Quiet New York and muted shows dampen fashion month’s social buzz

Quiet New York and muted shows dampen fashion month’s social buzz

“The show can be a whole ecosystem. It doesn’t have to just be that moment,” says Ross. “It can be lots of tiny moments all across social media. Perhaps brands can think quite cleverly around that in order to drive value.” Kim Kardashian drove the biggest portion of Dolce & Gabbana’s EMV this season following her store visit to the Milan store after the show — cue crowds of screaming fans. “There is something clever about capturing a wider audience who aren’t necessarily within your seating plan to drive further EMV,” notes Ross.

New celebrities, new opportunities 

Besides the K-pop fandom, a new influx of fans outside the shows in Milan and Paris this season were holding up signs in Mandarin. That’s because Chinese celebrities were attending for the first time since the pandemic, following the lifting of lockdown restrictions in January. 

The top 10 Chinese KOLs generated $49 million EMV across Weibo and Instagram, Lefty says. And, while the main Lefty rankings focus on Instagram, Chinese pop star Liu Yuxin attended Dior, driving around $23 million in EMV on Weibo alone. Actor Xiao Zhan was at both Gucci and Tod’s, generating just under $10 million on Weibo across the two shows, while singer-songwriter Cai Xukun attended Prada, with a combined EMV of around $4 million across Weibo and Instagram. 

There were new faces from the US and Europe, too. Lebanese-American media personality Mia Khalifa attended GCDS, Diesel and Moschino this season, driving $4.7 million of EMV across the shows. “She’s really risen and become one of the top fashion week influencers this season,” Ramos says. Khalifa had an average engagement rate of 3.4 per cent, which is higher than that of Jenner (1.4 per cent) and Zendaya (2.9 per cent). 

Another new and unexpected face during Paris Fashion Week was millennial pop icon Avril Lavigne. “She’s going on tour next month, so it made sense for her to align with certain brands and attend certain shows,” Ross says. “It’s interesting how fashion week is increasingly used as a promotional tool for the artist now.” Ross also notes that it’s smart for brands to curate their guest lists with talent from different generations as well as markets to target different demographics. 

“What was so great about Avril was that she is so unexpected,” says Karla Otto’s Marshall. “She’s never really been a fashion maven specifically to French fashion houses — so her randomness somehow became relevant.” The recent news of her relationship with rapper Tyga helped with that positioning, he adds. 

Looking ahead, Ross is expecting the front row to evolve again next season as brands try to harness new talent from other fields. “We have seen an uptick in chefs being invited to shows, for example, which isn’t really a story you’d tell with mega data, but I think it speaks to fashion’s increasing alignment with food,” she says. “That’s one we’re watching.”

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