One aspect of modern society that's often discussed, for better or for worse, is our relationship with technology—most specifically social media. Whether these platforms really are the "death of relationships" or simply an easy way to communicate with friends and family, it's likely that we're all connected in some way or another. And this means navigating through the social influence that oozes from each platform, unbeknownst to many users scrolling through the feeds. From updating loved ones almost instantaneously of your safety during disasters, posting shots of your favorite aesthetics, doting over Insta-famous dogs, or simply keeping up with fashion, there's a lot luxury brands can gain from embedding themselves in the social webs of these sites. In fact, Instagram has more than 400 million daily users and 900 million users in total, allowing it to become the third most popular platform in the world after YouTube and Facebook (whose 2 billion users dwarf every other social site). Even Twitter, a uniquely popular site, has fallen behind Instagram in the popularity contest. Luxury brands are an unequivocal part of the social influence cocktail that these social media platforms helped build—spreading fashion trends and news much farther than traditional magazines or even shows could have accomplished. After all, what fashion show could reach millions of views live—like the record-breaking 20 million people who watched Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 Livestream show? The point is—social media wields a lot of influence over a lot of people. So, how are luxury brands making use of this digital space?
Luxury Brands are Wielding Their Social InfluenceWhen it came time to make the move and create social media accounts, luxury brands wasted no time. Now, they're found on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and likely any other social site you could think of—even Pinterest, which admittedly surprised even us! Much like individual social media influencers, these mega-popular brands are able to promote themselves as well as their individual aesthetic. Chanel evokes their space-age vintage vibes, Gucci is tapping into the collective internet hive-mind with memes, and Christian Louboutin is working toward bettering inclusivity in the industry. And this is just the surface of what we can gather from their social media accounts.
Their social influence can take us back in time.An interesting thing about photography, in general, is all the emotion and memory it can evoke and how different it is for each person. The photographers behind these luxury brand accounts understand this, and they work to create an image that encompasses an entire personality. Whether it was a part of the huge wave of political fashion statements the fashion world made in the beginning of the year, or even this Ziggy Stardust-reminiscent photo from Gucci, these brands are using their social influence to take us into the past—when protesting and experimentations were the normal outlets of emotion and creativity.
Luxury brands can encapsulate an entire movement.The landscape of the fashion industry is constantly changing. One season we're all about the 70's revival trend; the next, we're embracing futuristic garb complete with metallic and colorful lipstick. However, brands (and their doting individual influencers) largely drive these movements within the eyes of social media users who scroll through their curated feeds for inspiration and community. Chanel is a giant in the world of couture, and it's clear that they are still keeping in step with the times as they blend their vintage tweed constructions with the norm-core poses you're likely to see your friends, or children, striking on their own accounts.
Their choices can take us into the future.Okay—not literally, but we're sensing that the social influence luxury brands hold can help transition the standards of the industry into the future. Tolerance, inclusiveness, and experimentation have thankfully found their way into the image that these brands wished to promote and, we have to say, it's a small sign of a bright future.
Some brands, like Stella McCartney, are using their social influence to sway the fashion industry, and many fashion-lovers, to opt for cruelty-free designer options. Others are using their influence to push for donations designed to help their selected charities or political causes. And, of course, the social influence of these brands are driving us toward future trends, future silhouettes, and future (surprising) collaborations. After all, before 2017, it seemed impossible that Louis Vuitton would collaborate with Supreme, a popular urban brand, to create hybrid designs that caused impossibly long lines outside of storefronts and an entirely new wave of fashion aesthetic goals to come into our lives.