Wednesday, June 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Instagram: The New Catwalk?

Victoria Chapman discusses how Instagram is becoming more influential within the fashion industry than the catwalk.

Ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and wanting that cute outfit you saw on a model? You’re not alone; Instagram makes the inaccessible accessible. It’s a social trend that’s reconstructing the fashion industry into a new virtual catwalk.

Instagram boasts 600 million monthly users, with 400 million of those using the app every single day. The app gives its users a ‘visual voice’, allowing them to express themselves through photos of their clothes, face, hair, makeup, food, places, you get the idea. Instagram is becoming more popular, influencing fashion especially, with clothing brands publicising their products across the world to millions of people through social media, as opposed to a mere few hundred attending a fashion show. It allows brands to increase their demographic, marketing their clothing to a wider audience, through the increasingly personalised nature of the fashion industry.

The catwalk used to just be about advertising clothing lines, focusing on the design instead of who was modelling it. And then Instagram happened. Clothing brands began using iconic models as the faces of their clothing, indirectly encouraging those who see the photos to buy the clothing not just because they liked it, but because they saw it on a model who makes the clothing look fashionable. If you use Instagram (if not, what are you doing?), and haven’t seen Gigi Hadid as the face of the Tommy Hilfiger campaigns, then you must have been living under a rock; she’s literally everywhere.

The obsession is now with who is wearing it rather than what they’re wearing. You’re more likely to buy that awesome jacket if you saw it on an Instagram model than in a fashion show. Instagram allows someone to tag the clothing brand and link it to the page so people can directly purchase it. In addition, fashion shows are less frequented than Instagram; it’s so easy to see a photo of an outfit you like and buy it from the comfort of your own bed, am I right? So many people are ‘Instagram shopping’ from brands they’ve seen on their feed because it requires no effort, it’s easily accessible and allows you to order an outfit in literally seconds.

Don’t get me wrong, catwalks are still a constant within the fashion industry. Instagram fashion cannot replace the feeling of wearing your cutest outfit and attending a show to see the newest trends of the season. But, honestly, how many times have you guys been to a fashion show? Now compare that to the amount of times you’ve been inspired by an outfit or fashion trend you saw on Instagram. Need I say more? Instagram is taking over the fashion industry. If you’re in desperate need of outfit ‘inspo’ for that party on Saturday night, you go to Instagram, not a fashion show – I know where I’m heading for new outfit ideas this summer.