Fashion brands have become increasingly adept at manufacturing their instagrammable runway moments, so while the shows rolled through New York to London, Milan, and Paris in the past month, the social network was where much of the action unfolded.
Quartz asked the image analytics company Curalate to run an analysis of Fashion Month as it played out on Instagram. To do that, they tracked a pre-determined set of hashtags that was consistent across cities, including #NYFW, #LFW, #MFW, and #PFW and several variations on those. They also calculated the number of likes and comments on the images in each set and came up with the three images from each city that received the most engagement.
Here’s what we learned:
Kendall Jenner basically owns Instagram
It’s almost like Kendall Jenner was created to dominate social media. She’s a reality TV star, a member of the Jenner-Kardashian clan, and the latest queen of the group of social-media savvy models Vogue has labeled the “instagirls.”
Not only was she the only person to appear in more than one of the top images at each fashion week, she actually showed up in four of those snaps. She was also the subject of the picture with the highest engagement of fashion month.
Clearly people really like Kendall Jenner, but the Instagrammers posting her images also helped. They were Kendall’s mother, Kris Jenner, and sister, Kourtney Kardashian, who combined have more than 20 million followers.
Personalities—not brands, and not runway shows—dominated
Most of the top images—two thirds, to be exact—weren’t from brands or designers. They came from models, bloggers, and the aforementioned reality TV stars. The top image of London Fashion Week, for instance, came from the British YouTube star Tanya Burr.
Milan Fashion Week’s top image was rising model Gigi Hadid, who has joined the “instagirl” club in the past year.
Instagrammers clearly want to engage with other people, not necessarily with companies. The runway images that had high engagement were the ones that centered on high-profile personalities such as Jenner and Hadid, suggesting that, while fashion insiders obsess over the shows, the average Instagram user doesn’t. The images with the third highest engagement in New York and London were just landscape shots.
The top images from brands were of accessories, not the runway shows
The exception to the personalities-over-brands rule was Paris, where the top images all came from brands. Michael Kors also posted the image with the second highest engagement during the New York shows. All of these shots, except one, were of products.
The Paris image with the third highest engagement came from Christian Louboutin and showed nail polish beside ballet-inspired heels.
Why did people like them? The comments offer a hint: A common theme was “I want this.”
New York had the most images, but London had the highest engagement
New York topped all other cities in terms of the number of images posted. Given that New York has by far the most shows and the highest attendance, it’s no surprise.
What is surprising is how much engagement posts from London Fashion Week received, especially since it lasted just four days, about half as long as the other fashion weeks.
Any company or person looking for a highly engaged audience next season would be smart to pay attention.