Fashion PR: From influencer to FROW

Having graduated from the University of Leeds with a Fashion Marketing degree, it will come as no surprise that fashion is a big passion for Wolfstar Senior Account Executive, Sophie Wylie. The trends, the ever-changing landscape, the glamour and the buzz, it’s a fast-paced environment which is known for its surprising twists and turns. In this blog post Sophie delves into the world of fashion PR, exploring how the influencer landscape is changing, quicker than we could have ever imagined.

A model walking down the runway with the audience watching and taking photos on their phones

The changing landscape of fashion PR

It’s no secret that the influencer environment is constantly growing with no current signs of slowing down, so let’s paint a pretty picture. It’s recently been the four major fashion weeks: London, Milan, Paris and New York, showcasing designers’ SS20 collections from all the major fashion capitals. The FROW (front row), once an abundance of the most important fashion press from all the top fashion publications accompanying the icon that is Anna Wintour, is now a collection of the most established fashion influencers mixed with critics, stylists and press.

How is the influencer and fashion landscape changing?

Putting it simply, they have become one. Fashion influencers and the fashion press are now indistinguishable. The lines are blurred, and fashion influencers are now the modern-age fashion press, as the digital era and maturity of the influencer market continues to evolve and affect every industry it touches, including fashion PR.

Albeit, this transition hasn’t been without any kickback or rivalry. It was only a couple of years ago when editors branded influencers at fashion week as “embarrassing” and “pathetic” for being at the industry trade shows as to this day, they believe the romance and allure is being taken out of the fashion calendars biggest bi-annual industry insider event of the year. Yet, their presence is ever more apparent as they bridge the gap between the everyday fashion follower and industry.

Let’s be honest, the average fashion follower spends more time scrolling endlessly through Instagram at aspirational visuals due to its ease of access and instantaneous appeal, as opposed to going out, picking up and reading a fashion mag (unless you’re endlessly devoted to the bible of fashion, Vogue, like myself and have a monthly subscription).

Designers at fashion week used to depend on the traditional fashion press for promotion, whilst the press depend on designers for stories, news and trends.

The benefit of fashion influencers to PR

Influencers are real time promoters of new collections; they are the instant connection between the brand and the customer. The modern world craves immediacy, which the fashion press can’t provide. An influencer’s large online following is invaluable when it comes to driving sales as they can craft relatable and personal perspectives by their role as social media enthusiasts. The partnerships and sponsorships between high fashion houses and high fashion influencers are vital in developing long term relationships between the two parties, that will likely become a brand ambassadorship. Not to mention, fashion influencers are heavily involved in heightening the brand experience at fashion week events by translating this online to their followers – a sneak peek behind the scenes that’s never been achieved before so immediately.

What does the future of fashion PR look like?

The future is lucrative. With new fashion business models like ‘see now, buy now,’ famously trialled by the likes of Burberry, and brand focus shifting from industry to consumer, influencers are more important than ever. The fashion press are the experts, necessary for creating the exclusive fantasy around high fashion and beauty that makes it so desirable. They curate the reviews, the trend reports, the breaking news, trend forecasts, all elements that are pivotal to the fashion world. Meanwhile, the influencers, they are instrumental in driving sales by making products attainable and creating a buzz on social media. Influencers generate a live-stream marketing spectacle by using digital functions like stories. The two, harmonious in an ideal world, fit like a Givenchy glove worn by Audrey Hepburn.

Wolfstar in the fashion world

If you’re a fashion brand looking to enter the world of PR, drop us an email – We’re a Leeds based PR and social media agency with a wealth of fashion experience with brands including Jones Bootmaker, Maha Lozi, Bravur Watches, Cosy Cashmere and Pavers Shoes, get in touch to see how we can seamlessly work together. 

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