Quiet New York and subdued shows dampen fashion month’s social excitement

“The show can be a whole ecosystem. It doesn’t have to be just this moment,” says Ross. “It can be a lot of little moments on social media. Maybe brands can think about it very cleverly to add value.” Kim Kardashian rode most of Dolce & Gabbana’s EMV this season following her post-show visit to the Milan store – cue crowds of screaming fans. “There’s something clever about engaging a broader audience that doesn’t necessarily fit into your seating plan to further push EMV,” notes Ross.

New celebrities, new opportunities

Alongside the K-pop fandom, a new influx of fans held up signs in Mandarin outside of the Milan and Paris shows this season. That’s because Chinese celebrities attended for the first time since the pandemic after lockdown restrictions were lifted in January.

Top 10 Chinese KOLs generated $49 million in EMV across Weibo and Instagram, says Lefty. And while top Lefty rankings are focused on Instagram, Chinese pop star Liu Yuxin visited Dior and raked in around $23 million in EMV on Weibo alone. Actor Xiao Zhan was on both Gucci and Tod’s and generated nearly $10 million on Weibo across both shows, while singer-songwriter Cai Xukun was on Prada with a combined EMV of around $4 million on Weibo and Instagram.

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

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

“The great thing about Avril was that she was so unexpected,” says Karla Ottos Marshall. “She was never really a fashion connoisseur specifically for French fashion houses — so her randomness kind of became relevant.” Recent news about her relationship with rapper Tyga helped with that positioning, he adds.

Looking ahead, Ross expects the front row to develop again next season as brands look to capitalize on new talent from other areas. “For example, we’ve seen an increase in chefs being invited to shows, which isn’t really a story to tell with megadata, but I think it speaks to fashion’s increasing focus on food,” she says. “That’s one we’re watching.”

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