The Best Use of Instagram in Fashion 2016 | THE IMPRESSION AWARDS
BY KENNETH RICHARD
Fashion’s love affair for visuals finally found a social platform that it could call ‘home’ in 2016, Instagram. Fast, connected, and built for images, the platform became fashions platform of choice due to its ease and narrative. The low barrier of entry allowes for brands without media muscle to circumvent media buys and share stories without being filtered by editors, communicating directly with their audience.
However, the wisest houses, like Gucci, leveraged the medium to expand upon rather than replace their narrative. With their #GucciGram Alessandro Michele teamed up with artist to rework iconic Gucci patterns in any way they see fit. That program extended into the idea of a gallery of sorts for the house who treats the medium as a curated rotating exhibit to tell stories rather than simply a home for their campaigns.
Vera Wang found a means to leverage curation as well with their Instagram feed pulling from the best of editorial and repurposing that content along with their own runway shows as a means to engage their audience. The trick on their end has been the role of art direction. Rather than simply rely on a single image in a single post, the feed is art directed in a way that draws the users to their entire Instagram page to get the whole picture. There they tell a diverse editorialized story of the house all well within their circle of control. The result is stunning and picturesque.
As Alexander Wang crossed the 10 year mark, he actually enters fashion’s ‘danger zone.’ The years when a house is established, but not established enough to muscle their way around because of economic clout. However the Designer/CEO does have the clout of cult in term of followers who anxiously share his content and thus this year he connected a campaign to do just that in his #WANGSS16 campaign. The campaign art directed by Pascal Dangin of KiDS was shot by longtime Wang collaborator Steven Klein, and featured “21 musicians, artists & models in their quotidian New York environments.” Models such as Anna Ewers, Binx Walton, Travis Scott, Lexi Boling, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Kaia Gerber and others posted the campaign from their accounts thus expanding the reach all the while directing to @WangSquad Instagram account. The story was over 300 images released over several months. It was an insta-sucess. Fast, shared, and conversational. Like the medium itself.
Note to key decision makers: In The Impression’s opinion, many houses are unwisely leveraging social as their SOLE form of media opting not to ‘do print’. The by-product of that decision is fleeting images that even at scale of volume and narrative that can last for months, is still fleeting. It is a ‘feed.’ And by that very definition is digested and processed quickly. And as great as brands Instagram pages can be, the audience isn’t on those pages the length of time with the same open to absorb as more traditional forms of media. Don’t get us wrong, The Impression rose out of digital new media, but to not look at the medium objectively doesn’t help anyone and we aim to help. Instagram is great, but instant doesn’t mean lasting.