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From G7 to fashion weeks – why the industry needs to cut the sustainable chat and take action

One minute we’re talking all about saving the planet, the next, it’s onto the indulgence and excess of fashion weeks. No wonder there’s so much questioning around what the industry is about right now. 

At the G7 Summit last month, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of luxury group Kering, introduced the Fashion Pact, a deal that saw 32 brands from Adidas to Prada, coming together to commit to stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans. 

The initiative was mandated by French President Emmanuel Macron, who asked the industry to set practical objectives for reducing its environmental impact.

Practical is the keyword here. While collaboration between so many different players is in itself great progress, reflections on many of the goals are that they have been light on detail as to how they’re going to be achieved. 

Meanwhile, as has been pointed out by others this past fortnight, fashion week season has kicked off and we’re back into that completely contrasting feeling of celebration and excess once more. “Fashion month is a party,” Orsola de Castro, co-founder and creative director of non-profit Fashion Revolution, told the Business of Fashion. “It’s huge fun, but it’s the kind of fun that is no longer funny.” 

Within that is of course the volume of waste and climate impact generated from the shows themselves, but in addition, the culture of consumerism they continue to feed.  

In London we have Extinction Rebellion protesting against the very existence of fashion week itself, while in New York, the biggest stories have conversely been about the large-scale theatrics of shows from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty. Let’s not forget, fashion weeks are about marketing – appealing to buyers, press and consumers individually to encourage them to buy and buy-into the new collections in one or other of their relative ways. 

By their very nature, they therefore clash with a more sustainable approach to supply and demand. All of which makes one question how much hot air really surrounds the topic of sustainability – no matter how much it’s “trending” – when looking across the industry at large. 

Back to the G7 pact and the biggest question that sits there then, is how will any of these promises turn into reality? As in, literally what are the methodologies behind them? 

The fact is, what we really need is less talk more doing. To put it into the simplest terms, the contradiction of fashion week doesn’t sit well with the notion of ‘actions speaking louder than words’. But neither do promises that aren’t backed by some tangible outputs to follow. 

The same goes for the sheer volume of broader sustainable pledges being made by the industry. Everywhere you turn you see promises to use 100% renewable energy by 2020, to become carbon neutral by 2022, to reduce water consumption by 2025. The same can be said for chemicals, materials, recycling, waste… the list goes on. 

That’s all well and good, but only if progress towards those things actually happen. On our side, we’re tracking them all, and the list of promises is growing at a substantially faster rate than that of the actions being made in response. This is absolutely key. It means that currently the announcements are serving in the main as PR initiatives – a way of hiding behind something that is several years away, or about buying time while you figure out what to actually do. 

The result is that we either have too many pledges that risk not being met, or those offering too little too late – such as to be carbon neutral by 2050. In Greta Thunberg’s words, this is a climate emergency

Last year, Fast Company reviewed various environmental goals set for 2020 by large corporations as well as countries, questioning which of them were on target to actually be met in time. It reads like a mixed bag, though does demonstrate progress in parts. 

The same can be said for fashion. Kering itself has always been one of the most vocal about its goals, setting them out in 2012, then reporting back on what it had and hadn’t achieved in 2016. It reset its targets in 2017 with a broader 2025 sustainability strategy in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Included in that was cutting the group’s carbon emissions by 50% and reducing its overall environmental impact by at least 40%. Not small aims. An update is expected in 2020. 

H&M is another that’s always gone big. It’s reportedly on target to hit its goals of both using 100% organic or recycled cotton, and eliminating hazardous chemicals in its production, by 2020. Future aims include becoming climate positive by 2040. 

The difficulty with all this is the sliding scale of what attaining such goals mean, not to mention how they’re measured. 

One of the ones I have the biggest issue with in the industry broadly is the idea of moving to entirely “sustainable cotton” by 2025. This isn’t so much in the goal itself by any means, but in the naming of it. What is sustainable cotton? Strictly speaking, most of the time what we’re talking about is rather “better” cotton. As in, it is literally better for the environment than that which is otherwise farmed in the conventional manner. Usually this falls under those certified via the Better Cotton Initiative and others including Organic and Fair Trade. 

This sort of language use is critical because of how misleading it can be to the consumer. It instantly gives the impression that fast fashion, like Zara as well, for instance, will be absolutely fine by 2025 because the materials used will indeed be entirely sustainable. Not true. They’ll just be less bad at that early part of the supply chain. Arguably, that’s not enough. 

The same goes for what is the lesser of two evils when we hear certain companies have managed to achieve zero waste to landfill targets, yet are continuing to incinerate items. Does the ban on incineration in France mean landfill will then be on the up? 

When it comes to greenhouse gases, there was a feeling in a recent meeting I had with some members of UK parliament, that regulation for companies to declare their emissions makes the industry immediately more accountable.

What didn’t seem to be acknowledged is that the fashion industry doesn’t know the true numbers around its emissions. As I’ve written about before, it’s not completely possible right now because there is simply not enough accurate information out there for it to report this – and it doesn’t have direct control of its supply chain in the majority of cases to discover any of it itself further. 

We know this from our work with Google to build a tool that shines a light on the raw materials stage of the supply chain – Tier 4. What’s available right now is at best globalized averages, at worst, completely unknown. The result, therefore, is guesswork. How for instance can H&M become climate positive in a true sense, if it can’t trace back the impact it is actually having? It can’t. You can apply the same to Burberry, to Nike, to whoever else you like.

A few years back there were headlines about 2020 being the “magic year for fashion” based on the industry embracing sustainability. Arguably, even in the midst of fashion week season, that has already happened. But it doesn’t mean anything if it’s just being talked about.  

Change can only take place if these goals become tangible. That’s our entire mantra as a business – drive transformation by enabling action. Enough with the pledges therefore, what we’d rather see is the industry diving deep, staying quiet, building new solutions and starting to show us some results. 

How are you thinking about sustainability? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

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business data digital snippets e-commerce mobile product Retail social media sustainability technology

Analyzing fashion’s G7 pact, Gen Z’s streetwear needs, the rise of rentals

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Can fashion’s latest sustainability drive at the G7 summit make a difference? (BoF)
  • Gen Z wants something very different from streetwear (Vogue Business)
  • Everyone is launching rental service. Is there enough demand? (BoF)
  • Fashion’s growing interest in recycling clothing (Vogue Business)
TECHNOLOGY
  • 52% of retailers feel ill-prepared to support emerging mobile tech (Mobile Marketer)
  • Facial recognition will be watching and storing your emotions and data (Ad Week)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Gucci and Saint Laurent face an uphill battle to get green (BoF)
  • Why Levi’s new water strategy represents an ‘evolution in thinking’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • How Copenhagen plans to reach carbon-neutral status in just six years (Fast Company)
  • Amazon under fire for new packaging that cannot be recycled (The Industry)
  • Tiffany & Co releases it’s new sustainability website (CSR Wire)
  • Fast Retailing’s jeans innovation center ramps up efforts to reduce water use (Sourcing Journal)
  • France to prohibit the destruction of unsold stock: who is going to pay for that? (Fashion United)
  • Gore-Tex. Lycra. Could fashion’s next major fabric brand be green? (BoF)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Hero Cosmetics doubles down on TikTok after results dwarf Instagram’s (Mobile Marketer)
  • Nike, New Balance, and USTA serve up ads celebrating female stars for US open (Fast Company)
  • Benefit and Deliveroo dish out beauty experience (Campaign)
  • PrettyLittleThing wants podcasts to take it from fashion retailer to ‘entertainment brand’ (The Drum)
  • Rihanna plans Savage X Fenty event to be broadcast on Amazon Prime Video (Fashion United)
  • Is WeChat’s growth over? (Walk the Chat)
PRODUCT
BUSINESS
  • Ulric Jerome exists Matchesfashion.com (WWD)
  • ThredUp gets $175 million in funding as resale market continues to boom (Fashion United)
  • Victoria Secret’s parent company’s stock price continues to plummet (The Fashion Law)
  • What Shanghai Tang’s rise, fall and return means for luxury fashion (Vogue Business)
CULTURE
  • The return of the hyper-sexualised male (BoF)
  • Appropriation or appreciation? Unpacking South Korea’s fascination with black culture (I-d)
  • Will Gen Z make non-binary fashion mainstream? (Sourcing Journal)
  • The future of male grooming is gender neutral (Vogue Business)

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

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business digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick product Retail social media sustainability technology Uncategorized

ICYMI: ‘Sustainability’ arrives in annual reports, Prada goes fur-free, a lack of female fashion CEOs

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week. 

TOP STORIES
  • Tracking sustainability’s rise as one of fashion’s favourite words [Vogue Business]
  • Prada is the latest brand to go fur-free [Dazed]
  • Fashion has shockingly few female CEOs [Quartz]
  • What’s stopping the fashion industry from agreeing on climate action? [BoF]
  • E-Commerce giant Alibaba to integrate blockchain into intellectual property system [Yahoo]
TECHNOLOGY
  • World’s first digital only blockchain clothing sells for $9,500 [Forbes]
  • San Francisco becomes the first US city to ban government facial recognition [Wired]
  • AI avatars could be the next generation’s favorite entertainers [TNW]
  • Driverless electric truck starts deliveries on Swedish public road [FashionNetwork]
  • Future smart clothes will keep you the perfect temperature at all times [Digital Trends]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • How charitable are fashion’s biggest companies? [Vogue Business]
  • The young activists fighting to ‘rebrand’ air pollution [Dazed]
  • Walmart agrees to power more than 40 stores with solar energy [Bloomberg]
  • Kering sets new animal welfare guidelines [FashionUnited]
  • The Body Shop launches fair trade recycled plastic scheme [i-D]
  • Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns [Guardian]
  • Scientists devise ‘breakthrough’ plastic that can be recycled again and again [Sourcing Journal]
  • Why Russia still loves fur [Vogue Business]
  • This clothing brand’s new repair program shows that the future of fashion can be circular [Fast Company]
RETAIl & E-COMMERCE
  • How department stores are using services to convince customers they’re still convenient places to shop [Digiday]
  • Urban Outfitters tries to stay relevant with an $88 monthly rental service [Fast Company]
  • Walmart’s ambitious plan to beat Amazon on free one-day shipping is here [Fast Company]
  • Why online fashion retailers are experimenting with invite-only access [Forbes]
  • Klarna announces first UK immersive pop-up [FashionUnited]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Calvin Klein apologizes following “queerbaiting” accusations for Bella Hadid & Lil Miquela ad [Hype Bae]
  • Nike runs shoppable Snapchat lens to support women’s soccer [Mobile Marketer]
  • How will in-game advertising change as Google, Facebook, Snap and Apple level up? [Mobile Marketer]
PRODUCT
  • So what does Rihanna’s first Fenty collection actually look like? [NY Times]
  • PrettyLittleThing launches recycled collection [Drapers]
  • Vivobarefoot launches plant-based shoe [FashionUnited]
BUSINESS
  • Body Shop owner to buy Avon for £1.6bn [BBC]
  • Topshop is closing all its US stores [Refinery29]
  • Farfetch revenue soars [Drapers]
  • Richemont profit misses estimates on online investment costs [BoF]
  • Nike, Adidas and others call on Trump to remove footwear from tariff list [RetailDive]
CULTURE
  • ‘I want to tilt the lens’ – Sinéad Burke’s fight to make fashion more diverse [Guardian]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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business digital snippets e-commerce Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: LVMH confirms Rihanna label, a business climate emergency, streetwear drives hardware innovation

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Rihanna and LVMH confirm fashion label [BoF]
  • Businesses should declare their own climate emergency. Here’s how [Wired]
  • How streetwear is driving innovation in hardware [Hypebeast]         
  • Inside the world of liquidated Amazon merchandise [Forbes]    
TECHNOLOGY
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Start-ups hoping to fight climate change struggle as other tech firms cash in [NYT]
  • Why the new Harrods charity shop is an ode to sustainable fashion [Euronews]
  • Going zero waste is a lot of work. Most of it is falling to women. [Vox]
RETAIl & E-COMMERCE
  • Nordstrom’s NYC flagship merges open space with hidden tech [Vogue Business]
  • Farfetch signals growing ambitions in resale [BoF]
  • Crocs opens interactive concept store in London [Fashion United]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Net-a-porter Rethinks Content and Video, Shrinks Porter Magazine [WWD]
  • Instagram launches its own e-commerce account [Fashion United]
PRODUCT
  • Sneakers, small accessories and Off-White rule as latest Lyst Index is released [Fashion Network]
  • Kylie Jenner announces skin-care brand on Instagram [WWD]
  • H&M links with Netflix for Stranger Things collection [Fashion Network]
BUSINESS
  • Kering’s shopping list should include these brands [BoF]
  • Handbag industry nervously awaits Trump’s tariff decision [WWD]
  • New York’s Fashion Week scaled back to five days [Fashion United]
  • London designer Sophie Hulme to close business, citing health reasons [WWD]
  • The clothing rental market’s broadening appeal [BoF]
CULTURE
  • Nike told me to dream crazy, until I wanted a baby [NYT]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

Categories
business Campaigns digital snippets product Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Angela Ahrendts exits Apple, Ralph Lauren’s streetwear obsession, the ethical case for fur

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • What fashion can learn from Angela Ahrendts’ Apple exit [BoF]
  • Ralph Lauren is loving streetwear right now [Quartz]
  • The ethical case for leather, fur, and silk [Quartz]
  • Why Fashion Week doesn’t make sense anymore [Vox]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Why high-tech beauty is a high-stakes game [BoF]
  • ‘Fortnite’ held a marshmello concert—and it’s the future of the metaverse [Wired]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Volcom introduces traceable organic cotton initiative [Fashion United]
  • Study measures economics of closing the fashion loop in UK [Apparel Insider]
  • Tokyo succeeds in plan to make 2020 Olympic medals from recycled gadgets [The Verge]
  • Made for next to nothing. Worn by you? [New York Times]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • A shopping mall near Edinburgh sold for less than a London flat [Sourcing Journal]
  • Matchesfashion.com bringing temporary townhouse to Frieze L.A. [WWD]
  • The pitfalls of investing in experiential retail [BoF]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Victoria’s Secret Pink champions women with new ‘Grl Pwr’ initiative [Fashion Network]
  • The Instagram account black market, explained [Vox]
  • Pentland-owned Ellesse launches campaign with AI model [Fashion Network]
PRODUCT
  • Tarte Cosmetics unveils brand new foundation range in 50 shades [Fashion Network]
BUSINESS
  • Michael Kors drags down Capri [Retail Dive]
  • LVMH creates secret company named Project Loud. A corporate structure to welcome Rihanna? [Fashion Network]
  • Jeweller Pandora’s plan to regain lustre lifts shares [Reuters]
CULTURE
  • Dapper Dan is holding Gucci accountable for controversial ‘blackface sweater’ [Fashionista]
  • What brands are doing to be more inclusive for people with disabilities [Marketing Week]
  • New York Fashion Week launches with a statement on diversity [Glossy]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

Categories
business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce Retail social media Startups sustainability technology

ICYMI: The tech-driven age of the sneaker drop, Adidas’ Airdrop campaign, the weight of holiday returns

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • The new, tech-driven age of the sneaker drop [Engadget]
  • Adidas pushes new Ultraboost 19 shoe via guerrilla Airdrop campaign [NY Times]
  • Amazon returns video draws 11 million views [WWD]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Samsung patents phone display that projects Star Wars-like holograms [Tom’s Guide]
  • As Facebook raised a privacy wall, it carved an opening for tech giants [NY Times]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • 8 things Patagonia says fashion can do to get greener [WWD]
  • 5 years after pay pledge, H&M still isn’t paying laborers a “living wage” [TheFashionLaw]
  • Consumers are ready for full sustainability, brands aren’t [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • How Bonobos is growing up under Walmart’s wing [RetailDive]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, Amazon lead social media mentions for holiday gift shopping, study says [Mobile Marketer]
BUSINESS
  • Victoria Beckham firm’s losses deepen [BBC]
  • Raf Simons Is out at Calvin Klein [GQ]
  • Burberry turnaround? Analysts aren’t buying it [Bloomberg]
CULTURE
  • Why everyone wants a piece of the K-beauty pie [SCMP]
  • Young luxury shoppers explain why they’re willing to pay $500 for sneakers [QZ]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce film product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Topshop buzz score drops, advanced analytics for apparel, analyzing the streetwear bubble

The streetwear bubble
The streetwear bubble

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Topshop “Buzz Score” drops after Green allegations [The Industry]
  • Geek meets chic: Four actions to jump-start advanced analytics in apparel [McKinsey]
  • Is the streetwear bubble about to burst? [Highsnobiety]
  • How open-source innovation may transform fashion [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Menswear retailer Jacamo launches voice shopping [Drapers]
  • Tencent is launching its own version of Snap Spectacles [TechCrunch]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Plastic waste elimination pledge by 2025 attracts more big firms [BBC]
  • Is fashion’s eco-consciousness more than a label yet? [BoF]
  • These gorgeous colors come from dye made by bacteria, not chemicals [FastCompany]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • If we built the retail model from scratch, what would it be? [BoF]
  • Goop opens first permanent store in New York City [Glossy]
  • Singapore’s frictionless grocery store and dining concept [LS:N Global]
  • Digging into drop culture: Evolving a roaring retail ritual [Forbes]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Dior aims to lure new audiences with digital influencer Noonouri [Vrroom.buzz]
  • Barbour Christmas campaign celebrates 40 years of iconic festive film [The Scotsman]
  • H&M launches holiday 2018 campaign starring Aubrey Plaza [Highsnobiety]
  • Designing people’s Instagram Stories is now a million-dollar business [FastCompany]
PRODUCT
BUSINESS
  • Revolve’s blend of data and fashion supports case for IPO [WWD]
CULTURE
  • Why voting is in fashion [New York Times]
  • How Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty is changing the lingerie game [Vogue]
  • What can luxury brands learn from Gucci about millennials? [Forbes]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Browns’ new tech store, Gucci’s millennial advisors, Amazon’s fashion gap

The new Browns concept store in east London
The new Browns concept store in east London

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news over the past fortnight.


TOP STORIES
  • Browns opens a nomadic concept (tech) store in London’s Shoreditch [Wallpaper]
  • Gucci has a “shadow committee” of millennial advisors [QZ]
  • Amazon ‘still has a long way to go’ in conquering fashion market, says report [BoF]
  • Alibaba’s 11.11 shopping festival is ready for its biggest global event [BrandChannel]
  • Opinion: What’s wrong with fashion’s sustainability strategy [Glossy]
  • ‘Terry Richardson is just the tip of the iceberg’ [NY Times]

BUSINESS
  • Hilfiger says making clothes in America remains unrealistic [Bloomberg]
  • H&M denies burning good, unsold product [Racked]
  • Greenpeace on why fashion is at a crossroads [FashionUnited]
  • Vogue and Vice are starting a new website together [Jezebel]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • You can now PayPal friends in Messenger and get help via chat [TechCrunch]
  • WeChat is becoming a sales tool for luxury brand sales associates [Jing Daily]
  • Snap’s misfire on Spectacles [The Information]

MARKETING
  • Sephora cast its own store employees for its most diverse campaign yet [Racked]
  • Selena Gomez is party-ready in Coach’s glitzy holiday ad campaign [Fashionista]
  • Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter unveil “Party with the Porters” holiday campaign [TheIndustry]
  • The land of Fenty: The Rihanna masterclass in brand-building [BrandChannel]
  • Why visceral storytelling is the next brand-building territory [LeanLuxe]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Take a look at Apple’s first ‘Town Square,’ its most beautiful retail store yet [TechCrunch]
  • Now Amazon wants to leave a package inside your house [Marketplace]
  • The most successful e-commerce brands build for mainstream America, not Silicon Valley [Recode]
  • Hudson’s Bay to sell Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue store to WeWork [RetailDive]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Target.com rolls out augmented reality experience for smartphones [StarTribune]
  • The Under Armour ArmourBox: Subscription gear handpicked by an AI [BrandChannel]
  • Walmart’s Store No. 8 showcases the future of VR [RetailDive]
  • Nike’s focus on robotics threatens Asia’s low-cost workforce [CNBC]
  • Wal-Mart’s new robots scan shelves to restock items faster [Reuters]

START-UPS
  • How Stitch Fix’s data-driven styling could boost its IPO value [Bloomberg]
  • Harvey Nichols partners with Bink on “Payment Linked Loyalty” [TheIndustry]
Categories
social media

Social media by the numbers: the big fashion week trends

Kim_NYFW

With the autumn/winter 2016 fashion week season now behind us, it’s time to run the numbers, crunch the stats and crown the social media winners and losers of the month.

Or try to…

Conflicting data and contradictory reports on brand statistics are published daily during New York, London, Milan and Paris, making it increasingly difficult to compose an accurate picture of exactly what’s what. But, equally they enable lots of thought around social media trends in general and which way the industry is moving with what it uses, favours and finds the most success on.

Given the hot debate currently underway around whether designers should move to in-season, consumer-facing shows or not, lots of this sort of information counts. So here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:


Instagram continued to dominate

During New York Fashion Week (NYFW), 427,000 images were shared on Instagram, generating more than 113 million social engagements (likes and comments), according to Traeger Communications. Year-on-year, this is a 47% increase in images and a 30% increase in engagements, proving that Instagram continues to be a powerful medium for brands that want to join in the fashion week conversation. Natalie Massenet, chairman of the British Fashion Council (BFC) added during London Fashion Week (LFW)’s launch that “97% of the BFC’s designers questioned in a survey were on Instagram”.


Designers embraced Snapchat to reach Generation Z

Snapchat exploded across fashion month, hitting all four fashion weeks in a big way. Social media uptake usually filters down through New York and London before reaching Milan and Paris a couple of seasons later, but the fashion industry couldn’t afford to ignore this trend. New designers joining included Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Mulberry, Gucci, Dior and more. “11% of social media activity around Paris Fashion Week (PFW) was attributed to Generation Z,” reported influencer engagement platform Zoomph, pointing in the direction of Snapchat particularly. Keen to establish brand loyalty with the next generation of consumers (Gen Z is considered to be anyone born after the mid-late 90s), brands used Snapchat to reach this sought after demographic where they already live. Snapchat’s core users are 13-24 years old.


Twitter is still relevant but sees less engagement

Contradicting general consensus, Zoomph reported that 98% of social media activity relating to PFW was on Twitter and only 2% on Instagram. Business intelligence firm L2 reported a similar trend during the Tommy Hilfiger show at NYFW. The designer posted 51 images on Instagram compared to 197 tweets. Mind you, much of that may be to do with the nature of the platform – fast-paced comments versus more considered images. Backing that is the fact that Tommy’s posts converted into 920,528 likes and comments on Instagram, while the larger number of posts on Twitter only saw a total of 30,971 likes and retweets in return.


Facebook lost ground but innovative product appeals

The social media platform largely associated with Millennials continued to fall out of favour with the fashion crowd. Facebook activity surrounding NYFW has declined year-on-year since 2014 according to the L2 report. The pay-to-play nature of the platform is said to be the reason why, with brands instead opting to focus resources elsewhere. Facebook is however experimenting in new spaces in a bid to garner renewed attention. Its Facebook 360 product allows users to experience virtual content first-hand by controlling the rotation on it themselves. Refinery 29 shot eight shows at NYFW using the immersive technology.


Others opted for a digital detox

While that debate rages on around fashion weeks transforming into consumer-facing events, others have been rejecting social media altogether. This season, Massimo Giorgetti banned social media from his MSGM show at Milan Fashion Week MFW) for instance, suggesting guests simply enjoy the show instead of watching it through their smartphones. A number of others did the same including Jacquemus in Paris and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s brand The Row in New York. Belstaff also didn’t allow photographs to be taken of its capsule collection with Liv Tyler in London.


Luxury brands were outpaced by savvy collaborations

If they weren’t banning it, they were doing the total opposite and teaming up with celebs in order to hit the biggest numbers of social media instead. Rihanna modelling her own Fenty x Puma collection for instance caused an enormous stir with 140,000 tweets being posted about it, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence. That was nearly 100,000 more than Ralph Lauren achieved in the same time period (47,000) and almost double that of Michael Kors (71,000). By comparison, Kanye West opened NYFW at Madison Square Gardens with his Yeezy season 3 collection to an audience of 18,000. On social media that generated 800,000 tweets.


Supermodels and influencers ruled

Once again the choice of models taking to the catwalk also appeared to be just as important as the clothes on show. High-profile names including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner shared backstage insights with their own millions of followers – the former also doing a stellar job launching Tommy Hilfiger’s Snapchat account. A shot of the duo swapping hair colours for Balmain also exploded, generating the brand 144,000 likes and 3,500 comments. At NYFW, of the top 10 Instagram images by total engagements, eight were taken by models and influencers, including models and social influencers Jay Alvarrez and Alexis Ren, as well as Russian YouTube influencer Kate Clapp, according to data from Traeger Communications.


Kim killed it… again

One step ahead of younger sis Kendall was publicity machine Kim Kardashian West – who once again topped the social media leader boards across multiple platforms. Her promotion of the NYFW official app garnered nearly 800,000 engagements and was the most-successful image on Instagram during NYFW for instance. Kim also won Paris by posting a number of throwback images from the AW15 season as well as a controversial-yet-censored naked shot of herself that commanded a hefty 1.6 million likes.

Categories
social media

Who won the #NYFW social media war?

yeezy

There’s a lot of data emerging to help us answer the question “who won the NYFW social media war?” Some of it’s a bit contradictory at the moment but it’s also fascinating. So what’s the answer?

Well, so far it looks like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Coach were all winners, as well as music superstars Kanye West with his Yeezy line and Rihanna with her Fenty collab with Puma. At least that’s according to figures from marketing technology company, Amobee Brand Intelligence.

Kors managed to garner nearly 71,000 Tweets and Lauren nearly 47,000 during NYFW.

And according to data that social media search company Ground Signal gave Reuters, both Kors and Lauren were also among the big winners on other social media channels – both appearing in the top five mentioned brands on Instagram.

Yet despite such brands getting major social media traffic, interest in them was dwarfed by interest in Kanye and Rihanna’s respective fashion endeavours. They garnered 800,000 and 140,000 Tweets, respectively, Amobee said.

However, according to data from ListenFirst media, Victoria Beckham “won” New York Fashion Week. She got the most ‘engagement’ online with her show on February 14. Her digital engagement rating was 1,337,169. Michael Kors was second with a rating of 864,913, Kanye was third, and Calvin Klein fourth. Tommy Hilfiger was only seventh by this measure, although it must be said that his Instagram Pit and his use of Gigi Hadid certainly meant that his Insta-engagement was high quality, even if it wasn’t the biggest on volume.

Does any of this really matter? It certainly does. Interestingly, Ground Signal also said that a third of those posting on Instagram around NYFW were aged below 25 and it’s that key youth market that brands want to reach, even brands whose products sell at prices most young people can’t afford (remember, for every $1,000 jacket there’s a $100 diffusion line handbag or a $50 perfume).

The fact is that social media ‘likes’ now count for as much as the more wordy thumbs-ups from legit fashion critics. As Lisa Pomerantz, a Michael Kors spokeswoman, told Reuters: “We know we need to be where our customer is, and today she is on all of these platforms consuming more content more quickly than ever before.”

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday