emerge in fashion social media is cell phone apps. Fashion companies left and right are adding mobile apps to their marketing scheme with great success. This is still a pretty new area in fashion marketing, so be on the look-out for some of the new phone applications. TrendStop is just one of the many fashion companies capitalizing on apps right now. They are now offering their trending news and reports via mobile service. Most companies currently only offer these apps to the more expensive mobile devices, such as iphone and Blackberry, but as time goes by, these will be more accessible.
If fashion is an area of interest to you, I encourage you to check out Mashable.com for more news and information about all of the emerging social media uses in the fashion industry.
All details and information regarding specific YouTube short film campaigns gathered from: BlackBookMag.com and ViewonFashion.com.
All information and specifics on new social media sites gathered from Mashable.com, “5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion in 2009” by Macala Wright Lee.
All YouTube short film information gathered from a Google search of YouTube short films by Chanel and Dior in order to verify that both design houses had indeed released short films last year. I had heard that somewhere and couldn’t remember where, but the search proved the information to be accurate.