Welcome to 2020. The 2010’s are over, and there are plenty of fads we’re happy to leave in the past decade (remember when hair feathers were all over Tumblr? Also, remember Tumblr?). But for every short-lived craze, there’s an innovation worth remembering and celebrating. To kick off the new year, we’re spotlighting some of the top fashion trends on Instagram in 2019, from sustainable clothing to luxury’s continued obsession with streetwear. Read on for the brands and influencers that inspired—and capitalized on—the hottest styles and stories of the previous year, and are poised to stand out in Earned Media Value performance in 2020.
Luxury and streetwear brands were flirting with each other well before 2019, but this year the two categories really tied the knot. While OG matchmakers like Off-White and Balenciaga continued to see strong followings, traditional luxury houses also stoked enthusiasm by launching streetwear collections in partnership with sportswear labels. Versace’s collab with Kith, for example, won the attention of celebrities like Bella Hadid and Karreuche Tran in February, helping #KithxVersace garner $215.8k EMV. Meanwhile, Balmain turned heads in November when it dropped a boxing-themed collab with Puma, co-created by none other than Cara Delevingne. Mentions of #PumaxBalmain powered $1.1M EMV. as Balmain’s No. 1 monthly hashtag.
Pop culture took center stage for fast fashion brands this year, as leaders like Fashion Nova and PrettyLittleThing leveraged star power to drive EMV growth. In May, Fashion Nova debuted its blockbuster collaboration with Instagram-made rapper Cardi B at a blow-out event in LA, which saw appearances from top fashion bloggers like Abby Nicole (after all, who can turn down the invite to party with Cardi?). Thanks largely to the rapper’s own enthusiastic promotion, #FNxCardi generated $2.4M EMV of the brand’s $123.2M EMV May total. U.K.-based PrettyLittleThing played the same game, galvanizing fashion influencers via a series of celebrity partnerships including an August-launched swimwear line with singer Ashanti, and a November collection co-created by girl group Little Mix. Altogether, Fashion Nova and Pretty Little Thing collected a respective $1.2B EMV and $392.1M EMV from January to November 2019 as two of the top three EMV-driving apparel brands.
Instagram is a diverse platform, and fashion influencers have long pushed brands to champion inclusivity and authenticity. Last year, the movement was in full swing, thanks to initiatives like American Eagle’s ongoing, body-positive #AerieReal campaign—starring model Iskra Lawrence—and Abercrombie & Fitch’s #FaceYourFierce Pride Month activation. Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie label also turned heads in November with its #SavageXIRL influencer campaign promoting confidence and self-acceptance. All three hashtags made waves in the fashion Instagram community: #AerieReal powered $19.1M EMV from January to November as one of American Eagle’s top three hashtags, while #FaceYourFierce and #SavageXIRL garnered a respective $318.2k EMV and $125.8k EMV in June and November.
With more and more voices clamoring for fashion to clean up its act, sustainability was a hotter topic than ever in the industry last year. Ethical fashion brands like Everlane and Reformation boasted growing followings, expanding their influencer communities by a respective 35% and 14% year-over-year from January to November. Other labels saw success with activations dedicated to preserving limited environmental resources: in March, eco-conscious luxury brand Stella McCartney teamed up with rainforest conservation not-for-profit Canopy for its #ThereSheGrows influencer campaign, which raised funds to preserve Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem. And, in June, activewear giant Adidas hosted its charitable #RunForTheOceans race in Shanghai, enlisting prominent faces like Shay Mitchell to promote the benefit for ocean conservation. Thanks to support from celebrities and fashion bloggers, #ThereSheGrows collected $553.5k EMV in March, while #RunForTheOceans powered $1.6M EMV.
Of course, fashion is nothing if not fast-paced, and Instagram has only accelerated the rate at which it’s evolving. Moving into the New Year, we’re excited to see which trends stay top-of-mind for brands and influencers—and what new ones will emerge.
To stay on top of a changing space and update your influencer marketing strategy for 2020, download our new special report: How to Build Your 2020 Influencer Strategy.
Instagram is where fashion trends are born in the social media age, and behind every viral look is a community of bloggers who...
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