Skills and talent are important in any field. But so is adaptability to the changing landscapes. In fashion’s case: capturing the attention of the generation whose eyes are always glued on the screens of their gadgets.
The answer it appears is simple: Instagram.
Fashion innovator, mentor, and style icon Andre Chang, during a talk before a crowd of fashion design and merchandising students of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, emphasized the importance of the ability to adapt.
“Social media plays a very huge part in fashion, and Instagram is always the most effective channel in the online platform today,” confirmed Chang, “If you want to make it big in terms of digital, you better use Instagram to build and establish your brand.”
He cited the photo- and video-sharing app’s wider reach and more vivid visual compared to other venues such as Twitter and Facebook, thereby making it the better channel to showcase aesthetic creations.
Chang, whose first business venture started on the now-defunct social networking service Friendster, recalled how people used to only rely on fashion shows, fundraising events, and glossy magazines. But social media, he said, changed the landscape. “There was no way before to promote your products online unless you have your own website.”
He further expressed that technology allows direct access to things that were once challenging to reach, such as affairs of fashion, which can now be livestreamed.
“Digital transformation and innovation allows fashion to become democratized. You must also build your reputation within the industry for the general public to respect you whatever your profession is,” said Chang, adding that creating a brand is more than just uploading photos and gaining followers. He currently has over 18,000 followers on his Instagram where he regularly posts his looks and styling creations.
Benilde FDM alumni Abraham Guardian and Mamuro Oki seconded Chang’s statements, citing how Instagram helped them reach more audience for their experimental brand Ha.Mü.
“It was initially challenging to gain followers. Instagram has greatly assisted us in reaching out not just in Manila but also in other parts of Luzon,” revealed Guardian. “It successfully connected us with buyers and other stylists who expanded our brand.”
Oki said the social networking service has been one of the marketing strategies of their fast-evolving line. “It is through our Instagram account that local and international clients see our products,” he shared.
Chang reiterated that one of the main advantages of being on Instagram is that anyone can easily get a grasp of the brand. “Visual is important,” he posited.
Guardian and Oki, however, clarified that they do not solely rely on the digital platform to market their brand.
“For those who do not use Instagram, we reach out to them by how we dress up,” shared Guardian. “I am a maximalist person and whenever I go to an event, I put on whatever I want. It is easy if they see things instantly.”