How Social Media has Changed the Fashion Industry

As recently as 2010, the sight of a mobile phone on the front row of a catwalk was rare.

Roll on five years and at the world's most prestigious shows the glow of a Snapchat or an Instagram account is never far away.

But as well as making the fashion world more accessible, social media could actually be changing how the industry works.

We've asked one fashion expert to explain.

From the age of three, Josh Newis-Smith knew he wanted to work in fashion after becoming obsessed with Minnie Mouse's "snazzy dresses".

Now the 26-year-old is junior fashion editor for Grazia magazine, has been to loads of fashion shows and is in the middle of one of fashion's most important months.

September is the time designers reveal their collections for the following spring and summer.

New York and London Fashion week have been and gone, Milan and Paris are still to come, but as Josh pauses for breath he tells us he's noticed a change.

Mobile style at London Fashion Week

Mobile style at London Fashion Week

"We're all watching a show through our phone, rather than our eyes," he says.

"Social media is now so relentless, you are spending your whole time on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Periscope... Everything needs to be instant."

Josh reckons this obsession with capturing and sharing every earring and handbag on the runway is changing how the fashion industry works.

He says: "The process has had to speed up because people are seeing fashion instantly now.

"It's not like the old days when it was a closed off experience.

"People didn't have camera phones, so they had to wait six months until they saw the February issue to see what was going on.

"Now, high streets can be really speedy. They have lots of money and infrastructure and the clothes can be in stores in a matter of weeks. And that's what customers want... they don't want a trend six months down the line anymore, they want it at their finger tips."

Josh Newis-Smith is junior fashion editor at Grazia

Josh Newis-Smith is junior fashion editor at Grazia

"It's fast fashion and it's only getting faster. Nine times out of 10, by the time designers clothes have got into the stores, the high street has already interpreted their look six or seven ways.

"It's good for customers, but as a whole fashion changes are going at a relentless pace and at some point it needs to slow down.

"I think social media has played a big role in how fashion is changing, as fashion editors we can no longer expect customers to be interested in something they saw on Instagram six months ago."

[By Anna Collinson] [Read More]