With their 2017-18 men’s fashion show and their Fall/Winter 2017-18 Women’s fashion show, Dolce & Gabanna has broken the rule of professional models on the runway and celebrities in the front row. D&G invited the social influencers to walk in their show instead of just watching it. A strategy that from a marketing POV, was a huge success. After all, now you can find backstage stories of the show on several YouTube channels with millions of subscribers and the #D&Gprinces – as they were titled on the Instagram account of the label – didn’t hold back with posting about the event.
The fashion show is available online for everyone to watch in case you want to take a look and see your favorites walk.
Instagram and other social media have opened up a lot of opportunities, especially for models. Just last week you could read a story about a model that made it from Instagram to Paris fashion week in a year. These kinds of stories are the ones that inspire you and make people believe that they can reach that kind of success too. Nevertheless, Dolce & Gabanna went even further than just picking their models over Instagram. They chose people that in some cases had no modelling experience at all, but instead, because they have a social media influence.
Is a social media career becoming the new standard or necessity? Dolce & Gabanna have made the first step into this direction, while other designers still seem to be reluctant to include the influencers in this way into their shows, even though followers seem to become more and more important for castings and agencies.
The Social Media stars of today have transformed a hobby into a job. They are more and more present in the mainstream media and part of the celebrity culture. They seem to take over in every way and show that social media has to be taken seriously. Still, questions that were often asked about the show were: Did it cheapen the brand that they had Instagramers and YouTubers walking their fashion show instead of professionals? Are the audiences of the D&G millennials really the ones that are buying the label’s products?
The funny thing is, those questions weren’t asked by the reporters writing for magazines or papers about the event, but by people commenting on it via social media. The possibility of everyone being able to make it also means that there are a lot of disappointed people who do not make it and the disappointment often surfaces through hate comments on social media. The comments about the show (or rather the models) have been filled with hate and jealousy. Amid the great publicity they just recieved for their show, Dolce & Gabanna have also shown what a hateful and jealous society we can be. People seem to forget that running a YouTube channel, Instagram page or blog can also be a full-time job. Through letting the influencers walk in their show, the designers have shown that the fashion industry acknowledges their power and takes them seriously. Instead of seeing these young successful people as an inspiring example, in a professional work field that is to some still ridiculous. It isn’t. We live in a time were social media and social media presence is a serious business and a lot of people seem to have realized it. The media, different industries and companies have started to work with it and its influence. And maybe, even in the case that you can’t accept it as a serious business, stop hating and judging them. We all live in a time where we should help each other up instead of tearing each other down. Let’s not forget that hate has never changed things in a good way.
And to answer the questions, I don’t think D&G has cheapened their brand by including the influencers. If anything, they have become more visible and well-known to a whole other audience, maybe the buyers of tomorrow. Furthermore, I doubt that the people who usually buy their products will stop buying them just because they didn’t let professional models walk down the runway. I honestly think they won’t even care. It seems to be everyone else that cares, while you can find comments about people saying they wouldn´t buy D&G if they had the money to purchase a brand in its price range, I couldn´t find one that said I won´t buy the brand anymore because of these shows. The anger, discomfort or lack of understanding of the labels decision that the commentators have expressed is because it changes the game. We see “ordinary people” do a job that had been reserved for professionals before and people are afraid of being exchanged for somebody who may be less capable of doing the job but more popular and charismatic.