Marc Jacobs Totally Doesn’t Get Social Media
- Thalia Fairweather
Fashion legend Marc Jacobs apparently doesn't 'get' the importance of social media. In a world where your fashion career can be made by your online presence, Thalia tells us why she thinks Jacobs is wrong
Last week in an interview with British Vogue, Marc Jacobs promoted the idea that social media (instead of being the all-good tool for promotion that many believe it is) is actually both volatile and uninteresting. He told Suzy Menkes, Vogue’s International Fashion Editor: “I am so appalled by the whole social media thing. I don’t get it, it doesn’t appeal to me, neither does a computer, or working on a laptop… I am just not of that generation. I get it the allure of it, but it just doesn’t appeal to me.”
Now, as someone from ‘that generation’, one consumed by FOMO and the pressure of getting your work ‘out there’, the thought of being without social media alarms me. How exactly is it irrelevant if it’s the main source for information consumption today? And more importantly, how is it irrelevant if we’ve reached a stage where social media in itself shapes the trends we see in our fashion stores? In the past, I’d say that high fashion led the trends we’d see in the likes of River Island and Topshop. Nowadays, social media platforms such as Tumblr contribute to these trends, for example the ’90s resurgence as seen in Urban Outfitters and on Asos.
How exactly is [social media] irrelevant if it is the main source for information consumption today?
As a blogger, I think that social media is an essential tool to get our messages out there. Fashion-focused website lookbook.nu, established in 2008, now claims to have over 50,000 users (myself included) and have one million unique visitors every month encouraging people from all around the world to join. It’s a haven for everyone fashion obsessed, regardless of their age or socioeconomic position.
I also see social media giants Twitter and Instagram acting as a dominant force promoting fashion, with ‘#fbloggers’ trending on Twitter on a weekly basis and ‘#fashion’ being one of the most popular Instagram hashtags of all time (ranked 23rd as of last summer). Personally, I tend to stay away from using hashtags on social media, however I do use Twitter and Instagram regularly to promote my blog posts. Because of this my readership has increased steadily over the past 18 months and I’ve felt a sense of achievement when people actually read the content I produce. As I mentioned earlier, coming from a generation under pressure to put ourselves ‘out there’, this is important to me.
I appreciate Jacobs may not be from my generation, but this doesn’t mean that social media is an irrelevant way of promoting the fashion industry. London Fashion Week’s official Twitter account has 832,000 followers. British Fashion Council has a 169,000-strong follower base, while Vogue Magazine has an impressive 5.4 million to their name. I should also mention a few of my favourite fashion bloggers, all of whom I avidly follow on social media – Lily of llymlrs.com, Camilla of intothefoldfashion.com and Isabella of viewsofnow.com. This power trio, due to a combination of fresh content and social media presence, have all had opportunities to collaborate with trendy fashion brands like New Look, Shellys London and Missguided. Does having Twitter accounts make them foolish? No. It’s their way of ensuring the public are always updated, which keeps their interest. And, in an industry which is ever-changing, that is crucial.
Feature image from Time, insert via Tumblr.