In today’s fashion world, we are inundated with fashion style and content in all ways – Blogs provide us with readable fashion and Instagram satisfies our visual appetites. The rise of the “Instagram Girl”, the modern version of the “It-Girl”, has made some as famous as old Hollywood film stars. Among those are the digital fashion pioneers – Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl, and Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad.

Gary Pepper Girl | Photography courtesy of Vogue

Chiara Ferragni | Photography courtesy of Vogue

What started as a hobby for these digital fashion pioneers, has allowed them to blossom into fashion entrepreneurs, and share the behind the scenes with their followers. Followers can feel like they’re a part of the process, and brands can capitalise on their success to get to their target consumers.

Chiara for Vogue Spain | Photography courtesy the Huffington Post

The need to dress and be part of the “It Girl” gang is not new- as long as there have been socialites and personalities, the sentiment has existed. However, consumers are now able to view these “Instagram Girls” as someone similar to them. With the rise of the Internet and the increasing consumerism culture, it has simultaneously birthed new magazines, brands. Traditional fashion institutions are now embracing these digital stars as a way to sell their products to their consumers.

Fashion Mag Covers | Photography courtesy TapinInfluence

In using the digital platforms to get an understanding of what consumers want from their designers, brands are able to react faster and use each influencers’ platform to increase their sales.

Instagram Launches Shopping Features | Photography courtesy Pro Shops

However, not all applications and digital platforms are equally favoured. In recent years, Instagram’s efforts to make the app more user-friendly and catering to the needs of businesses has made it much more popular. For instance, it has created the function for business accounts and viewing demographics, which has increased it’s popularity for both fashion personalities and traditional brands to use. Sponsored stories blend right in, and look organic, as if the user is already following them. In late 2016, Instagram also launched a shop-in-app function, which allows the user to tap onto the brands images to view the brand item, price, and further information. It has created an online, visual catalogue for the consumer to browse and shop on the go.

Instagram Fashion Hashtags for Inspiration | Photography courtesy of WhoWhatWear

Instagram’s “hashtag” function, while not new, has also proved incredibly useful, as the structure makes it easier for consumers and at the same time, entrepreneurs to see the popular searches.

The follower structure also works well, with the Explore page generating more people and accounts that users can  draw inspiration from – in terms of new designers or brands, meaning they have an easier access to a greater platform. The introduction of Instagram “stories” has created an intimate way by which brands and personalities can communicate with their consumers, viewers and followers, and create a sense of community and excitement surrounding products, events, and press.

Instagram Stories as a source of Marketing | Photography courtesy of Social Media Today

Ultimately, the simultaneous rise of the digital fashion, shopping, and branding has facilitated a shopping culture in which we can purchase what we want almost instantaneously. It seems to be moving towards the direction where it can give us shopping experiences anywhere, anytime, and on any electronic device that we own.

References

Capital Campus. (2017). Instagram strategies: Building an audience as a blogger – Capital Campus. [online] Available at: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/campus/instagram-strategies-building-an-audience-as-a-blogger/ [Accessed 5 May 2017].

O’Reilly, L. (2017). Instagram wants you to start shopping in the app. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/instagram-launches-shopping-2016-11?r=US&IR=Thttp://www.pro-shops.co.uk/instagram-shopping-ecommerce-boost/ [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Southern, B. (2017). ProShops Blog | Instagram Testing Shopping Feature E-Commerce Boost. [online] Pro Shops. Available at: http://www.pro-shops.co.uk/instagram-shopping-ecommerce-boost/ [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Spedding, E. (2017). The Instagram Hashtags to Mine When You Need Fresh Style Inspo. [online] WhoWhatWear UK. Available at: http://www.whowhatwear.co.uk/instagram-fashion-hashtags [Accessed 5 May 2017].