The JSBF Report
FASHION INFLUENCERS: FROM TRENDSETTERS TO PROMOTERS
By: Myra Sharma
In the present economic phase, where young and elders alike spend most of their time on phones and laptops, digital marketing has attained supreme importance. The popularity of content-creating platforms such as ‘Instagram’ and ‘YouTube’ is at the pinnacle. Over the past few years, we have seen a shift towards spending large amounts of money on advertising products on social media apps. Nowadays, the young generation of the 21st century is taking a great liking to content creation and fashion influencing, especially on Instagram and Tik Tok.
Instagram is not just a great platform to connect with new people but has also proved to be a sight of showcasing one’s talent as well as trying new emerging trends, especially after the ‘reels’ feature. Since then, many talents have emerged in different niches, such as singing, dancing, comedy videos, acting, art & craft, to name a few. Even though Tik Tok has been banned in India for being a Chinese app, the trends emerging there are immediately being taken forward by the Indian community of content creators. This is a great way of growing one’s audience and engage with them to showcase one’s knack for creativity.
But apart from just creating content and coming up with new trends and challenges on social media, why are more people turning to it every day? This is so because brands need to market their products on digital platforms. The success of Fashion influencers and content creators is mostly gauged by the number of people who follow them, the creation of fan pages after them, and the power that they hold on their audiences to influence them to do something. This is exactly what brands are targeting these days--the influencers who have a requisite number of following and good popularity are contacted by these brands to promote their products on their social media handles. These ‘paid collaborations’ are becoming popular every day and many people are turning towards social media. This is how content creation/influencing and brand deals/promotions go hand in hand.
However, the reason why youth is choosing this career path is that many of them feel that handling a social media job by creating content is simple and a source of easy money. However, many content creators have remarked that social media could be a toxic platform to work in, where they have to put in a lot of work to make sure that they stay relevant. For this, they have to keep planning new content for their audience every day. It is very important for a content creator to be liked and widely followed because this is a factor that brands take into their purview when they hire an influencer to promote a product. They are not only using their social media fan base to launch a business, but they are also helping to redefine fashion.
Fashion's popularity is no longer limited to Bollywood celebrities, fashion designers, or brand names; instead, fashion through these influencers has grown to include craftsmanship, innovation, and the use of a single piece of cloth in multiple styles. Digital influencers are quick to create new content, they are open to experimenting, and they create their own collections based on their aesthetics and passion, which is so refreshing to consumers that fashion brands should collaborate with these influencers as well. Collaboration is becoming more popular; both parties, influencers and brands, assess each other's style and then decide if it is a good fit.
Today, fashion brands are looking for influencers who share their values, as they recognise the opportunity to co-create and possibly even collaborate on the launch of a passion project that will benefit both parties. Influencers' fan bases, talent, and quirkiness are blurring the lines between them and fashion brands even further, as they become business partners with a stake in brand sales. Fashion influencers have created a world of possibilities for themselves through their talent and creativity, as well as becoming trendsetters. Although it requires some effort, collaboration between fashion influencers and brands can be beneficial to both parties.
Myra Sharma is a first-year B.Com(Hons.) student at JSBF.