The Rise of Influencer Fashion

Saffron Clark invites us to give a second thought over why we feel the compulsion to update our wardrobes weekly.

In a world where fashion and clothing are so accessible and easy to obtain, we seem to be buying it all, with no limits. As someone who loves to shop, I will hold my hand up and say I’ve already purchased four coats this autumn season, and all of them have been from cheap and fast fashion brands that push their name and clothing through Instagram. These include places like Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, Fashion Nova and Boohoo, all of which are brands that push their content through the likes of influencers and bloggers.

We all know that Instagram is changing how the fashion industry works; if a brand doesn’t have a strong Instagram presence, there is no chance of success with the younger generation. The influencer is a key element to having a significant sale and bringing consumers to the brand. This has caused a new wave of “Instagram brands” that use the platform as the primary launch pad for business as they know younger generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, are more likely to respond to real people influencers than celebrities.

Pretty Little Thing, for example, has been gradually growing as a business since its opening in 2012 but didn’t really achieve success until they realised what they could accomplish through utilising Instagram. They had a 663% rise in business and sales when they got the likes of Kylie Jenner and Sofia Richie to step in and promote their clothing. With the extra exposure the brand had, the bigger the budget to pay influencers as brand ambassadors, both in the UK and overseas, meaning they curated a broader range of customers generated mainly through Instagram and affiliate links.

Fast fashion is the main cause of our serious consumption issue when it comes to clothes. Fast fashion is fashion that moves quickly to capture trends, with turnover of 2-3 weeks. Fast fashion is usually implemented by the cheaper high street stores, whereas slow fashion is the traditional way of debuting Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections which don’t get added to over the season and is more common in the designer and high-end brands. The main difference is that the fast fashion of Pretty Little Thing and Missguided is aimed at the younger generation, who enjoy being able to buy new things every week without (seemingly) spending too much.

But why do we consume so much and why is Instagram making it worse? Is it the bloggers and self-proclaimed influencers that are making us feel the need to buy more? The constant gifting of clothes that they are then paid to push onto us? They know exactly how to hit us with the goods and make us think we NEED that new borg cream jumper from Pretty Little Thing – we can’t possibly go on without it, and its only £15… It’s easy to influence people that already like the brand and want to stay trendy without breaking the bank.

Maybe think about that next purchase, whether you really need it or whether you’re just being influenced by Instagram?

By Saffron Clark

Image: Daily Mirror