Hannah Law: Has fashion been affected by digital?


The speed of fashion online

Today I spoke to my successor, Hannah Law – Head of Social Media at Switched On Media – about the effect she believes digital has had on fashion.  I for one think it’s fascinating to see the way new fashions birth and die.  These macro and micro trends are something that will ultimately drive sales and even communities.  Just look at the Spirit Hood (mine is from boutique Desordre in Sydney) – this is a whole movement around conservation, fashion and celebrity.

Just like fixies and step-throughs in Surry Hills.

1.  Do you think the internet has changed or altered what is fashionable?

Yes, what is now considered fashionable has changed in terms of global trends and individuality (if there is still such a thing!). Trends now spread more quickly to Australia from Europe and the States and style has become more global, a good example of this is Tokyo’s Harajuku girls who became international trendsetters.

Individuality is now even more important to the fashion-conscious with consumers jumping at the opportunity to look beyond the traditional fashion icons of celebrities and models to other stylish individuals for fashion cues. For example fashion blog The Sartorialist http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com has become incredibly popular because it shows everyday people who have a unique sense of style.

2.  Do you think it’s easier for people to be more fashionable or have more style now because of social media?

I think social media takes each of these changes – globalisation and individuality – to a new level which makes it easier for people to be more fashionable or stylish. It is even easier for Australians to see what celebrities, models, designers and everyday people are wearing in London, New York or Milan. This globalisation of fashion combined with a view that everyday people are style icons helps people develop their own individual sense of style. Social media also lets people find more inspiration, for example, looking at friends pics on Facebook might inspire you to wear a certain top differently or to try a style you had never even considered before.

3.  Do you read fashion blogs? How has it impacted your fashion choice?

Yes, I read a few fashion blogs but not religiously. I think it has encouraged me to stick to my own style rather than following trends.

4.  Do you think Men have had a greater exposure to fashion because of the internet?

The internet has probably helped make fashion sense more popular and mainstream for men.  I imagine it is easier for guys to find out about trends, new collections and styles online than it was in the days of newspapers and magazines.

5.  Is fashion more, less or of same important for new generations?

I think fashion has, and will, always be a defining element of a generation.

6.  Best tip for fashion for 2010?

I’m really not an expert(!) but I guess it would be: keep it real ;)

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Grace Gordon at 12:57 pm

    Great Post. I love how the internet / social media has effected my wardrobe and personal sense of style and the industry as a whole.

    It’s really nice to see a select group of fashion editors who are extremely detached from reality robbed of their power by the internet. In the past, trends and looks and style were essentially dictated to us by magazines. now we can subscribe to a bunch of different blogs we like, subscribe to ebay stores who sell their own clothes that we love (internationally and locally), search and browse content aggregators like lookbook and other street style sites for trends that we dig. it really takes the glory away from models and editors and allows everyday people to become style heroes.

    no doubt many fashion blogs still produce content around high fashion houses & models, but the trend is moving away from this stuff and definitely allowing more room for personal innovation and people to truly discover what they are into instead of being told what they are into.

  2. Jye Author at 1:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story, Grace. Really good insights.

    And 100% agree, allowing room to EXPLORE and DISCOVER in a personal journey is key.

  3. Hannah at 6:25 pm

    Thanks Grace – I agree about there being a trend away from high end content that is designed to exclude rather than include.

    You mentioned your style has been influence by social – what do you think the influences are? More/less experimental, international, creative?

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