Fashion changes daily. Tomorrow’s rising trend will easily become “yesterday’s fashion mishap” within an instant.
The fast paced industry of design is why social media has highly impacted the fashion world. Any fashion junkie can utilize social media to learn about trends, events and news and in the fashion industry without having to wait for his or her monthly Vogue magazine to arrive in the mail.
Not only does social media allow everyone to read about fashion, but it also allows each individual to participate within the fashion industry.
Ambika Makin, a student at Parsons New School for Design in New York City, understands the value of social media within the fashion industry and utilizes it to her advantage.
Makin attended the “Technology Tastemakers: How Social Media Socialites Influence Fashion Brands,” panel and learned that a new frontier in the fashion marketing business resides firmly in the growing number of fashion bloggers.
Brands have recognized that fashion bloggers are the new influencers of trends, so companies have begun partnering up with bloggers as a successful marketing tool for growth in the media.
Brands have also begun creating blogs aside from their online website. Makin explains that “Companies, like Free People, create a separate blog to share stories, comment on the newest trends, offer job opportunities and connect to consumers via guest bloggers.”
Makin agrees that social media has become one of the most important trends the fashion industry has seen. “Fashion brands have used social media to connect with their customers in a personal way,” Makin states, “by connecting a brand with its target market, the customers feel as though they are apart of the company.”
Companies also utilize social media as a marketing tool to create brand loyalty and offer incentives with promotions, contests and discounts. As a communication tool, companies can reach more customers and learn about opinions involving the brand.
Ambika Makin believes that smartphones are responsible for such popularity of social media in her field. “I have become so easily connected to the industry with my iPhone.” She adds, “Applications have bridged the gap between consumers and brands. If I tweet about a product from my phone as I am walking around New York City, I receive responses from my followers or from the product itself.”
Makin’s twitter account is dedicated to fashion and design while encompassing the lifestyle of a Parsons New School for Design student.
“I think of Twitter as a micro-blog where individuals can share thoughts, news and knowledge within 140 characters,” Makin states. “Hashtags help with specific topics, so every Twitterer can connect and network with individuals who discuss similar interests.”
Makin did not undertand Twitter when she first began tweeting, but after focusing on her interests, she benefitted from the networking Twitter provides.
“When I found my niche on Twitter by tweeting about my passion for fashion, I began meeting and networking with others in the fashion industry. My connections have turned into friendships with local fashion innovators and students and even created interview and internship opportunities.”
But is social media at its peak in the fashion industry? Ambika thinks not. “Although social media has grown immensely,” she states, “there is a part of the population that has not been introduced to it, or have accepted it to its full potential. I believe the connection between social media and the fashion industry will only become stronger and larger.”
Makin knows that in the fashion industry, people want easy convenience and instant gratification. Social media and smartphone applications have attributed to the improvement of these desires. Someone can shop from their phone, get style advice immediately, or watch the latest fashion show through a live stream.
Ambika Makin received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Oregon before attending Parsons and interning for Perry Ellis and now, Isaac Mizrahi. She works in multiple social media and fashion organiziations, such as Fashion 2.0. Makin also participates in social media and contributes to Parsons’ social media outlets by blogging and guest tweeting (@Parsons560) for the school. Follow Ambika Makin on twitter @amakin.