Social Media, Insta-Culture and The Reinvention of Fashion Week (Management Project)

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It is clear that the fashion industry is experiencing a change as a result of the explosion of social media. Today the four key social media platforms for fashion houses are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. The society has created a culture around these media platforms, which is referred to as insta-culture. Why read Vogue magazine to find out the latest trends, when social media is covering the runways in real time?

A debate about what direction the fashion industry is heading towards is a hot topic of discussion. The fashion industry has gone through changes before but now consumers have become more demanding regarding quick accessibility of fashion. Consumer behavior and the way we consume fashion has changed. An obvious sign of the change within the industry is how fashion weeks around the world have become the most coveted”it” event for celebrities and fashionistas worldwide.

Fashion week is a fashion industry event that lasts around one week. The goal is for the fashion industry to network and for fashion houses to share their next season collections. Fashion weeks have traditionally been a closed, trade only-event which highlights promotional and glamorous entertainment events. However, now it is the most important shows that everyone wants to be seen at. What will become of fashion weeks is truly unknown. One thing that is for sure is that the development of social media definitely plays a vital role in the change of the industry.

Aims of the research:
The broader aim of this research is to analyze through the lens of fashion week, what is happening in fashion week and the driver of change within the fashion industry, social media, and to unravel why we see a change in fashion week now. The second aim is also to investigate in what way the change is affecting the way fashion is displayed at fashion weeks.

This thesis was completed by gathering observations and analyzing interviews, blogs, press, journal articles, social media and observations that focused on the phenomenon of fashion week especially in the New York and Stockholm context. This qualitative method is referring to as Netnography using primarily data gathering from the internet and data from the existing interviews with people from the industry.

Social media has affected the fashion weeks in many ways. Today fashion brands have to include social media in their marketing strategy in order to survive in the insta-culture that reflects on the society. The insta-culture has as well resulted in that fashion week has been reinvented to an entertainment event open for everyone. The democratization of the fashion week has in turn resulted in that designers have to change how and when they deliver fashion. Instead of waiting six months for the collections to hit the stores, designers now have adopted a see now buy now model.

The result of this thesis brings awareness to people within the fashion industry and fashion theories when it comes to what is happening to the industry and how to better support fashion management strategies. Social media has created an insta-culture in the society that also affects the fashion industry. This thesis also highlights the great impact that the society has on fashion even today. This study therefore further develops the sociological theory when it comes to the impact from the society and how it affects fashion.
Source: University of Borås
Authors: Andersson, Victoria | Jandér, Louise

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