I have been in the fashion business a long time. I’ve seen so many products over the years that I practically have a PHD in fashion. Fashion is my job. I literally live and breathe fashion. I know what I like or dislike immediately. When I visit a showroom, it’s similar to a visceral reaction when something agrees with me. Year in and year out I’ve attended countless shows and visited numerous designers’ showrooms. Those of us know what we love and what we don’t. We also know right away if something will be a hit with the fashion public or if it won’t. Once you are around product enough in a lifetime, it becomes almost second nature about what will become amazing. There is a distinguishing mark concerning simply good and and the best. There is a huge chasm between what will simply sell and what till be a major grand slam to the fashion public. The fashion public is a bit different than the cloistered world of fashionables such as editors and tastemakers. The fashion public actually knows what to buy and what they will love and like. However, they often need guidance and to be shown what is hot and popular. They know what will be a valuable asset to their wardrobes. And mind you, it’s not always what the fashion press tells them to buy. It’s also what they see on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The fashion press only has so much control over what the public will purchase and use. You can write numerous articles about what you love and how much you adore a designer label, but it’s the general public in the end that decides if a label will be successful or not. Yet keep in mind many of the trends start with the media and have a boomerang effect with shoppers. After all, they are the ones that will purchase and use the product day in and day out. They are the driving force that will tell their friends and family how much they love a designer label. Someone purchases a handbag and carries it for a few days. Before you know it, she’s told her friends and family and also spread the word via various social media outlets. Fashion can only sustain itself when the general public buys into a product and when powerful forces in the world of fashion promote new designs.
And this is where social media comes into play; especially with designer handbag brands. It is now so easy to share and show what you love to wear and carry. Outfit posts of the day are now as common as sharing photos of your kids and pets. Instagram especially is very much driven by fashion. Millions of women and men all over the globe use Instagram as their fashion diary and style platform. They don’t only post one photo a day, but anywhere from two to six. Instagram is a massively popular social media site that is even surpassing Facebook in numbers. Facebook is now more in favor with the senior citizen set if you can believe it. Users from the age of 15-45 are migrating to Instagram in droves. One of the main reasons is ease of use. It’s simple to interact on Instagram. The layout is clean and simple. Your page isn’t crowded as it is on Facebook. There isn’t a huge urgency to write massive amounts with a post as Instagram is centered around photographs. So you can simply hit the little heart which means like and move on to the next post from another poster. If you want, you may even write a little comment below an Instagram post/photo, but it’s not mandatory. The app itself moves so much smoother than Facebook as it’s not as cluttered. Every now and then an advertisement will slip through your feed and it’s annoying, but bearable. It’s truly no wonder the fashionable and those that love fashion have taken to Instagram. The app itself is clean and fashionable; it’s the perfect platform to share pictures of handbags and especially designer handbags. A stylish fashionista can post an Insta and discuss how good the quality is and if the label lives up to the hype. The taste makers of today aren’t only bloggers, but they are style stars on Instagram. In fact, many people don’t read blogs as frequently as they did even one or two years ago. Digital is important to style and especially handbag lines, but one of the most important platforms is Instagram. As I mentioned above, the ease of use is amazingly simple and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. One of the reasons people area reading fewer blogs is because it’s more time consuming compared to Instagram. And let’s not forget we live in an image based society. It’s much faster and easier to absorb a quick photo than it is to read a lot of text on a blog.
So while social media, especially Instagram, plays a huge role in the world of handbags and brands, print is still not out of style. There is often a lot of debate about print being out of style or not wielding enough influence, but it is simply not true. Print magazines and publications are a mainstay in the fashion and design world. Especially the tried and true stalwarts. Customers, shoppers, and fashionables expect to be told and guided as to what is ‘in’ and what they should perhaps purchase. It’s human nature that people need to be guided and told what to do and buy. That may sound a bit harsh, but when it comes to fashion, shoppers need ideas. Of course if the promoted product doesn’t live up to expectations, customers will not make the purchase. A product such as a handbag has to live up to hype. However, it is that initial mention from a famous editor that gets the ball rolling. If a picture of a labels goods is shown in a major magazine, a reader sees that as a distinguishing mark that it’s an amazing product and that they will keep it in mind when shopping. Several of my friends and colleagues in the fashion industry instinctively know what is cool and they don’t need anyone to tell or guide their sense of style. I am like that as well. But a majority of the public needs gentle guidance concerning fashionable purchases.
The major players in fashion print magazines are the glossies with the most power such as VOGUE and British VOGUE. Their editors attend all of the top shows and know nearly every designer in the industry. So while social media is a huge player in fashion so too is print and the power of stylish editors. Just take a look on Instagram during the shows and there are thousands of pics of editors and what sort of handbags they are carrying. Everyone is keen to know what editors favor, love, and carry; even more so than bloggers since the latter has become so ubiquitous. It’s very presumtive for people to write-off the importance of print. What matters now is how you capture a readers/viewers attention span. Attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter and big brands and designer labels need to remember this. I even find my attention span becoming shorter much to my chagrin. Designer handbags especially are easy to promote on all sorts of digital platforms and in print. Remember, a potentential buyer doesn’t have to try on a handbag. A handbag doesn’t take the same sort of hard sell as clothing. Handbags are easy to photograph whether it’s on Instagram or in fashion magazines. The one thing a woman nearly always needs by her side is a handbag. It’s been that way for years. Even though I’m discussing handbags and how they are viewed in the modern age, let’s face it, handbags have been around for a very long time. And print publications have also been around for a very long time. Even before the famous fashion editors of our generation, they existed long before. There were fashion editors and writers in the early 1900’s. It takes a range of platforms across different mediums to promote and show major products such as designer handbags.
And even though sites such as Pinterest exist, many shoppers still prefer to tear pictures from magazines. Of course a digital scrapbook is great and the who can coexist together. Most certainly that is one of the better ways to shop; have fashion boards on Pinterest and also save tear sheets from magazines. There is no one perfect way to shop for designer handbags today. It’s a varied experience for every shopper. Everyone talks about shoppers only making purchases online, but high-end department stores are still packed with fashionables making purchases. There is now a blended way that people shop for famous labels such as designer handbags. And not all physical stores stock must-have handbag labels. Often online shoppers will pin pictures from websites and the goods may only be available on that particular site and not for sale in every department store around the world. Both digital and print platforms work together to fuel sales of designer handbags and to promote the people behind those labels. It’s often that you will read an interview with designers behind a label in a well known fashion glossy magazine and a few weeks later also read a profile about them on famous websites and blogs. At times, both the online world and offline world work together to promote not only big brands, but also smaller lesser known labels. So consumers get used to seeing a label talked about and they remember to check them out either online or in a store. Maybe the consumer will pin a few of said designers images to the Pinterest boards or perhaps tear out stores from fashion magazines, but either way they know what to look for.
Today fashionables and shoppers have many options when shopping for designer handbags. They learn about the designers behind the labels on and offline and the same for shopping. And though many consumers need to be guided in their purchases, the product won’t take off unless the consumer herself truly loves a product such as a luxury handbag. They want to purchase products that are extremely well made and that will last several years. There is nothing worse than making an expensive purchase only for it to fall apart a few months later. And even though Instagram is incredibly popular, fashionistas are becoming more and more aware that many of the posts they see across social media are sponsored. However, many consumers are aware of this and that is fine. And many style stars won’t promote a product that they do not like. Consumers rely on style stars that have the same taste as they do or a wardrobe they admire. Take Olivia Palermo for instance, she has style that many consumers relate to or would like to look like. Her fashion choices are chic and sleek without looking overly done up. And she never wears clothing that is too revealing. Her handbag choices are nearly always spot-on. Instagrammers love to see what the stylish set such as Olivia Pallermo are carrying. They also love to flip through magazines and see what celebs are wearing and carrying. The world of shopping for designer handbags is changing, yet not as fast as some may think. Shoppers still love the thrill of making a new purchase, it’s that they go about it slightly differently these days. They have the guidance from editors of print magazines and then also reading about it online. And finally, the product itself has to be a standout handbag for word to catch on that they really are amazing. Don’t forget, a product has to live up to its hype in order to become a fast favorite with fashionable shoppers.
AUTHOR BIO: My name is Jemma Mornington and I am a fashion and technology editor. I often write about the intersection between the fashion world and the tech world. You may also find me as a guest blogger for PLIA Designs purveyor of some of the best designer handbags in the world.