How Social Media Influences the Latest Trends

Social media without a doubt has a major impact on the way we view, perceive, desire and purchase the latest designer pieces. If you are a fashion conscious individual who uses Instagram as frequently as I do, it would be almost impossible to say that you haven’t been lured into purchasing an item based on someone else’s photo.

It’s no secret that fashion influencers are infinitely more effective at converting sales when compared with expensive advertising promotions. Brand campaigns with their overtly stylized, editorial looks can often alienate or overwhelm the consumer. This makes it difficult for the average shopper to relate to the product or imagine how they could rework a piece from a current collection into their own wardrobe.

Instagram, however, allows us to see the clothes in a different light. It not only connects us with a myriad of bloggers who are an endless source of inspiration, more importantly it allows us to be privy to purchases of fellow consumers. Seeing someone wear a piece that they have lovingly selected and purchased with their own money is infinitely more powerful than any campaign booklet. The way in which social media connects us with an array of fashion enthusiasts, celebrities, bloggers and influencers alike, has unquestionably revolutionized the way in which we make purchases.

As testament to this, there are quite a few fashion enthusiasts who have inspired me to make my own impromptu designer purchases. An Instagram account run by a dazzling Bulgarian fashionista/chef named Svetlana (@svetikhunt), is one of my favorite examples. This Eastern European beauty showcases her stunning OOTDs, frequently dressed head to toe in the latest Chanel collections. Her front row style and snap shots of what she is wearing on a day-to-day basis are an endless source of inspiration. She is a breath of fresh air on the fashion scene. She shows that it is possible to wear Chanel RTW whilst walking the dog, exploring foreign lands, visiting a farm or saving homeless animals. Without social media, it would be impossible otherwise to connect with incredible people like Svetlana. Why she has inspired me and countless others to add more Chanel RTW into their warbrobe is simple. She has no hidden agenda for sharing her beautiful style, and showcases the wearability of her designer items in an honest and authentic manner. In terms of sales conversions per view, I am certain that Svetlana is more effective than any Chanel campaign.

My personal example of Svetlana is one of millions of cases where a personality on Instagram has touched our lives. Social media has become a very dangerous place for our wallets. However, quite surprisingly Instagram has also influenced the way in which trends are created in a broader sense. As Instagram is such a powerful marketing tool, it is logical to deduce that the most eye-catching fashion photos are the ones that do best from a marketing perspective. Most importantly, in order for content to achieve this, an Instagram photo needs to compete against the many other pictures it’s pitted against on the explorer page or hashtags. When vying for this coveted attention, a photo is only allotted a tiny square space on a smart phone screen. It's not much to work with at all. Therefore to attract views and entice the Instagram user to click into the picture, maximum visual impact is essential. Brands are quickly learning if they want popularity on the Instagram scene, they need to design clothes based on what looks attractive in a small square photo.

Consequently, the most popular styles appear to be the ones that create the most visually impactful imagery. Take Gucci for example. One massive element to their recent success is how well their clothes perform on social media. If you want to gain massive amounts of views on a photo and have no problem looking like a human peacock, then look no further than Alessandro Michele’s flamboyant designs. Photos containing Gucci are essentially "like" magnets. With an overload of ornamentation mixed with an unhealthy dose of the eclectic, their bright and painfully colourful range is destined for commercial and social media success. In an Instagram obsessed fashion world, the clothes and accessories scream the all-important “LOOK AT ME”. This in turn attracts more views, generates more sales and encourages the fashion house to keep pumping their outrageous designs season after season.

The “WTF” designs of Gucci are some of the most extreme “mainstream” examples. However, if you look at the latest trends in a broader sense, you will see that this logic still stands true. Bell sleeves, cheap fishnets and an overload of ruffles are a few that instantly come to mind. It is much easier to create beautiful, eye-catching content with attention seeking, voluminous and textural pieces like these.

What I have noticed is that there are 2 infallible ways to gain attention on Instagram – post something outrageously expensive that most people dream of owning, or wear something so outlandish that people can’t look away. This creates a system where the most outrageous trends are promoted. Consequently the widespread publicity of visually flamboyant trends reaches the masses, who then catch on and ultimately start making purchases. Given the amount of commercial success, brands then continue to design more even more outlandish items, which in turn feeds into this cycle.

The problem is that when everyone is engaging in this peacock style behavior, there’s going to come a point where everything implodes on itself. With an overall message of “go big or go home” being communicated on social media, we are losing touch with what is truly beautiful and sophisticated. Personally I think it’s a shame that the elegance of a beautifully tailored silk chiffon shirt is often lost in the small viewing square of Instagram. The sad reality is that most people’s eyes are drawn first to the ostentatious peacock, rather than the elegant swan.

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23 Comments

  1. May 18, 2017 / 03:41

    I absolutely love Gucci’s IG feed. The outfits are just breathtaking and, in my opinion, will define the decade that we’re living in.

    ANOUK

    • June 13, 2017 / 20:25

      Gucci really have some fun and interesting bags and RTW right now that people are loving! I’ve definitely been a big fan of some of their RTW of recent like the panther sweater and also the parrot intarsia sweater.

      Have a lovely week Anouk. 🙂

      Adrianna xx

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:11

      Thanks Jennifer!

      All the best 🙂

      Adrianna xx

  2. Whitney
    May 18, 2017 / 12:52

    Well said A, love your last line. I mean just look at Chanel’s Spring 2017! But you’re right, if only understated elegance was just as prominently seen on social media platforms as loud, bold designs. 🙁

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:15

      Thank you for your lovely support. 🙂

      Adrianna xx

  3. May 19, 2017 / 06:40

    Well said beautiful lady. Fashion is a visually based industry, so engaging in that peacock style behavior makes sense. It is all about what grabs the most attention on social media and sadly, simple elegance does get sacrificed. Thank you for introducing us to Svetlana (@svetikhunt). I just started following her. Love your outfit in this post. That sweater is gorgeous. Love the heels and earring to.

    Xx
    Nikki
    http://www.nikkilivinglife.com

  4. Miri
    May 21, 2017 / 16:31

    WOW, sweetie, I truly love the way you write. If you did not have a blog already, I would have asked you to guest post on mine. Would you consider doing an article once per month? Unlike some bloggers you really know what you are talking about and I like it.

    I totally agree with the way social media portrays distorted reality and I had a talk with one brand about it.

    Big hugs and let me know about guest posting.
    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

  5. May 27, 2017 / 01:43

    Totally agree. Instagram has really changed the game. Now people just try and compete with each other for views! Hopefully we can all find our own niche, something that I am struggling with now, so that we can be seen by the right people who appreciate the content us bloggers make!

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:17

      Thanks for your lovely words April 🙂

      Adrianna xx

  6. May 29, 2017 / 21:07

    This is such a lovely post – you look absolutely stunning and the location is just beautiful!
    I really enjoy some aspects to social media and get a lot of inspiration from there – Instagram is my absolute favourite when it comes to platforms! 🙂

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:26

      Thanks Layla 🙂

      Social media is a great place to connect with people from the other side of the world and also celebrities/models/bloggers that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to communicate with. The amount of photos/information that is now available at our fingertips is simply astounding to think about. There’s certainly no shortage of inspiration whenever we need it! Instagram, like yours, is my favourite platform too. 🙂

      Adrianna xx

  7. May 29, 2017 / 23:36

    Such an amazing article and points my dear! Personally I prefer to receive fashion related information from influencers than from ad campaigns from the brand itself or a magazine. That way I can totally relate on how to implement a specific garment./trend on my everyday outfits. The same way you described, I am prompted and inspired by you and your style, to keep adding more CHANEL into my wardrobe 🙂 I love your aesthetics and sense of style! By the way amazing look!
    Happy Monday darling!
    xoxo
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:32

      Thank you Sara 🙂

      Adrianna xx

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:34

      Thanks Karen 🙂

      Have a lovely week!

      Adrianna xx

  8. June 9, 2017 / 05:20

    So true !! A well articulated post:) I’ve felt that a lot too, that logo-mania is an obsession, and true creativity will be blindsided by it! But, with all the support from amazing people/bloggers that we meet and connect on instagram, it will get better:))
    Love your outfit and the backdrop!!

    xo, Dhwani

    http://www.quirksofme.com

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:37

      Thanks for your lovely comment Dhwani 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of your week!

      Adrianna xx

    • June 13, 2017 / 17:44

      Thanks Georgina! 🙂

      All the best!

      Adrianna xx

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