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Social Media: The Gateway to High Fashion for the General Public

Karly Gaffney is a Manager on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

It’s no secret that social media is a natural fit for fashion brands and designers. Considering the ever-changing nature of fashion, it’s not surprising that this industry has adapted quickly and is leading the way with its experimentation and innovation in social media.

Social media platforms have allowed the fashion world to reach a larger audience of both loyal consumers and aspiring purchasers who like myself, may not always be able to afford the products (but love looking at them!)

There have been hundreds of articles and blogs focusing on this very topic; however, fashion changes constantly, as do the stories. Below are a few that stood out recently.


Gucci recently grabbed attention after unveiling a ‘Pinnable’ banner ad as part of its Fall/Winter 2012 digital campaign, featuring a “Pin it” button in the creative. Not entirely ground-breaking, considering anyone with the Pinterest plug-in can pin straight from their browser.

Gucci, however, is providing users with the option to either pin the model or pin the shoes. (Though this isn’t inherently obvious when looking at the ad.) In any case, adding the Pin it button to the creative will likely prompt an increase in shares for Gucci on Pinterest.


Burberry boasts 536k followers on Instagram, over 1.2 million Twitter followers and 13 million Facebook Likes and is a brand that is very aware of the responsibility it has to its large following. In an interview with Mashable at the Spring/Sumer 2012 runway show, Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey commented, “A brand is not just about product, it’s about experience as well, and experiences need to come from the center of a community.”

Burberry Spring / Summer 2012

As a brand that values content and experience, Burberry has developed some pretty interesting social campaigns over the last year. During the Spring/Summer 2012 runway show in London, photographer Michael Kus published a real-time photo feed to Burberry Instagram followers, providing the images before they were available anywhere else. Burberry also staged “Tweetwalk” where it premiered every look on Twitter moments before the models hit the runway, #Burberry was trending worldwide shortly after the show began. (Not bad for a 155-year-old company.)

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton has been actively recruiting new fans and rewarding loyal customers through Facebook over the last three years. It broadcasted the spring 2010 ready-to-wear show live exclusively to Facebook followers and continues to stream shows live on Facebook.

For an industry that has historically been pegged as elitist, high fashion brands like Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and many others have been using social media to open the doors and let the common folk inside.

What are your thoughts on fashion brands on social media? Are they authentic or just another way to peddle merchandise?