From a reader to a follower: the social revolution

Marc Jacobs, the man, the myth, the legend himself is now on Instagram. It might seem a vain news but his decision to join the social network is interesting because previously, during an interview with Suzy Menkes just last month, he had desparaged the use of social media. “I am so appalled by the whole social network thing; I don’t get it, it doesn’t appeal to me, neither does a computer or working on a laptop” he said.

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Instagram, for sure, is an important window among other social medias, so, what could possibly have changed the designer’s mind in the last weeks? Rumors and gossips mentioned something about an IPO (initial public offering) and it could certainly be part of the issue. A good example for Jacobs may have been the Michael Kors case; he staged an IPO in recent years and has been lauded for embracing social media platforms; his account gained many followers during the Fall 2014 fashion show and he is still at the top of the peak. So it’s not unreasonable to think that Jacobs might be taking to Instagram to make himself and his brand more IPO-friendly.

Apart from this, there has been a strong contradiction between his words and his behaviour; we all remember that Jacobs was the first designer to enroll Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s little sister, in his Fall 2014 fashion show and during the next season he has launched Gigi Hadid, member of the reality show “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”. We’re definitely talking about two beautiful girls, but what differentiates them from other models is their dizzying fame on social networks. It’s hard to believe that Jacobs and his team didn’t think about this detail.

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This is the biggest issue now inside the fashion industry: is more appealing hiring a model, digitally connected like Kendall Jenner, reaching 21 million people or showing an advertising campaign on Vogue reaching 1.2 milion people? Nowadays young generations discover new brands through their favourite models’ Instagram accounts rather than fashion magazines.

When Estèe Lauder decided to have Kendall Jenner as testimonial they have been clear in explaining the reason of this choice: “Kendall is the Instagirl of the moment and we are happy to use her image, her voice, her energy and her social influence to present Estèe Lauder to millions of women all over the world” said Jane H. Hudis, world president of the brand.

So what about including these new “social media icons” into the fashion bible itself as Anna Wintour decided to do in her last Vogue issue? The success of this choice based on a cast including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, worldwide famous actor Ansel Elgort and even two superfamous singers like Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson, shot by Mario Testino, is on everyone’s lips.

kendall-jenner-justin-bieber-ansel-elgort-gigi-hadid-09                kendall-jenner-justin-bieber-gigi-hadid-and-ansel-elgort-vogue-april-2015-03-960x640

In the end, if such important people in the fashion system have chosen this communication strategy, maybe we have to start thinking that we are in front of a social revolution where million of followers are almost as important as million of dollars spent to create a dream between Vogue pages.

Andrea Prato

Images: from Sonia Rykiel SS 2015; Michael Kors FW 2016;


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