Designers Go Viral: How TikTok and Instagram Are Reshaping Luxury Fashion

Designers like Joseph Altuzarra, Loewe, Burberry, and J.Crew are finding unexpected success on social media. These platforms offer a candid, behind-the-scenes look at collection development and personal style choices.

This shift marks a significant change in the traditionally closed-off fashion world, fostering direct dialogue between creators and consumers.

Instead of merely showcasing completed looks, designers use their TikTok accounts to show the process: the selection of swatches, the meticulous styling, even the occasional unglamorous but crucial task. Altuzarra’s “color card” video offers a glimpse into those formative decisions that shape an entire collection.

@josephaltuzarra

Pulled some ropes and pushed some boundaries for this dress Kerry Washington wore 😉 #fashiondesigner #fashiondesignerlife #designerbts #howidesigned #embroidereddress #goldenglobes #goldenglobes2020 #kerrywashington #kerrywashingtonedit #kerrywashingtonwouldbeproud #shibarirope #shibariart #prefallcollection #prefall2020 #embroideredclothing

♬ original sound – josephaltuzarra

Olympia Gayot, Head of Design at J. Crew’s, stylish Instagram selfies have a similar impact, with the #OlympiasPicks hashtag gaining millions of views. Gayot’s personal style informs her work for J.Crew, leading to sold-out items like Bermuda shorts and reimagined suits. This suggests an intriguing trend: consumers hungry for expert style advice find authenticity in professionals actively working in the industry.

 

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A post shared by Olympia Gayot (@olympiamarie)

While some may worry about commercialization undermining their artistic vision, this shift creates a mutually beneficial feedback loop. Gayot acknowledges the impact this direct communication has on her designs. Smilovic goes even further, using her followers as a real-world focus group for Tibi. Social media becomes a space where designers learn what their audience wants, and consumers get an inside look at the creative, often challenging process of bringing collections to life.

@loeweMaking the #LOEWE Nest basket bag in our Spanish atelier.♬ original sound – LOEWE

More so, the rise of short-form video and TikTok’s popularity have ushered in a new era, “social entertainment”, where success hinges on a brand’s ability to blend the creative with the authentic. In a recent panel discussion hosted by Dash Hudson, experts from TikTok and luxury fashion house Loewe emphasized that the key to flourishing in this landscape is prioritizing creativity, experimentation, and embracing the platform’s unique qualities. Consumers crave engaging content that merges brand voice with the playful, sometimes low-fi elements of the TikTok environment.

@loeweEntering our #SpeedRamp Era. Video by @D2 SHOTS. Music by @aliyahsinterlude. #LOEWE♬ original sound – LOEWE

Adapting to this shift requires brands to leave behind rigid approval processes and outdated formulas. TikTok rewards those willing to try new approaches and respond quickly to emerging trends. As data restrictions limit traditional targeting practices, captivating content is essential to rise above the noise. Polished productions have their place, but understanding how to successfully integrate lo-fi elements and creator-style videos can be surprisingly powerful for connecting with the platform’s audience. By prioritizing a creative, authentic, and entertaining approach, brands can seize the opportunities presented by this new era of “social entertainment.”

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Ntianu Obiora is a versatile creative professional with over a decade of experience in publishing, marketing, communications, and digital strategy. She is the Online Editor at THEWILL DOWNTOWN

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About Author / Ntianu Obiora

Ntianu Obiora is a versatile creative professional with over a decade of experience in publishing, marketing, communications, and digital strategy. She is the Online Editor at THEWILL DOWNTOWN

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