By Antawn Anderson

Director of Marketing at Bronzeville Life and Bud Billiken Parade Coordinator, Antawn Anderson.

The leaves have fallen, and the spring/summer fashion collections have made their grand duet at New York, London, Paris, and Milan’s Fashion Weeks. We are embarking on a new season in fashion in various ways as Social Media has completely changed the climate.

Since successful “fast fashion” brands like Fashion Nova hit the Social Media market, fashion brands have become aware of the marketing power and reach of Social Media. No longer do consumers have to rely on misleading advertising and unchecked peer recommendations. Many consumers count on social media comments and reviews for validation before making purchases.

Although, the surge of the Social Media fashion industry or “Social Fashion,” as I call it, has its critics. This term is mainly due to some fashion trends being made quickly and cheaply to accommodate the “one and done culture.” Meaning once you have posted a picture of a particular outfit or item, it can never be photographed again. The over-all response, however, has been very inviting, even more, so that luxury brands have made considerable investments in advertising on Social Platforms.

The Influencer

A-List celebrities, like Future, Cardi B, and Blac Chyna have been known to mix their designer labels and expensive jewelry with brands made famous by Social Media. Their influence allows followers/consumers to align with brands that are not technically mainstream.

Black Chyna

This idea is the most effective way Social Media and influencers have changed the fashion industry. Most consumers don’t view influencer endorsements as advertising; instead, they look at it as a recommendation from a trusted source. According to a study done by Invesp, 72 percent of customers believe a business more after an influencer recommends it.

Social Media Influencers are a billion-dollar industry that yields effective marketing results annually. Generally, the value of individual influencers is determined by the number of followers that influencer has built. Consumers are more connected to brands than ever before, and now with new advances on the Instagram platform, sales are only a click away.

A New Wave of Designers

Social Fashion is a fast-paced, growing industry that has birthed a new generation of elite designers and brands that are competing in the same market as high fashion luxury brands. Take Banni Peru, for example. The brand has existed for less than five years and recognized by Vogue Magazine and various other publications for its edgy urban streetwear. Will Walker, Banni Peru’s designer, used an effective selling method by combining a robust pop-up shop sales strategy with the influence of the Love and Hip-Hop New York cast members. Walker was able to do most of his advertising right from his cellphone as his brand began to spurn significant attention on Instagram.

Shane Justin, the creator of DareToBeVintage and the Shane Justin Collection, is also a designer who quickly rose to Instafamous stardom. His designs can be seen on KashDoll, Fabolous, and Trina, to name a few. Shane left Florida A&M University after spending only one semester to start his own business. That leap of faith paid off as Shane began to make a name for himself on Social Media for designing prom dresses, eventually catching the eye of celebrities like Blac Chyna, for whom he occasionally creates custom designs. Shane built on the influence of his celebrity clientele and started producing not just clothing but accessories and shoes as well.

Social Fashion has created a platform where the common man’s creativity can shine. Social media is one of the essential tools for successful internet marketing. Through Social Media platforms, we can analyze the needs of potential customers, all the while never leaving our beds. Brand Awareness is more comfortable to achieve as Social Media allows local designers to build their brand through several different platforms, as Social Media has an extensive range of potential consumers. Daily technological advancements, combined with the ever-increasing rise of online shopping, create an exciting glimpse into what’s ahead for Social Fashion and the Fashion industry as a whole.

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