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Here's What It Takes to Get Buzz at Fashion Week

Designers must invest more in their own social media channels, rather than over-relying on influencers, according to a new report by Launchmetrics.
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By
  • Victoria Berezhna

LONDON, United Kingdom — Two fashion shows had everyone talking last season: Ralph Lauren, with the brand's 50th anniversary show, and Victoria Beckham, who moved her show from New York to London to celebrate 10 years in business. But what is behind the success of these shows and how did they gain so much exposure: is it big budgets, famous influencers or interesting venues?

According to a report by Launchmetrics, a data analytics provider, in collaboration with WGSN, the answer is more complex. One way to explain it is by understanding MIV, or media impact value, an algorithm the company uses to measure the impact of media placements to derive a number for performance outcomes. Ralph Lauren's MIV for the Spring/Summer 2019 show came in at $36 million, for example, while Victoria Beckham's achieved $16 million.

Part of Ralph Lauren's higher value can be attributed to the variety and number of influencers at the show. The key was in activating influential voices across all audiences, from Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey to fashion insiders and prominent designer peers who were present like Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. Crucially, the brand also invested significantly in its owned media channels, which accounted for an unusually high proportion amount of MIV – 29.7 percent — versus influencers, who accounted for 46.2 percent.

The first priority should be to build a strong brand on their own channel.

Meanwhile, Victoria Beckham’s London show generated buzz in part because of the change of location, but the rest was down to owned media.  The designer’s own media made up an impressive 61.7 percent of MIV despite the fact that it only accounted for 3.1 percent of total placements. One Instagram post alone had a value of $767,000.

“Designers underestimate the value of their owned media and what that can do to bring value to their shows,” says Launchmetrics chief marketing officer Alison Bringé. “The first priority should be to build a strong brand on their own channel.”

Nevertheless, influencers continue to reign supreme. While traditional media produced the highest number of total mentions — 52.4 percent — influencers' share of MIV was 49 percent, versus traditional media's 32.1 percent. Take Nicki Minaj's Instagram post at Oscar de la Renta which garnered $1.4 million in MIV, compared to a Ralph Lauren show review by The New York Times which was worth just $77,000.

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