PARIS — The Instagram fashion bubble, it would seem, is a coronavirus-free zone. Better to talk about Chanel on the social media platform, suggested a study by Heuritech released Monday.
The French technology firm examined hashtags and used visual technology to calculate trends and brand mentions on the platform during fashion month, from Feb. 7 to March 3.
Chanel topped brands for mentions over the period, but COVID-19, even while it was a key topic in the news, was largely shunned by fashion players on Instagram, according to the firm’s findings.
“Against all expectations, coronavirus was fairly absent from all the posts during fashion week — we found that out of all fashion week-related posts, only 2 percent spoke about coronavirus,” said Célia Poncelin, chief marketing officer of Heuritech. The few mentions were mainly related to Chanel and Prada postponing their May shows.
“There was a real effort on the part of actors in the fashion industry to keep the focus on fashion,” when it came to posting on Instagram, she added.
Paris Fashion Week topped the list this season, with 38 percent of mentions, followed by Milan and New York, with London trailing behind the others with a 15 percent proportion. New York’s proportion of mentions declined compared to the previous season.
Leading brands after Chanel were Dior, Prada, Gucci and Saint Laurent, in that order.
As for designers, JW Anderson led the rankings of most mentioned designers, followed by Virgil Abloh, Miuccia Prada and Anthony Vaccarello. The findings suggest that collaboration strategies are useful for generating buzz, with JW Anderson teaming with Moncler while Abloh’s Off-White label is working with Nike. As for Prada, the announcement of her plans to work with Raf Simons added to brand visibility, according to Heuritech analysts.
Dior made a splash with a set that carried feminist messages in huge, neon signs, the day after Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and criminal sexual assault, and 44 percent of posts about the Dior show mentioned feminism, data showed.
The reach of Bottega Veneta’s popular clutch bags and Lido sandals has grown beyond the products, influencing other labels and consumer styles outside of the high-end luxury sphere, the Heuritech analysts added.
“They really established themselves in terms of an iconic product; it wasn’t just the ‘It’ bag of the last fashion week, it was really adopted by consumers and we really see it everywhere,” said Marion Tessier, product marketing manager at Heuritech, speaking about Bottega Veneta.
“The impact is very strong and goes beyond the circle of high-end leather goods and shoes,” added Julie Pont, creative director and trend analyst at the tech firm. The pair noted hints of the influence in the form of woven leather touches on shoes and handbags from other labels, adding the style fits fashion’s recent interest in the minimalist Nineties.
On the sustainability front, Paris topped the rankings, thanks in large part to Stella McCartney, who showed vegan leather and promoted animal rights with people in animal costumes, the analysts said. But Balenciaga garnered the largest proportion of posts mentioning the brand that were related to sustainability, 42 percent, with its climate change themed set of sinking bleachers. Maison Margiela’s upcycled vintage pieces and Hermès’ timeless approach were also applauded on Instagram, according to Heuritech.
Data and analytics company ListenFirst noted COVID-19 likely played a role in a 65 percent decline in Twitter conversation linked to Paris Fashion Week this year compared to last year.
Launchmetrics, meanwhile, which also focuses on data research for the fashion industry, saw a spike in media impact value, a specific measurement developed by the company, linked to news around COVID-19 during Paris Fashion Week.