In surfing the internet, attention comes in waves like trends. And the savvy entrepreneurs learning how to use this to their advantage are new-age fashion brands capitalizing off social media and its inherent relationship with influence. Issuing in the rise of social media in fashion marketing, specifically focusing on brands using social media as their primary, if not only, way of advertising and selling, or generating intense attention on/through social media.
Peering beyond this, what is the lifespan of a fashion brand once it blows up on social media, and the challenges brought on by such a fast past advertising method?
Recognizing the mass benefits of social media is a priceless asset, mainly generating viral attention, which to any entrepreneur means sales. Combined publicity and raging sales usually make for a recipe for success.
In the summer of 2020 House of Sunny’s “Hockney” dress had avid trend followers in a tight grip, as it goes Mirror Palais “Maria” dress similarly took social media by storm in 2022. Once the internet takes hold of its new obsession there is simply no stopping what spirals into a full-blown infatuation. There is hardly any need for magazine ads or even paid promotions when the clothes sell themselves- Or rather are sold by stylish buyers and influencers showing off their latest purchase online.
Through features like Instagram Shop, brands can advertise and sell on the same platform, bridging the not-so-subtle gap between social media and explicit profit.
Needless to say, this attention leads to sales. Trends come and go fast and hard, making the sudden influx in sales staggering especially for smaller brands. Social media forces an unnaturally fast growth rate upon these brands leaving consumers and companies alike dissatisfied when and if the production rate cannot match it.
The very reasons responsible for their rapid success, are the same reasons responsible for their downfall.
It’s not just the sheer attention received by social media, it’s the rate at which it happens.
Once an item becomes immensely popular, the plummet to cringy is faster than the skyrocket to cool. After a year, maybe two, it’s been bought out, lost its exclusivity, knocked off, and reimagined. And what swoops in as the cheaper, faster, and more accessible option? Fast fashion.
After being wildly popular all summer, trending across Instagram and Tiktok, the owner of Mirror Palais took to Instagram stories to discuss issues facing the brand. Mainly, the brands battle against replicas being sold for cheaper by retailers like Amazon. And in turn, received both praise and criticism for their harsh words to consumers. Only founded in 2019 the brand was relatively new and had never blown up to this scale.
Leading brands who cannot fend for themselves to the graveyard. (Yet It’s safe to say, despite polarizing criticism of the brand’s reaction, Mirror Palais is still going strong as a social media-favorite brand.)
Critically, just as social media magnifies the positive attention a brand receives, the negative attention comes in just as hot, but that’s just how the internet goes.