London Fashion Week: a very social affair

It’s a week since London’s Canary Wharf shook off its strict suit-and-tie image for a temporary fashion extravaganza. For five whole days, the financial centre revealed a new side of itself while playing host to high-end designers, international fashionistas and a whole lot of glamour. And for those who weren’t there? Well, there was social media.

From never-ending backstage insta stories to endless streams of live tweets from any of the 54 (!) shows, the social content produced, shared and consumed during LFW ’18 was overwhelming to say the least, so how did brands manage to stand out?

At a time where everyone is on top of their game, no fashion brand will get away with leaving their social strategy unchanged.

A bit of extra care is needed during the ultimate fashion season, and in a world where people increasingly live through their digital devices, designing a killer collection is no longer enough.

That’s why we’ve tried to identify what other actions were taken by brands to ensure attention. Let’s take a look.

Politics

Laptop with image of fashionable jacket

This year’s LFW was a particularly interesting one as, after The British Fashion Council conducted a survey amongst all designers involved, it was the first ever fashion week that was completely fur-free.

But that was not the only political statement made: both French designer Roland Mouret and British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood paid tribute to the #MeToo discussion.

Mouret had all his models wear eye-catching ‘Woman Up’ badges, brooches or necklaces and further focused on gender equality by collaborating with feminist artists Judy Chicago and Mehrnoosh Khadiv. Instagram galore guaranteed.

Kirkwood took it up another level by titling his entire show ‘Hacking and Activism’, explained by his controversial guest models including actress and #MeToo initiator Rose McGowan and 18-year old hacker CyFi.

Where the latter choice connected to the collection’s focus on new technologies, McGowan’s appearance seemed to be Kirkwood’s way of protesting against female suppression in the global fashion industry.

While this merging of #LFW and #MeToo may not have been done solely with social media in mind, it sure did help both designers stand out.

Perhaps most importantly, it also allowed them to join one of today’s most pressing debates, which in return, helped them smoothly entering the competitive and momentary twitter-sphere.

Collabs

Fashion mannequin with measuring tape

In addition to being politically charged, the above examples also show that there are plenty of key figures suitable for successful fashion collaborations.

While designers will always be obsessed with having the best models on their side, artists, actresses and even hackers can also turn out to be the perfect complement to a show. Not to mention that they can significantly increase a brand’s social coverage.

Opportunities

Other brands that really managed to put their stamp on the social sphere this year were Burberry and Victoria Beckham. Beckham had a good year as celebrating both her 10-year anniversary as a fashion designer and LFW debut automatically put her in the centre of attention.

An opportunity she then capitalised on by treating the world with a spontaneous Spice Girls performance. In an Instagram video posted by Mrs Beckham herself, we can see her dancing to Spice Up Your Life at a LFW party, and, seeing as the Spice Girls are probably every millennial’s favourite thing, it went completely viral. Well played, Victoria.

And then there is Burberry, who proudly celebrated its quintessentially British image this year. Considering that it was Riccardo Tisci’s debut, the show was surprisingly traditional, and that’s exactly what people seemed to love about it.

Interestingly, Tisci did not want any A-listers on his front row; instead saying it should be all about the clothes. That is not to say that his catwalk was free of big names, however, with Kardashian member Kendall Jenner creating lots of hype in particular.

Making her long-awaited comeback after months of absence due to anxiety, the reality star and model added to the already existing hype around the much-anticipated Burberry show. Needless to stay, the two together caused social media to explode.

Final thoughts 

And those were the social media highlights of London Fashion Week September 2018. As it turns out, causing fashion hype on social media has not so much to do with creating social content as it is about providing people with reasons to do it for you – whether that is through taking opportunities, working with the right people or tapping in on political debates.

What do you think? Have we missed something? Have you spotted any other brands that rocked their social coverage this year? Let us know!

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