How the Fashion Industry Uses Social Media

Black Friday and the exclusive Fashion Weeks: Two pinnacle times of the year where retailers and the fashion industry hope to make up for a bad year or put the cherry on top of an awesome upward-driven one. But leading up to (or concluding) these championship fights for retail revenue redemption and leader-crowning, how are retailers and the fashion industry elite getting the word out about the deals or extraordinary collections that they have to sell?

America’s retailers are learning how to chime in on the conversations of their customers through social media. Whether it be Facebook or Twitter, major retailers are learning what their customers like and don’t like based on their Facebook statuses, comments and tweets. Besides using commercials, retailers like Old Navy use their Twitter page to advertise the deals and discounts currently going on in their stores.

Retailers like Cole Haan are using digital media to create aliases for their customers based on the customers’ lifestyles and embed interactive games in their social media pages to compliment these efforts. Cole Haan’s Facebook page mentions “Like us and explore more” to encourage the visitor to dive deeper into how Cole Haan clothing and accessories cater to the “Urban Explorer”.

As B Culture has mentioned before, digital media is a powerful commercialized hammer that some celebrities have wisely wielded to secure the nail in the foundation of a fruitful relationship with their fans. This is the same for high-end fashion designers. Fans of celebrities, the customers of high-end fashion designers, often like for their customers to vote for “who wore it best” and post new looks through their social media fan pages. Celebrities are often the retail industry’s initial guinea pigs and retailers use their customers’ social media comments to know what trends are hitting or missing which is a heads up to the retailer on which ones they should follow or continue to produce.

Digital media also helps high-end fashion designers get the word out about how to access a designer’s full collection, the campaign and allows the fashion industry’s supporting cast – the Press and stylists – to chime in on what they liked or didn’t like, what fashion shows they are excited to see and how the public can mix and match the designer’s pieces. Louis Vuitton has their full Spring 2012 fashion show on YouTube. Before YouTube, customers could only dream of seeing a high-end fashion show from beginning to end. The video of the above Louis Vuitton fashion show is in HD, which further gives the viewer the experience of being at the actual show.

From New York Fashion Week to a new high-end boutique opening up in L.A., fashion editors and socialites can us Foursquare to let their followers know what fashion shows and store opening they are spiriting to cover or shop next. Retailers can also use Foursquare to reward their frequent visitors with special discounts and recognition. In the image above, Jeremy P. is listed as the major of Kenneth Cole in SoHo. Foursquare makes an individual a celebrity along with the place the individual frequents.

Digital and social media has given the customer more of an immediate say in what works and what doesn’t. This gives the retailer and designer the ability to react more quickly and efficiently within their next collection. It seems social media may have accelerated the transition between fashion trends because of the swift reaction to what’s hot and what’s not. Interactive media is now the digitalized style meteorologist for the fashion industry.

How to Become a Successful Fashion Model

Becoming a fashion model can be extremely exciting and rewarding. Some of the perks of fashion modeling are traveling to exotic locales, making a lot of money and meeting some of the most beautiful, interesting and creative people in the world.

Here are 10 tips to becoming a successful fashion model.

1. Get some snapshots taken and approach a local fashion modeling agency. Agencies love to see snapshots. Use natural light. Have a friend shoot a roll of film and pic out the best ones. Call up the modeling agencies in your area and ask when their open call times are. Open calls are times that agencies set aside to see new models. Dress simple and nicely and be prepared to ask any questions they have of you.

2. Move to a major market. New York is “king” when it comes to fashion modeling. Try and get signed by a major agency there like Ford, Elite or IMG. Most of the major cosmetic and advertising contracts come out of New York. If you are living in the United States Los Angeles, Miami are also great alternatives. If you are living in Europe consider Paris, London or Milan.

3. Be thin. Hire the services of a professional trainer and nutritionist if you have problems keeping the weight off. Agents routinely measure and weigh fashion models. Many models are dropped from their agencies for not having the correct measurements.

4. Network. It is important to work with the best photographers you can. Hire them. Get amazing pictures. It is your job and although agencies may assist you with this ultimately it is your responsibility. The images photographers give you will make or break you. Be nice to them and test as frequently as you can. Unless you are Heidi Klum of have books loaded with amazing tearsheets, keep testing.

5. Show up. It is very important to be on time. If you have a fashion shoot the next day do not go out and party. Look your best. Photographers are in constant contact with the agencies and will let them and future clients know if you have a bad reputation. When you are on set be courteous and stay off your cellphone. It is important to focus on the task at hand.

6. Become friends with powerful people. Editors like Anna Wintour of Vogue can make you famous. Superstar photographer Steven Meisel can launch your career instantly. Be nice to them and other industry professionals. You never know which assistant will be the next fashion editor or star photographer.

7. Date celebrities. Gisele Bundchen dated Leonardo DiCaprio before moving on to quarterback Tom Brady. Kate Moss was romantically linked for years to Johnny Depp and then became involved with British rocker Pete Doherty.

8. Brand yourself. Heidi Klum has a jewelry line. Gisele Bundchen is in talks with H&M about representing her lingerie line. You can buy Kate Moss’s clothes at Top Shop.

9. Have the right measurements. Although they fluctuate between markets the ideal measurement is to stand at least 5’9″ barefoot and weigh between 110 and 120 pounds. If you are a lot smaller consider commercial modeling and approach acting agencies. They need all types and sizes.

10. Be photogenic. The industry is fickle and what is hot one year isn’t necessarily hot the next. If you are photogenic and have that certain “je ne sais quois” (something special) you will attract modeling business.

Fashion Editors Take Notice – Authentic American Indian Jewelry Should Be the New “It” Jewelry

Coming from Santa Fe, New Mexico and working in the American Indian art business, I’ve grown quite accustomed to seeing the coolest, edgiest, and most beautiful American Indian jewelry being worn on a daily basis. Flip through the latest issue of Vogue, Elle, or InStyle, though, and I dare you to find a model wearing a piece of true natural turquoise. To me, this is quite the fashion travesty, for good Native American jewelry worn the right way can make all the fashion difference in the world. Here are some reasons why quality Authentic American Indian jewelry should be the new “It” jewelry:

  • Most authentic American Indian jewelry is hand-made rather than mass produced. What could be better than wearing a piece of fantastic jewelry that no one else has!
  • If you’re wearing authentic American Indian jewelry you’re supporting true artists and an art form that has withstood the test of time while constantly evolving into new innovations as well.
  • Natural American turquoise (the subject of an article to come) is truly rare. Some of the turquoise mines are no longer even producing that type of turquoise. If you’re able to acquire a jewelry piece with natural turquoise, you’ve got a piece with a stone that’s in quite limited supply.
  • Antique or vintage American Indian jewelry pieces, like turquoise stones, are obviously limited in supply, so again, you won’t have to worry about showing up at the Academy Awards wearing the same Leekya Deyuse fetish necklace as your on and off-screen rival.
  • Don’t like silver or turquoise? No problem, a lot of Native artists are taking their jewelry to new and incredible gold heights. Check out Maria Samora’s work – she was the poster artist for the 2009 Santa Fe Indian Market.
  • You want a jeweler’s name to love, a Harry Winston of the Native jewelry world perhaps? Don’t worry. There are true “stars” in the American Indian jewelry world, artists who have a cult-like following among collectors because of their innovative designs and expert craftsmanship.
  • In our eco-conscious world, what could be more green than buying a NATIVE American made piece that’s hand-fashioned out of natural materials?

I hope this little piece at least nudges you to do a little search of American Indian jewelry on your own. You’ll be amazed at how wonderful it is. Who knows, maybe next time I’m traveling outside of Santa Fe, I’ll see a really great pair of Mike Bird Romero earrings on someone, or maybe, just maybe I’ll open up that issue of Vogue and see a model wearing a Charles Loloma pendant with her Marchesa gown.