With the approach of the fashion season, I would like to take some time to shed some light on some of the most interesting and intuitive ways in which fashion companies have marketed themselves. Fashion itself is marketing. Brands sell their clothes, with their logo and design prints all over them. Then buyers go and purchase and wear and give the brand free advertisement. That’s where the saying ‘fashion sells itself’ comes from. All you need is a good presence, look, and attitude. So what makes a good fashion marketing campaign and what doesn’t?
There are large disagreements in fashion currently going on as we speak. Traditional brands between modern designers and their work. The traditional and well-established brands want to keep their luxury and look. Whereas younger designers explore different styles and tend to be more attainable to the average person. A brand that especially made waves is the 108-year-old brand, Prada, who invited social media star Charli D’Amelio to join them at Milan fashion week. She was offered plenty of items from their recent collection and they collaborated on TikTok videos, where the star gained her popularity. The videos consisted of her tagging Prada, and the event while wearing the garments and dancing to popular TikTok sound bytes. The focus was to allow the brand to extend its reach into the Gen-z market and further grow its brand’s awareness among the youth. The campaign was effective as it allowed Prada to promote their products, using Charli, while she is being her authentic self. Also, TikTok advertising is one of the biggest markets there is. Also, they used the biggest social media star, as Charli has a following on TikTok of 123.5 followers, and the videos she posted received views between 26.5 to 74 million times.
A large issue that the fashion industry tends to ignore is the effect it has on the environment. An article was written by Sustain Your Style that states ‘The fashion industry has a disastrous impact on the environment. In fact, it is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry.’ Although now in the 21st-century fashion is trying to change its damage. We see brands like Stella McCartney using eco-friendly fabrics, or brands like Lacoste advocating for endangered species to be protected. Even Gucci going fur-free was a statement. For a brand to remain current, they cannot ignore the detrimental effects of fast fashion. They must strive to be more socially aware and switched on to the world around them. A trait that was not originally associated with fashion. Fashion is about wearing expensive garments and taking care of one’s appearance. Even if that means the negative effects on others, like child labour, environmental effects etc. In October 2020, big fashion brand Michael Kors partnered with World Food Programme who are known for supporting world hunger issues with its ‘Watch Hunger Stop’ campaign. However this year there was a particular focus on school meals, as affected by the stress of the pandemic and the world lockdown. They posted a series of cool Instagram images, which showcased the clothes from the collection. What made the campaign even more impactful was the models wearing the clothes, were employees, sharing why they supported the campaign. They were able to share their stories on a dedicated web page. Out of the 3.7K posts, they as a group gathered 894.5K impressions and spread awareness on the cause and brand. Also, Michael Kors donated 100% of the proceeds made by the LOVE t-shirt to the World Food Programme. This campaign was successful because consumers find brand trust and loyalty very important. So aligning with a humanitarian charity and showcasing the real people behind the brand, is very effective in doing so. It makes consumers feel more connected to the brand and also makes the campaign more emotive.
One of the most successful fashion marketing campaigns was the Savage x Fenty show vol.2. The fashion show was shown on Amazon Prime, a membership-only subscription service, which meant the show was still able to keep its cool and exclusive feeling. It also helped Amazon increase its membership numbers. The show aired on 2nd October, and was heavily teased beforehand with Instagram images showing the Instagram sensitive content logo, however, edited to say phrases like ‘Unapologetic content’ ‘Spicy content’. Then a video teaser was released which showcased the famous cast, which really helps market a product, using celebrities. The show contained the likes of Bad Bunny, Rosalia, Lizzo, etc.) and cameos (Bella Hadid, Demi Moore, Willow Smith, etc). In the lead up to the show, it had garnered 140,000 posts and impressions. The show was so successful because it demonstrated the glitz and glamour of fashion but in a modern way, that could still appeal to a younger demographic. It also broke the boundaries that the lingerie industry had created. Lingerie originally restricting femininity, sexuality and body size and colour now being stretched and expanded to wider audiences. It featured models of different skin colours, sexualities, genders, sizes. It even had drag performers like Rupauls Drag Race contestants Shea Coulee, Gigi Goode, and Jaida Essence Hall. The brand is praised for it’s ability to discuss and display the beauty in diversity. The hashtag #SavageXFentyShow was trending up until the week after the shows release.
In conclusion, to create a successful fashion marketing campaign, you have to stand out. Fashion needs to move into the future and develop and grow. Become more inclusive and accessible to all. Also social media is a great tool to use and fashion brands need to use it more. The influence that social media has over society is powerful and it must be utilized. I always find it cool and interesting to see the cool ways that brands use this new platform. These brands created successful campaigns because they dared to do something out of the box, break tradition and create something really different and creative. Some of these marketing strategies are now massive key parts of fashion history. The possibilities are endless.