Social media-the next powerhouse for fashion industry?

The world of fashion has been changing and I am not talking about the textures, designs, elements and the inspirations but something which is on its way to become more integral to this world-Social Media. You might have noticed most of the fashion biggies are going social! From desi brands to international legacies, from H&M to BabyPhat everyone is moving towards getting social online. Here is how the fashion industry looks like today in the online landscape.

Creative Websites

No more are brands leaving their websites plain and simple. Websites are the new billboards for fashion labels and there has been a lot more happening on international front. Brands like Sportsgirl have come up with unique concepts while sticking to their basic themes. Ed Hardy promises a youthful look and Marc Ecko again dons a fun yet professional look. Other brands like Rebel sprit- the grunge clothing brand are making their presence felt by creating niche concepts related to the brand and thus targeting the community.

When it comes to the Indian designers and brands, I think Manish Malhotra take the cherry, with his website which is done very neatly and features his latest collections, videos etc. Ritu Kumar who is known in the world of fashion for her ethnic designs, close to any Indian’s heart also has an ethnic look to her website. However, unlike two years ago, most of the Indian designers say Tarun Tahilliani, Satya Paul, Ritu Beri, Neeta Lulla, Rocky S are all online.

Social Networks are the fad

After websites, most of the designers and fashion brands are using social networks to promote themselves and have a steady footfall. Twitter and Facebook are a part of the standard marketing mix and are being utilized both as a customer information tools and for the purpose of customer service.

Facebook features on everyone’s list and is likely one place where you would find the brand, no matter what. H&M has some 3,093,252 fans on Facebook and is also present on Youtube where it features fashion, backstage videos etc. Satya Paul is tweeting, so is Cosabella and GAP and Adidas . Interestingly, Satya Paul is also present on Youtube and GUCCI has an IPhone app. It only indicates that fashion brands are now going beyond social networks.

Fashion Communities-the next trend

The fashion world is coming together with communities and e-shops. Commerce is going social; you interact on the same platform as where you sell! You have places like Weardrobe where you flaunt what you wore and be a style diva in your own. On the other hand, there is Polyvore, Fashion and You and Modepass which are taking a step forward and creating a loyal fashion consumer as they speak to them.

Fashion bloggers have become an important part of the fashion fraternity. While some brands are employing these bloggers to get more traction through word of mouth publicity by reaching out to their consumers in an informal way, blogs like What I wore , Youthquaker etc are a way for fashion enthusiasts to get noticed by the brands themselves.

Social Media Campaigns

Fashion brands aren’t shying away from using social media for campaigns. American Apparel’s the Best Bottom Contest, Jimmy Choos shoe hunt contest wherein they used Foursquare, are just some examples.  Burberry’s Art of Trench is the perfect example of user generated content where the brand launched this website and motivated users to upload their photos on the website in their trademark coats called Trench.

It might take some more time, but fashion is no more an offline spell, you just need to be ready to shell out from your pockets!