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Data Done Differently: New York Fashion Week Digital Insights


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4 min

Digital Insights

Have you been following the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) runway? If you haven’t, NYFW started on Tuesday, September 7, and runs through this Sunday, September 21. Packed with fashionistas and influencers, brand sponsors, parties, and A-list style, this is an event I look forward to every year. Key sponsors this year feature a diverse selection of brands from typical beauty and fashion brands to non-fashion brands who are looking to appeal to a larger demo such as Afterpay, BMW, Pepsi, and even social media platforms like Pinterest. As with many things in the pandemic era, there have been some changes to NYFW as opposed to years past. In this month’s Data Done Differently blog, we explore fashionista behavior to track, and trends impacting the fashion industry during New York Fashion Week.  

Tracking Fashion Trendsetters during New York Fashion Week

What do we know about fashionista behaviors and affinities? Photography, art, travel, dance, beauty, & cosmetics are all things that fashionistas like to do. They care deeply about social causes. Technology and health/wellness are also frequent behaviors and activities on their to-do list. For more insights about fashionistas, read the full Global Web Index Data Done Differently report for London Fashion Week with a custom audience segment. 

“The concern is the same as the one created by decades of exclusively white, size-00 models: “Fashion is giving people a warped view of what the world looks like,” Christina Mallon, the Chief Brand Officer at Open Style Lab, says, “Fashion and beauty and the runway create culture, and we need to create a culture that’s truly inclusive.” — Vogue, This Is What’s Missing in Fashion’s Inclusivity Movement

As you look at the roster of NYFW fashionistas and fashion influencers most represent these interests. Generational trends are also important when evaluating fashion influencers, who trend younger, with Gen-Z and Millennial insights critical to understanding when tracking fashion trendsetter behavior. Some recent top line insights we’ve found among many Gen-Zers and Millennials:

• Gen-Z loves Instagram.

• Gen-Z is more frugal than Millennials.

• Gen-Z wants you to stand for something.

• Millennials like experiences over things.

• Gen-Z seeks approval from influencers.

What does this mean for the fashion industry and tracking influencers for NYFW? 

• You will find them on Instagram above other social channels, so start your social media tracking there. But TikTok is quickly approaching. I’d recommend following both closely for fashion influencers especially during NYFW, but the design community still largely prefers Instagram for now. 

• While Gen-Z is more careful about spending, they will spend it when it matters and this includes premium street fashion style (??). The inclusion of Afterpay as a premium sponsor this year is one way the fashion industry is looking to make premium fashion more inclusive. 

• Sustainability and inclusivity matter and younger audiences look for receipts (or the runway). 

• Experiences like NYFW are still high on their to-do list. 

• They follow and are influenced by fashion influencers for style recommendations and fashion brands to wear.   

The Inclusivity Movement among Fashionistas

Fashion’s inclusivity movement and its related sustainability topics will likely be an ongoing theme from brands and influencers on the runway this year. Not only does one of their core audiences care deeply about the topic, but the theme has also been a significant conversation point this year with diversity issues very top of mind for brands. Look out for more designers of color and new creative ways for brands to push inclusive and diverse fashion trends on and off the runway. 

Brand authenticity is something we talk a lot about at Ingram Digital Consulting and I’m personally excited to see how brands lift and celebrate more inclusive types of people on the runway. Especially given the negative stereotypes that can exist for fashion models. Will we see more different types of models? Not only thinking about race, gender, and sexual orientation but representing people who challenge previous consumer archetypes and rules. Let’s tear it down and make high-end fashion more inclusive. I’m here for it.

New Social Media Trends Impacting the Fashion Industry

New social media trends will be on display during NYFW targeting social media commerce behaviors that we’ve seen continue to rise throughout the pandemic impacting the larger fashion marketing community. Here are a few key social media and brand marketing questions that will be top of my mind while tuning in this year: 

How will new social commerce products spur the growth of social commerce for fashion brands? TikTok and Instagram have both announced new shopping products for the fall partnering with eCommerce brand, Shopify to continue to make social consumer fashion purchases easier. TikTok has been a highly concentrated Gen-Z platform according to recent data trends with a growing number of TikTok fashion influencers on the platform. 

Will IRL access be a pandemic thing or is this the future of fashion? NYFW IRL access is one way the event will be different from years past. The event will be open to a larger number of consumers than ever before. 11 brands have been reported as offering custom ticket packages to attend the event, which is much different from previous years. Prices start at $750, though most are in the $2,500-$4,500 range. I love making the event more accessible but is this just a one-year stint or more about accessibility for fashion week events in the future? 

Will the partnership with Afterpay pay off? Premium sponsor financial app, Afterpay, (known for its “shop now, pay later” mantra) has worked with NYFW to make premium fashion more affordable, accessible, and virtual. This includes a full calendar of events this week: live shopping, interactive activations, drop-style shopping, a pop-up store, and a one-day festival event.  

Don’t miss out on the virtual fun and NYFW runway styles this week (and weekend). Follow @nyfw for the latest on Twitter.  

Data Done Differently
Digital Insights
Brand Authenticity
Megan Ingram

September 10, 2021