March 12, 2019
Labels as diverse as Michael Kors, Fendi and Christian Dior successfully managed to juggle both traditional and social media to get the most mileage out of their respective fashion weeks.
While brands at New York Fashion Week focus more on influencer engagement, mainstays at Paris Fashion Week still rely on traditional media to reach the masses. Brands that find the right mix of voices can maximize their impact and earn millions in media exposure, according to data from Launchmetrics.
“Brands who knew how to use their owned media accounts to generate buzz were amongst the firsts, if not the first, in the rankings,” said Alison Bringé, chief marketing officer of Launchmetrics, London.
“As far as the influencers who made a mark, it is all about engagement, content and context,” she said. “Those who were able to take advantage of their highly engaged audiences with unique content in the context of the fashion week stood out the most.”
Launchmetrics' data measures media impact value, or MIV, giving a quantitative number for the total impact of relevant media placements on all channels – online, social and print – inclusive of paid, owned and earned mentions.
For the 2019 fall/winter fashion weeks, Paris Fashion Week outearned New York, London and Milan with a MIV of $129 million and total engagement of 42.4 million. NYFW was in second with a MIV of $109 million and engagement of 30 million, while LFW had the least engagement with 6.1 million actions and $39 million in MIV.
Chanel's final Karl Lagerfeld show. Image credit: Chanel
Although Chanel dominated Dior in terms of social media conversations at Paris Fashion Week, this was primarily due to the passing of the label's creative director, Karl Lagerfeld.
Mr. Lagerfeld passed away Feb. 19 in Paris at the age of 85. Prior to his death, the designer had missed the two Chanel haute couture shows in January (see story).
More than 10,000 of the 26,000 posts about Chanel during PFW mentioned Mr. Lagerfeld, compared to Dior's total 10,700 posts. However, 4.2 million people engaged with Dior's PFW posts, earning the French label $7.1 million in MIV.
The Blonde Salad creator Chiara Ferragni was the top influencer during both PFW and Milan Fashion Week. Her six posts during MFW alone earned a total MIV of $6.5 million.
Other influencers also made an impression. An Instagram post by Jessica Jung was the top post during PFW, with an MIV of more than $400,000.
“It was not a surprise to see Chiara Ferragni leading the ranks, but ‘lesser-known’ influencers like Karina Nigay or Xenia Tchoumi made quite the impact,” Ms. Bringé said. “It is typical to see higher engagement rates with less followers, so although they may not have 16 million followers, these mega-influencers are not to be neglected.”
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Influencer Jessica Jung had the Instagram post with the highest engagement at PFW
During LFW, fashion designer Victoria Beckham and her eponymous label were responsible for most of the week's social media activity. The launch of Ms. Beckham's YouTube channel, which was celebrated with a fashion week party, contributed a significant amount to the brand's total MIV of $4.9 million.
The best performing true luxury label during LFW was Burberry.
With a MIV of $7.1 million, Michael Kors outperformed fashion labels Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Calvin Klein at NYFW.
Italian fashion label Versace, which was acquired in 2018 by Michael Kors’ new Capri Holdings, also found social media success at Milan Fashion Week. Although Fendi was mentioned in more MFW conversations on social media, Versace's brand accounts were the most popular and earned the brand $4.6 million in MIV.
While a number of brands have been forgoing the traditional fashion show in favor of consumer-facing events apart from the spectacle, the remaining impact of the runway rush is seen in millions of dollars' worth of publicity generated throughout the month-long series of fashion weeks.
During the fall of 2018, New York Fashion Week drove a total $186 million in MIV, according to Launchmetrics.
Milan Fashion Week fell between New York and London for total MIV, with $62 million in publicity. Paris Fashion Week rounded out fashion month with a MIV of $80 million (see story).
As fashion week turns more consumer-facing, luxury marketers have become influencer-focused for these events. But while their reach is not slowing down, it was the influence of Ms. Ferragni that was the most prolific.
Ms. Ferragni, along with other influencers and celebrities, was able to boost media value for the brands who she posted about, signifying that fashion week is now a consumer-facing event (see story).
"The key to a successful event, whether it be fashion week shows, product launches or brand campaigns, is to reflect on the strategy in terms of voices when building your communications plan," Launchmetrics' Ms. Bringé said. "Brands should ask themselves what is their overall goal and how can they leverage each voice – traditional media, influencer, celebrity, partner, owned media – appropriately in order to have a stronger impact."