Social media is everywhere and we use it every day. It’s a platform for mass consumerism because let’s face it, 90% of what you see are ads or product placements. That dress your favorite influencer is wearing? Sponsored. Those gorgeous pearls that your friend was spotted wearing? Sponsored. If social media were a crowd, you would be able to toss ten pebbles in the air and manage to hit ten social media influencers or people who post sponsored posts or give social media reviews.
The perpetuation of consumerism is so rampant on social media that we barely even notice it anymore, taking it for granted and accepting that it is what it is. Teenagers are in the loop and are much more connected to current trends and aware of what’s going on than their parents. They know all the brands and they know what’s hot and they want it. It’s becoming a bit of a troubling platform because kids are harassing their parents to drop $600 on a belt and throwing a tantrum when they can’t comprehend the concept of money.
Aside from that, social media has had a hand in pushing the fashion industry to new heights. Today, little known home brand designers are able to get their pieces out there without having to go through the trouble of interning and learning the ropes in hopes of getting noticed and nabbing the opportunity of launching their own line. Today, if they can sew and create stunning pieces, there will be no lack of customers, regardless of who they are – if their works of art are made from quality fabrics and the piece is well made, people will pay hundreds for piece of clothing that’s unique and handmade. While it was okay back in 2006 to purchase something that everyone else had, it’s no longer advisable when you’re an influencer because in a world of so many social media accounts and feeds that are prettier than yours, you need every edge you can get to stand out.
Who can forget low budget cosplay? That social media account went viral thanks to its uniqueness. Pairing it with one of the biggest industries in the world was simply genius. While reports say that men’s fashion will see a dip in 2020, brands are confident they will be able to lead another wave of renewed interest, however, there are certain trends that fashion influencers want to drop, starting with the crossbody bag. Men bags were all the rage in 2012, bringing androgyny to the world of men. However, men slowly lost interest in the item because it was troublesome to carry around and let’s face it – men love convenience. The man bag was a convenient place for them to put their things, until they realized it was more trouble than it was worth.
How about the long line tee? Kanye West is a perfect example of influencer marketing. While he’s a celebrity per se, what influencers do is in line with what he does. By dressing a certain way and being a colorful character, you naturally attract the public to follow you, even if that means copying your long dress look. These shirts that reach past your knees might look swag on the street, but the truth is they make you look disproportionate and short.
There goes to show how social media continues to morph the methods of how fashion is disseminated. Instead of the masses simply waiting for large clothing manufacturers to drop their seasonal line and make do with what is available, shopping has become largely interactive. You can shop online, you can shop your favorite celebrity’s clothes, you can even shop your favorite tv show’s character’s outfits. Nothing is off limits anymore. Furthermore, it’s becoming interesting to see how the feedback from consumers is actively influencing manufacturers.
It is probably safe to say that social media will continue to influence fashion, whether it wants to be influenced or not. It’s the classic case of supply and demand. When the industry sees what the masses want, they begin mass producing it in hopes of capitalizing on that desire. For a moment there, the world was obsessed with unicorns – and the craze didn’t come from the catwalk, it didn’t come from Vogue either. It came from masses of Millennials looking for some magic to inject into the drab lives their parents had left for them, filled with societal pressures and financial struggles.
From upgrading men’s fashion and throwing variety into a highly saturated market, social media is exactly what a fast paced industry like fashion needs in order to keep growing in the right direction.