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Luxury Fashion and Instagram: 2019’s Power Couple



Name a more iconic duo...we’ll wait.

virgil-abloh-01_1024It’s not just you: Instagram truly is taking over the world. And while Coachella shots and rainbow lattes might beg to differ, perhaps the most pronounced example of Instagram’s cultural dominance is its omnipresence in the high-powered ecosystem of luxury fashion. As movers and shakers in the famously traditional space have come to grasp the power of social media, fashion shows, campaigns, and influencer partnerships are being curated with #Instaworthy aesthetics in mind. In a March Business of Fashion article, Thierry Dreyfus, founder of Eyesight, a French production company that’s collaborated on shows with brands like Off-White and Comme des Garçons, explained that “Instagram makes up 60 to 65 percent of a fashion show’s raison d’être.”

Sixty-five percent sounds like a lot, but the actual proportion of earned media that Instagram drives for luxury fashion might be even higher. According to Tribe Dynamics’ analysis, 83% of the earned media value (EMV) driven by 2018’s top 10 luxury fashion brands was generated on Instagram. What’s more, a full 100% of the EMV generated by these brands’ influencer-related campaigns came from Instagram.

CDG_0021.1366x2048Instagram has become vital for luxury fashion brands looking to spark buzz. But fashion shows are not the only phenomenon driving EMV within the space—these brands are increasingly looking to influencers, and the power of their favorite platform, Instagram, as an integral means of promotion for all types of engagements. Tribe Dynamics took a closer look at Off-White and Commes des Garçons, analyzing how Instagram played a key role in driving momentum for both brands.

Off-White Stays On Point With Virgil Abloh, Nike

  • The announcement of Virgil Abloh as creative director of Louis Vuitton on March 26, 2018, yielded a spike that not even a runway show could match: Off-White drove $18.8M EMV in March, its highest monthly total that year (and over $4.0M EMV above its mean). This haul was further bolstered by Off-White’s ongoing collaboration with Nike, which invigorated its hybrid streetwear and luxury community. The Off-White x Nike collection accrued $5.4M EMV in March, much of which was driven by streetwear publications like Sneaker News and Highsnobiety. In all, 87% of Off-White’s March EMV was generated on Instagram. Maybe Thierry was onto something.

Commes des Garçons Struts Its Stuff at Paris Fashion Week

  • Commes des Garçons’ highest monthly total of 2018 came in September: the brand’s $3.3M EMV proved greater than its August ($1.6M EMV) and October ($1.5M EMV) hauls combined. This surge coincided with the latest release in Commes des Garçons’ ongoing collaboration with streetwear brand Supreme, as well as its Spring 2019 show at Paris Fashion Week. Much of these engagements’ explosive power stemmed from—you guessed it—Instagram. The platform drove 88% of Commes des Garçons’ September EMV, slightly above its already impressive 86% proportion of the brand’s 2018 total.
Raison d’être, indeed. Whether it’s used to document fashion shows, unlock a community of streetwear enthusiasts, or promote influencer campaigns, Instagram plays a major role in the lifecycle of luxury fashion brands. As winning brands continue to integrate the platform into the full range of their influencer marketing operations, all signs indicate that Instagram’s dominance is here to stay.
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