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How Social Media Has Changed FashionWhen

How Social Media Has Changed FashionWhen I was a little girl, I pined over my only portal into the fashion world: the glossy pages of magazines. If you had told me that one day, I would have direct access to the crazy world of fashion from a tiny phone screen, I would have brushed it off as something from The Matrix. I grew up in what is now referred to as the “traditional” fashion era, and I was obsessed with all things fashion. Those magazines were my bible, and I acted on just about every word.

At the time, I had a sense that I was far removed from the glamorous world of fashion, but I did not understand the extent to which trends were decided for me. Industry gatekeepers—like buyers for major retailers and magazine editors—kept fashion exclusive. They had their kingdom of trend-happy consumers under tight control. Fashion Weeks consisted of runway shows where high-profile editors and endorsed celebrities sat in the front row, and the chosen pieces from designer collections would not be seen in stores for another four to six months.

This model worked well for some time, but the rise of social media has diversified the power of fashion in many ways. The magazine editors and buyers still hold powerful influence, but the equation has expanded to include the voice of the average consumer.

Consumers are smarter than ever because of the variety of products to choose from, the constant evolution of technology and the all-access mindset of social media. As they say, knowledge is power. Today’s landscape of fashion is changing dramatically, and the average consumer is becoming more and more empowered.

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