Fashion incites emotion. The first time I knew this to be true was during Toronto Fashion Week many years ago while attending my very first fashion show in a beautiful ballroom in the Royal York Hotel.
Lucian Matis debuted his fall line. Models in gorgeous garments decorated with ostrich feathers and lace walked the runway to violin music being played by a single musician. The music was hauntingly beautiful, just like the pieces he designed–that day, for me, fashion came alive. I was hooked on this art form.
It is the art of fashion and our shared love for this art that we had the pleasure of celebrating this week during Toronto Fashion Week.
Yesterday, at a TFW Fashion Talks event, style expert, Joe Zee, editor-in-chief of ELLE Canada, Vanessa Craft, and model, Kim Cloutier discussed the significant impact that social media has had on the fashion industry and debuted their new television show STITCHED, a competition show featuring young designers.
The fashion industry was described in terms of pre-social media and post-social media.
Zee explained that pre-social media, the industry was incredibly exclusive. Formally, only members of the media and select others would be invited to runway shows and would report on them when the lines were launched, six months down the road. This created a large gap in the availability of information and an exclusive group of those who were ‘in the know.’
He goes on to explain that the use of social media, in our post-social media world, has made the fashion industry much more inclusive by speeding up the turn-around time from runway to audience to, in some cases, making it instant and eliminating that air of exclusivity. It’s also given everyone a voice, designers no longer rely on only the media to tell their story–they can tell it themselves.
The traditional fashion media has taken to social media platforms as well in new and innovative ways. ELLE Canada uses the two-way nature of social media to access their readers directly and find out what they like, don’t like and want to see more of, gaining instant feedback.
For their 2018 September Issue, which, as we all know is the year’s most anticipated issue with all fashion magazines, ELLE Canada live-streamed their planning meeting, granting their readers unprecedented access to the glamorous world of fashion media. In the spirit of inclusivity, readers were able to peek behind the curtain in a way that was never possible in the fashion industry before the use of social media.
Cloutier explained how social media has influenced supermodels and the hiring process. She identified the ‘new supermodel’ as a person that has all the qualities of the traditional supermodel but also a killer social media following like Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, etc. Having a large social media following is a common new addition to resumes and becomes a factor competing for jobs. If you have a large, engaged following, you can be more likely to get a job because it gives the brand more exposure.
For designers, the panel discussed how social media can be used to stay relevant and engage with audiences directly. Although television exposure is thought to legitimize a designer, or any artist, for that matter, social media creates buzz. Having an Omni-Media presence, through the use of social media platforms, television, print, and more, is essential for designers to be successful.
The new television STITCHED, premiering this Sunday, is a fabulous opportunity for young designers to get their start and, with the simultaneous use of social media, begin to establish a presence in the fashion industry.
The show really focuses on the reality of what goes into making garments, which can be really exciting and moving for viewers; in this age, we have such access to clothes they can be taken a little for granted sometimes.
Here, we can see life being breathed into a bolt of fabric to create an incredible garment through the use of technical skill, creativity, and problem-solving. You get to see firsthand a designer’s vision realized, from concept to creation, while working under pressure and rising to the many challenges.
We are so fortunate, living in a post-social media world, to have been granted such inclusive access to the fashion industry through social media and the many ways social media has connected us with designers, models and fashion media.
If you would like some help creating a highly effective social media strategy to connect with your audience, register below for a free one-hour consultation with Samari Communications, a Boutique PR agency in Toronto specializing in communication for fashion, beauty, technology and lifestyle brand.
- A Humber PR grad with a diverse background in the entertainment and fashion industries, Amanda Albert lends her experience to Samari Communication in her role as a PR Coordinator. Her 10+ years working in fast-paced, lively work environments enable her to assist her clients to effectively navigate today’s millennial culture in the ever-evolving PR industry. Her life-long love of fashion and its role in culture and the arts has inspired her to complete a collection of short stories. She is currently working on her second collection. You can find her on LinkedIn or contact her via email email@example.com.
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