Friday, 22 October 2010

The Rise of Social Media in Fashion

Time for a guestpost. I'm pretty swamped at work, but definitely don''t want to slow down on the blog because I love it so much more than work, so having fellow bloggers guest post is such a relief. This was written by the lovely Ceri Heathcote of Style Eyes Fashion Blog and is definitely a really interesting topic!!

Whilst clothes shopping is one of my favourite activities, I have various frustrations when buying new clothes which include everything being too long and not fitting and not enough natural fabrics and sustainable choices. Wouldn’t it be great if we could buy exactly what we want in the shops, that is assuming we actually know what we want.



Social media is the answer to so many of our fashion and shopping woes. Now we can discover the latest styles and trends, find out what other people like and how they are wearing their clothes and most recently have a direct influence over the clothes that are available for us to buy. We can also let brands and retailers know how we feel about issues like ethical fashion and models that real women can identify with.

The Shopping Forecast is the latest social media initiative which allows us to have our say on the fashions and trends for the season ahead. The site is described as a fashion democracy because the trends are dictated by the public and not just one or two so called experts. But the site isn’t just about giving your opinion for the sake of it; the data from the site will actually be used to help retail buyers make decisions on what will be in the shops for the season ahead. This is a really exciting concept and should have a massive impact on the fashion industry, cutting down on waste in fashion retail and avoiding those rails of garish clothes in shops that no one wants to buy.

There is also plenty of evidence that fashion brands and retailers are taking their customers and what they have to say through social media very seriously. The relatively new plus sized Marc Jacobs collection is a direct result of comments and feedback on Twitter and the brand listening.  Struggling US retailer Ann Taylor changed the models that they use in response to criticism on Facebook about their models being too thin. The 16% rise in sales that they have recently seen has been attributed to their enthusiastic use of social media. ASOS one of the most forward thinking online fashion retailer now have their own community which allows their users to have their say and for them to keep track of what their customers are saying.

As far as I can see the rise of social media in fashion is a win win situation where we, the consumers can be heard and get what we want and retailers can make better decisions which impact their bottom line.
As consumers, we no longer have to just accept things as they are, we can use social media to have our say and help shape the fashions and trends of the future. Even better, what we have to say will be heard.  Here are my top 5 ways to use social media to have your say and influence fashion.

1.    Vote for your favourite items on theshoppingforecast.com. By voting you also get the chance to win your favourite item each month and benefit from lots of other incentives that are planned for users of the site in the near future.
2.    If you are not happy with the clothes in the shops why not design your own? Upload your own fashion sketches to useabrand.com, if your get enough votes, your clothes will be made and you will get 5 Euro for each piece sold.
3.    Design your own t shirt or vote on others on Threadless.
4.    View, comment and help decide which designs will become reality on Beta Fashion
5.    Shop on Sense of Fashion which is a unique market place for Indie designers and retailers. It allows them to poll customers and get direct feedback on the colours and styles that they would like to buy.

How are you having your say and using social media to influence fashion and trends?

xx

28 comments:

Elsa said...

Thanks for the advice! Really cool pages you mentioned!
I really love the idea of useabrand and Threadless, that people can make their own fashion...

victoria said...

we are really eager to hear what our customers/readers want and what they have to say. We have constantly updated and changed the website in accordance with comments by our customers through social media. It's a great avenue for advice.
great piece!

Tanvi said...

This is a great piece. I would like to believe I am contributing a little too (may be!)

ABIGAIL NY said...

shoppingforecastt sound interesting!
Plus the others you mentioned.

http://themessenger-bag.blogspot.com

Cafe Fashionista said...

I am definitely checking these sites out - they sound phenom!! :)

Natasha said...

This was a really good guest post! It's always interesting to see how social media has changed shopping etc. Brilliantly written! I do love shopping online, especially since all my purchases have arrived so quickly too! xxx

Haute World said...

Fab guest post and some great links. I'll need to check those out. I've always wondered why not more retailers are trying to get feedback from consumers re: fashion trends, since that's who they're targeting, and not style editors.

Jennifer Fabulous said...

I definitely need to check out this website. It sounds amazing!

Tasha said...

I thought this was a great guest post! An interesting topic that I enjoyed learning more about! I will definitely be checking out those websites!

sexylegsandbody said...

Great post, very true. I do not use social media yet, but I do complain soon enough of something isnt to my liking, or not up to standard.

Thanks for sharing.

Have a super day.

Colin.

Kasia W. said...

great hat in previous post!;)

http://mypointmystyle.blogspot.com/

gleenn said...

wow! this is a very informative post. I've not hear about the shopping forecast. But I agree, the net working phenomenon is entirely embraced by fashion that plenty of independent shops are actually closing their offline shops and bringing their products online.

Win the $65 CSN Stores gift card giveaway

Couture Carrie said...

Very astute post, darling!
Will have to check out some of these sites!

xoxox,
CC

The Trendy Fashionista said...

Wow, this post is amazing! How are things going Sherin? I'm sorry, it has been a while since I don't stop by but lately I've being extremely bussy.


-The Trendy Fashionista
http://thetrendyfashionista.blogspot.com

Cindy said...

Great advice in your guest post Ceri! I own an online shop and am actually keeping an eye on The Shopping Forecast for ideas on the stock I buy in for next season. It's very useful to have that immediate feedback of what people are actually looking for - and it can become an invaluable tool for retailers and brands to use in market segmentation.

Another new online community is Style Trek which supports emerging designers and offers them a platform to reach out and engage with potential customers - http://styletrek.com/

It'll be interesting to see The Shopping Forecast and similar community sites evolve.

Maureen SisaMo Schipper said...

Not to mention social media networks as THE media of choice for alternative shopping where the grapevine for publicity exists almost solely on the internet.

For example:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=121443744546593

This publicity and feedback platform accounts for one half of all the PR I do for my own vintage retail events and that I am just a small example of bigger entepreneurs like the Affordable Vintage Fairs (who tour across the UK with alternative vintage shopping events)!

Again, social media networks at their best...

Thanks for the info!
Maureen SisaMo Schipper
with The Stow's Vintage Lifestyle Fair on Facebook

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