Luxury Society co-founder Imran Amed shares his thoughts on social media: What should luxury companies be doing with it? What is the business benefit? How is it changing society and retail?
On how the Internet changes communication:
“The Internet does change the way people communicate, and corporations are beginning to come to terms with the fact that they cannot control everything. The luxury industry always wanted to control the way it communicated about brands. But the way the Internet works is you don’t have control. What you have is a voice.
On why fashion companies are beginning to use social media, such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook:
Part of it is that advertising budgets have been slashed so much they’re looking for ways to communicate more cheaply. This is a moment of turning, a shift in the way people think about mass communications and communicating with the customer. It’s not just one way anymore, it’s a many-to-many conversation.
On the two-way nature of social media:
This is one of the things people are still coming to terms with in the industry. [Social media] is not about broadcasting information. It’s also about social listening: Using the tools to listen to the conversation and take feedback. The real meaning of your brand lives in these conversations. Lots of people think it’s about broadcasting because that’s the way media used to work. In the previous incarnation of media, it was one-way communication. It’s not enough to Tweet once a day about what you’re selling or to put up a Facebook page.
On social media and mass events:
If you looked at Facebook [the day] Michael Jackson died, something like 40 to 50 percent or higher of posts in people’s news feed was people using those platforms to say what they think about Michael Jackson. What you see is a whole bunch of different people’s emotional reactions to an event that everyone is living through together. When Princess Diana died, there were only 10 people I could speak to about it in the period because they were in the same physical space as me. Now I can share an experience like that with literally hundreds, and on Twitter thousands, of people I don’t know. It changes the way people experience mass events. I think the fashion industry can take a big lesson from that — how do you create interest? It’s no longer about keeping people out and creating exclusivity, it’s creating something people want to be part of and enabling them to share it.
On what the luxury industry should do:
Our industry needs to sit up and take note and be open to innovative new things. It’s always scary when things are changing faster than we can understand what’s happening. Ten years ago, everyone was walking around saying there was no way anyone would buy luxury goods on the Internet. Now in 2009, that’s the only segment of the luxury industry that’s rapidly growing. This [economic] crisis has created an opportunity. Fashion companies have started using fashion films on the Internet to share stories and make an emotional connection about their brand. Chanel and Dior are experimenting with short films that get shared and viewed hundreds of thousands of times at no distribution cost to the company.
On the connection between social media and revenue:
If you have an engaged group of fans on a Web site coming regularly to talk to each other, it will probably end up driving further dedication and loyalty to the brand. You’re probably going to create an impact on revenue and sales. People say it’s hard to make a connection between social media and sales. I think that’s true, but it misses the point. It’s not only about the impact on sales. It’s also about engagement. Our industry used to be based on personal, one-to-one relationships between proprietors and customers. As the luxury industry has expanded into a global industry, some of that personal connection has been lost. New technology enables us maybe not to replace [those relationships], but it lets us feel a little closer to the customer. And it lets customers feel closer to us.
On how the Internet has affected the fashion cycle:
The fashion cycle is a little bit of an anachronism. We still show clothes in February and they’re not available until July or August or September. By that point, images of the collection have been seen all over the Internet and discussed ad nauseum on blogs and social networks and on Style.com, and by the time it reaches the store, people are already [tired of it], it’s done. The fashion cycle does not fit with the speed of communication. Instead of showing things on the runway [that won’t be in stores for several months] we should be showing things that can be bought right away. Net-a-porter did this well with Roland Mouret and Halston. Instead of being more responsive, we’re doing more seasons and more collections, and that’s not the solution. The solution is to give people what they want when they want it.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)