When Twats Tweet

The Fashion World & Twitter: Scandal in 140 Characters

Social Media has profoundly changed the environment in which consumers engage with the fashion industry. Gone are the days of one-way communication, which some brands (including PR practitioners) felt more comfortable with. The transition from traditional forms of media to new savvy technologies – web 2.0,  means that occasionally some companies don’t know how to (or simply can’t) avoid the common pitfalls.

If social media is not used correctly it can have dire consequences on a company’s brand, leading to a PR nightmare ultimately with disastrous repercussions. It is therefore imperative that all fashion companies – big or small – need to assert a professional approach to social media in order to avoid any grey areas.

Twitter is a fantastic resource and tool that every fashion company should use to their full advantage. Fashion brands who use Twitter are already proving to be highly interactive by frequently responding to and reblogging other users’ questions and content.

The fashion industry is beginning to embrace Web 2.0 and Twitter for three key reasons:

  1. “The unavoidable, high-profile popularity of blogging and social networking technology”;

  2. “The allure of online marketing as a cheap alternative to traditional advertising in a difficult economy”; and

  3. “Continuing improvements in the quality of internet technology”.

So, now that we know what fashion companies should do, lets take a quick look at bands where it all went wrong.

Fashion designer Kenneth Cole received a lot of bad publicity following a tweet that made light of the horrible protests in Egypt, On February 3, 2011. The tweet was promptly followed by hundreds of angry protests and calls to boycott the brand.  In this instance, the negative publicity had a disastrous viral effect.

Kenneth Cole finally (and thankfully!) deleted the disastrous tweet, promptly issuing an apology to his thousands of followers. But the damage was already done, with fake accounts being created by users who mocked the company posting several humorous tweets mimicking the designers original post.

Take a look at The top 50 Fashion Twitterers on Twitter & see just how amazing Twitter can be, when used correctly!








The Boom of Bloggers

The New Front Row

The New Front Row

The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar empire, which has a considerable impact on the way people dress and present themselves. However, there is more to fashion than designers, retailers and Vogue.

Encompassing a multitude of collaborators, including, editors and columnists the fashion industry has been swept up by outside forces of a digital revolution. The introduction of web 2.0  has triggered an “escalating range of changes in media and communication, fundamentally reshaping the public sphere and communication practices”. And this revolution will be blogged, streamed and tweeted instantaneously.

Recently, a friend at I attended the Loreal Fashion Festival in Melbourne. Sitting a few seats closer to the back, we noticed  two ultra thin and uber ‘cool’ girls being escorted directly to the front. Who were these girls? Were they celebrities or heiresses? And most importantly, what were they doing sitting in front row?! It wasn’t until we left the show that we heard two tweens screaming out in delight that they had their photo taken with the How Two Live girls, Jess and Stef Dadon – two Melbourne Fashion Bloggers.

Jess & Stef Dadon

Jess & Stef Dadon

The growth of new media, such as Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and Instagram has seen bloggers fast becoming influential drives in the fashion industry, regularly sitting in front rows of fashion shows, a clear sign that designers are beginning to acknowledge the power that bloggers wield. The rise of these forms of technology has not only enabled consumers to connect and interact with one another instantaneously, but it has also encouraged consumers to share their feelings and opinions on products and organisations. And these days, anyone who has a camera and a blog has an opinion, and this opinion is usually one sided.

Ever heard of the saying, ‘Not all publicity is good publicity’? Well, in this case and although social media has enormously positive effetcs on the fashion industry – it can also harm a designer and hinder their success.

These days communication professionals can no longer get away with simply pushing information toward an audience because users are now able to impact a brands reputation and perception by simply adding to the conversation – all of which is done in real-time responses. Put simple, companies must now manage not only digital content, but also user-generated messages.


Some Influential Fashion Bloggers:

John Galliano & Tavi

John Galliano & Tavi

The Style Rookie – Special note goes to Tavi Gevinson, who at the tender age of 15 is already a well established writer, magazine editor, actress and singer AND the founder and editor-in-chief of the online Rookie Magazine, appearing in the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media list TWICE!

The Sartorialist

Man Repeller

How Two Live