The Swift Effect: What Brands Can Learn from Taylor Swift
By Emily SmithFeb 29
Published March 7th 2023
Fashion provides an opportunity to make a statement and it is one of the most important ways people can express their personality or how they feel.
An often more artistic and dramatic approach to self-expression is haute couture. Designers all over the world go all out to amaze their audience with big gowns, unique constructions, and larger-than-life concepts.
It is said that the invention of haute couture goes back over 300 years to the French court of Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. The strict etiquette of how to dress at court created a boom for the French textile industry and his red-heeled shoes became one of his signature fashion items.
(Red shoes are also a big thing this season, but more on that later).
With Brandwatch Consumer Research, we analyzed the online conversations around the "Big Four" where designers and fashion enthusiasts gather to celebrate the latest trends: London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and finally, Paris Fashion Week.
What were the most talked about moments of the major fashion weeks in recent weeks? Which fashion brand stood out? Here are the highlights of the Fashion Week season.
Comparing the Big Four, the Paris Fashion Weeks (Paris Men Fashion Week, Paris Haute Couture, and Paris Women Fashion Week) received the highest volume of mentions, followed by the shows in Milan.
One factor for the higher mention volume is that while London and New York run menswear and womenswear shows together, the Milan and Paris fashion weeks are split into separate fashion week shows. Paris also has an additional show focused only on haute couture.
But that is only part of the story.
Another key element to the high volume of mentions around the Paris and Milan shows was the guest list: K-pop stars dominated the front rows.
It's no secret that K-pop groups have become extremely popular in recent years, with BTS being the most famous of them all.
They are the most followed music group on the biggest social networks such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and the music video for their song "Butter" broke the record for the most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours. And the records continue. You can read up on BTS stats here.
Brands are always on the lookout for interesting brand ambassadors and it’s hard not to notice the explosive popularity of K-pop bands.
This Fashion Week season is no different, and the most talked about celebrities attending the major fashion week shows are dominated by K-pop stars.
Except for rapper Doja Cat in tenth place, all of the celebrities listed in our top 10 ranking are K-pop stars. Jeno, part of the Korean boy group NCT, has been busy this fashion week season, attending both the New York and Milan Fashion Weeks.
Fans were quick to comment on social media, happy to see their artist being recognized by famous designers and fashion brands.
Fashion Week is all about eye-catching moments and getting people talking. And the color red was definitely a way to do that this season.
From models wearing vermillion designer gowns on the runway to cherry-dressed celebrities grabbing the attention of photographers, there was no escaping the color red.
And Doja Cat took wearing red to a whole new level. The Say So-rapper was the only non-K-pop celebrity in the otherwise K-pop-dominated top 10 most mentioned celebrities.
At Schiaparelli's Paris Haute Couture show, she was covered head-to-toe in red, wearing a red dress and her skin covered in 30,000 meticulously placed red Swarovski crystals.
Usher chose a more subtle way to incorporate red when he attended the Wales Bonner show at Paris Men's Fashion Week.
The singer appeared with orange-red dyed hair, just one of many outfits he wore during the fashion week. When asked about his outfits, Usher said: "It was a performance for me to show up in my wardrobe.“
Using our image analysis tool, we can see that 46% of the images posted around the Fashion Weeks contain the color red show dresses and 32% show red shoes.
Didn't we just talk about that in the intro?
Yes, but these are much wilder than the Sun King’s pair.
During New York Fashion Week, celebrities and influencers were spotted wearing red rubber boots shaped like the boots of the anime character Astro Boy.
The art collective behind the Astro Boy-inspired boots, MSCHF, used Fashion Week to promote their boots ahead of their February 16 release date.
And with great success, we might add. The big red boots went viral and sold out in minutes.
After the conversation peaks during Fashion Week, online conversations slowed down, but picked up in early March when it was announced that there would be an NFT version of the famous Astro Boy boots.
In the online conversations, people had a lot to say ranging from general wonderment about other people's tastes to questions about how to wear them fashionably. Here is one Twitter user’s take on it.
The most talked about show at the Paris Haute Couture show was Schiaparelli's. The fashion brand, inspired by Dante's Inferno, presented dresses with animal hands made of faux fur.
One of the celebrities in attendance was Kylie Jenner, who also wore a Schiaparelli dress with a giant lion head.
The moment Kylie appeared in her lion head dress watching model Irina Shayk walk down the catwalk in the same lion head dress quickly went viral.
In terms of attention, the show was a huge success for Schiaparelli, with global search interest for the brand hitting a five-year high during Haute Couture week, according to Google Trends.
The sentiment of online conversations indicates that the show was controversial. Schiaparelli received the highest percentage of negative online mentions of any fashion brand at the Haute Couture show.
In fact, 32% of all online mentions were negative.
The people behind the negative comments weren’t fans of the animal heads. Despite the faux fur, they criticized the dresses for glorifying trophy hunting. PETA, on the other hand, praised Schiaparelli's innovative approach to cruelty-free design.
Dior was by far the most talked about fashion brand during the Fashion Weeks.
The brand's clever ambassador strategy ensured that the brand was talked about far and wide, and with high-profile K-pop stars Jimin of BTS and Jisoo of Blackpink, it's no wonder that the luxury brand managed to take the spot at the top of the rankings.
Another Blackpink singer, Rose, is now an ambassador for Yves Saint Laurent and her appearance at Paris Women's Fashion Week created a lot of buzz, too.
All of the fashion brands in the top 10 collaborated with K-pop stars. As we've seen above, NCT's Jeno was a big deal at the Ferragamo show. Valentino can boast with BTS member Suga, and Prada welcomed Korean boy band Enhypen to their Milan Men Fashion Week show.
K-pop stars seem to be the way to go, and we're likely to see many more collaborations between them and major fashion brands throughout the year.
However, actors and influencers still play a big role on the red carpet list. Robert Pattinson, for example, attended the Dior show in a skirt, which was very trendy.
The runway and new fashion designs are the centerpiece of any fashion week show, but let’s not forget how the people attending the shows can make or break the online conversation that comes with it.
Harnessing the popularity and influence of K-pop musicians seems to have been the number one strategy for many luxury fashion brands in 2023 to raise awareness and introduce their fashion to a younger audience.
For brands working with influencers, it's important to manage and nurture these relationships. Marketing influencer tools like Brandwatch Influence can help brands discover new influencers, manage relationships, and measure results.