Fashion Week is followed around the world, with a series of highly anticipated events happening twice each year, typically in February and December. And as the first series of 2023 shows just wrapped up, we have some trendspotting to share!
The four main Fashion Week events, in order of appearance, take place in New York, London, Milan and Paris, and according to FashionUnited, attract “buyers, the media, celebrities, top models and designers who proudly present their latest collections.”
But the “Fashion Week universe” extends well beyond these highly publicized locations, with “more than [a] hundred Fashion Weeks taking place worldwide. . . from Fiji to Panama, from plus size Fashion Weeks to ecologically focused fashion events.”
Amongst the top four though, we see Milan capturing the most significant share of voice this year. We’ll share why this is, along with other key observations about the role of influencers, the importance of consumer perception and why Instagram and YouTube should top any fashion empire’s “must dominate” to do list!
What Happens in Milan, Does Not Stay in Milan
Milan Fashion Week eclipsed all other weeks in Share of Voice due to content-generating Italian fashion brand collaborations with influencers – and it looks like a strategy that will continue to bolster reputations.
Brand collaborations with celebrities were the biggest contributor to Milan’s dominance in Fashion Week Share of Voice, with two collaborations standing out: Kim Kardashian for Dolce & Gabbana and Jeno for Ferragamo.
For Ferragamo, this Fashion Week was its first since undergoing a rebrand to a more youthful, streetwear-focused aesthetic in September 2022. And this collaboration with Jeno will generate momentum and interest in the youth-focused rebrand.
We can expect to see these collaborations extend each brand’s voice to new audiences desiring options unafraid of pushing boundaries and being unpredictable.
Interestingly though, neither brand is in the Top 10 Brands Mentioned in the overall “fashion month” events.
Top Brands Dominating Fashion Month Conversation
As we can see below, Bottega Veneta and Burberry were both top-mentioned brands. Why? It was due to recent changes in creative direction and attempts to make the most eye-catching “debut.” Yes, we have details.
Former Bottega Veneta Creative Director Daniel Lee made his debut as the new creative director at Burberry. Uncertain, mixed sentiment was attached to the debut.
It was dubbed “TikTok catnip” by The New York Times’s Vanessa Friedman, but nevertheless generated conversation about Burberry’s “return to Britishness” with the British designer.
Bottega Veneta’s new creative director Matthieu Blazy was overshadowed by the attendance of BTS’s RM, generating conversation by the K-Pop fan community. But it’s the kind of online tea that Fashion Week’s audience drinks by the gallon, and it contributed to propelling both brands into “top mention” stardom.
Along the same lines, the top topic of Paris Fashion Week was the announcement of Louis Vuitton’s new creative director, Pharrell Williams, after the sudden passing of Virgil Abloh.
Overall, the importance of giving consumers what they want cannot be over-emphasized these days. Many European fashion houses are grappling with changes in direction and consumer perception in a changing economic environment. And as a recession looms on the horizon for the global economy, luxury brands are preparing for consumers to either reign in or change spending.
They’re seeing this from consumers in North America & Europe and then consumers in China look to prioritize domestic spending instead of buying overseas.
The variance in consumer conversations around new creative director debuts suggests designers may grapple with a more critical consumer that is more conservative in spending. And any change in leadership could potentially signal a huge shift as to where those dollars are spent.
It makes sense to see technologically sophisticated brands staying ahead of these shifts with social listening and engagement strategies. And this is particularly true on Instagram and YouTube, which is the home of fashion influencers and consumers alike!
Instagram & YouTube Make Their Own Fashion Statements
As noted in the top mentioned brands above, Instagram and YouTube eclipsed some fashion houses as the most-mentioned brands of the Fashion Weeks.
How did this happen?
Short-form videos, Instagram stories, and long-form influencer YouTube videos are all incredibly popular, and critical formats, for fashion houses seeking to generate conversation. We can see it in Dolce & Gabbana’s Instagram stories of Kim Kardashian to YouTube influencers capturing Fashion Week street style in long-form videos.
Social media audiences are hungry for the “spontaneous,” content, and the informal nature of these social media formats helps them feel more connected to beloved brands and the influencers who front them.
It highlights the importance of understanding which social media formats resonate with specific audiences when creating and amplifying organic and branded content. It’s something the top brands and those with the most mentions know a lot about—and it’s something every fashion brand will need to know in the coming year to stay ahead of economic shifts that are inevitable. Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how it’s done, and how to create your own viral moments for audiences eager to feel connected.