This article will be edited in English for marketing and optimization reasons.
For a long time, fashion brands and designers relied on their fame and their name to attract people in their stores. Today, it is another story. The world changed, the society and the leaders changed too. Those who rule the world today are the youth, often said to represent the future.
Called the Y generation, the millennials are people from 18 to 30 years old, whose power is an influence. They are the first generation having grown up with internet and technology and would be over two billion on the planet. They have a certain amount of followers on social media, people they influence everyday with their lifestyle, their convictions and the clothes they wear. They have so much power over people that the fashion industry understood it to be the top marketing and advertising technique.
They started hiring young and creative people with this connected influence, because not only these people will be future clients, but they will also bring other people to buy from these brands. Even if those people can't afford their products, they will dream of having them. I personally think that this technique is truly amazing.
Among the most famous influencers, there are the Kardashian family, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rihanna, Hailey Bieber, Selena Gomez and so many of them, from different industries, ethnicity (actors, singers, fashion actors...) What is amazing is that way of hiring them which brings all of them from everywhere as one. One category of people who, together, are part of this marketing technique.
The impact they create in the fashion industry is not only making advertising for brands. They broke several codes from the past and are making their own rules over the world. They are young, impudent and fickle. They are creative, open-minded and that's how brands are disconcerted, and why therefore, these brands must re-think about being more creative if they want to attract more clients. In short, they have to adapt to this new generation. It's really disconcerting for them because it used to be the opposite: it was the brands who established their choices to the customers. The industry has to show the world that it can breach with the past and it already did a couple of times.
Celine recently removed the accent on the "e", giving Celine. In 2012, Yves Saint Laurent became Saint Laurent, but kept the YSL logo. In 2014, Maison Martin Margiela became Maison Margiela. Other brands also showed a change, giving modernism to their logos, including Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Burberry, and in early 2019, Balmain. Olivier Rousteing, fashion designer of Balmain re-thought about the style of the brands, he designed a new logo and opened a new store in Paris and across the world. According to graphic and specialist David Rudnick, these new logos are getting rid of the old designers and their legacy te represent the new ones.
The millennials represent the future. They are the ones who will be there when the older generation will die, and the ones who will take over the brands. The fashion industry has therefore, had to adapt and move from the notion of heritage to that of a personal attachment to this new and more influential clientele. Again, it is undeniable that this category of individuals has a real influence on the fashion industry and that this is not only about a break with the past, but also a rejection of luxury with a "snobbish" connotation, selective with the search for a personal link and a mirror effect. A couple of months ago, Italian Maria Grazia Chiuri, the head behind Dior designs, said "this is not your mother's Dior". By that, she meant the fact that people won't keep buying products inspired by the founders of former collections. No, they want something new and young. This is why the brands must show they can diversify in order to adapt and to cut the links with the past.
Because of this influence, the brands are questioning the notion of luxury and its representativity. The millennials do not only use their connected influence but also their self mirror-effect, and the brands have made them their muses...Lily-Rose Depp, Willow Smith, Baptise Giabiconi for Chanel, Kaia Gerber for Chrome Hearts, Fendi, Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Jennifer Laurence, Emma Stone, for Dior.. Virgil Abloh, the head behind Louis Vuitton designs and right-hand of Kanye West has so much power and influence that he brought himself creating his own brand, Off-White, now considered as the top influential brand. Rihanna, Kylie Jenner and Millie Bobby Brown have created their own clothing and cosmetic brands, and so many of their loyal followers felt having to buy their products because of the power these women have on them.
The image of brands also has changed, thanks to different collaborations with different artists, such as Pharrell Williams, Rita Ora, and Kanye West for Adidas, Kylie Jenner and Rihanna for Puma, or even Kaia Gerber who launched a line with Karl Lagerfeld. The millennials also took part of the venue of the streetwear, and it's more common to see how famous people wear hats and hoodies from luxury brands, such as Off-White, Balenciaga, Chrome Hearts...
They are not all rich and famous, they can't afford all luxury products, but the millennials have un undeniable influence on people. They have values, and they make sure that the brands they have partnerships with, understand them and symbolize them. This is why there are many selective influencers like Sonia Ben Ammar, a French model and singer, mostly know for being the ex-girlfriend of Victoria Beckham's eldest son. She's one of the most popular millennials. Apart from modeling and singing, she cares about social and global issues on the planet, such as the care of refugees in the Middle East, the education for children. She's an ambassador of an association representing and supporting this kind if things. This selective behavior results in them, to work with fast fashion brands, such Zara, HM, Zalando...and many others.
In addition, the millennials kind of rule in the fashion industry today. They are young, creative and have values. Their weapon? Influence and power over people, which is much sought-after by the brands, who are using it in order to increase the marketing process and bring more people to buy from them. This is the impact that this generation has on the fashion industry today, but also on the beauty and music industries, in which they are as successful.
One question. Should luxury brands keep hiring influencers,(ften said to be too much pricy and difficult), and create their own digital one. Digital influencers are very young. Today, three of them hit the fame carpet, such as Nonoori, Lil Miquela and Gaia. They are very different from each other. Nonoori is a female digital character, with asiatic features. She was first introduced by Dior, by showing up during the shows It was revealed that she was the brand's digital beauty muse.. Lil Miquela is the most realistic of the three of them. She has a certain ethnicity, with a brown colored skin, freckles, macaroon hairs and probably the youngest mind and style. She wears streetwear and luxury and the same time, hangs out with famous people. She really looks real, and would probably be the one that luxury brands will look at first. And then, there's Gaia, a French digital influencer created by a French school, the Paris School of Luxury. She was designed by the school's students, and then ended up being owned by an agency.
These digital influencers are so clever, because first, they'd cost way less money to the luxury brands, and they'd represent them perfectly.
Student at Paris School of Luxury