At long last, fashion month has finally come to a close, culminating in Paris with elaborate shows like Chanel’s forest runway and a Balenciaga catwalk situated alongside a graffitied mountain.
While spectacles abounded in all four cities, certain shows proved buzzier than others, particularly on social media. For the fashion industry, engaging with consumers on social media has become increasingly vital to driving sales. This reality rings particularly true as more and more designers opt out of fashion month altogether, and instead turn to digital alternatives like the Instagram influencer marketing campaigns of Lela Rose and Rebecca Minkoff, or Rebecca Taylor’s VR experience, said Kyle Wong, CEO of visual marketing platform Pixlee.
“Over the last couple of years, social media has become essential to the fashion-marketing machine in order to reach broader audiences. On visual platforms like Instagram, every month is fashion month,” he said.
We took a look at what dominated the social media sphere over the last month, and which brands and moments garnered the most excitement among users.
Gucci’s cyborg spectacle
Never a brand to shy away from the obscure, Gucci rocked Milan Fashion Week with a show that included models carrying replicas of their own heads, an eerily real-looking dragon and very eccentric headwear. According to creative director Alessandro Michele, the show was inspired by cyborgs, designed as a collection of looks that transcended humanity.
Unsurprisingly, the show got people talking on social media. Between February 14 and March 5, Gucci was mentioned more than 1.3 million times on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, while Michele himself was mentioned nearly 282,000 times, according to data from Brandwatch. (Additionally, Launchmetrics– a technology company that manages show RSVPs and functions as a virtual press room during fashion month — found that #Gucci was the only brand-centric hashtag that ranked among top three used hashtags across fashion markets.)
Kellan Terry, data manager at Brandwatch, said that while not all of these mentions were specific to the show, the conversation peaked between February 20 and February 22, with Gucci’s mentions spiking 121 percent and Michele’s increasing by 753 percent in the lead up and aftermath of the show, which took place on February 21. Further, discussion around both Gucci and Michele was overwhelmingly positive, with 79.6 percent and 95.7 percent of mentions proving to be positive in sentiment, respectively. Negative mentions dealt primarily with concerns of cultural appropriation.
“Many mentions center on how a white model wore a turban down the runway,” Terry said. “These mentions asked Gucci if it couldn’t find a model of color to wear the turban, while other mentions make the connection between turbans and the Sikh religion.”
Puppies at Tod’s
Not only did the Tod’s show in Milan come equipped with supermodel Gigi Hadid, it also featured Hadid and fellow models holding real, live puppies. As a result, the brand was mentioned more than 22,500 times across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit between February 1 and March 6, with a significant portion clustered on February 23, the day of the show.
Reception was also significantly positive, with 96.6 percent of mentions being positive in sentiment. “Perhaps a less controversial avenue to take is puppies, and that is exactly what model’s in Tod’s show donned down the runway,” said Terry.
According to data from Launchmetrics, New York Fashion Week was mentioned on Instagram at a much higher rate than London, Milan and Paris. #NYFW showed up in 176,303 public posts, compared to #LFW at 51,086, #PFW at 88,311 and #MFW at 33,724.
Despite the departure of designers like Rodarte, Rebecca Minkoff and Kanye West, data from Brandwatch found that digital chatter around New York Fashion Week was significantly higher this February compared to last year. The event was mentioned 565,000 times online compared to 476,000 in February 2017, and the #NYFW hashtag garnered 5.8 billion impressions on Twitter alone. Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, Coach and Ralph Lauren were among the most mentioned brands during NYFW.