“And when were done, I make him buy me Balmain”: A Digital Revolution
As quoted from the Trinidadian-born American female rapper Nicki Minaj, Balmain has become the forerunner of social media platforms.
Unless you were a fashion connoisseur, at one point in time getting valuable fashion information was almost close to impossible. Nowadays, live streams of runway shows and constant Twitter updates from bloggers and designers has become the norm. You no longer have to travel miles in order to attend fashion shows, or even wait a few days for your favorite magazine to publish the new and upcoming trends. Today you can scan the front row at a fashion show and expect to see spots that were formerly reserved for magazine editors and celebrities, now being filled with eager fashion bloggers whose following eagerly await their every update.
And with the rise of fashion bloggers and writers for online publications, the whole scene has become far more digital and social with minute to minute updates from every runway show you could think of. Designers are falling in love with the idea of being able to reach their audience on a more personal level. Something as simple as sending a tweet can help move you one step closer to engagement with your favorite brand.
Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, has raised the bar on his seasonal campaigns and social media following. This alone has taken the fashion world to new heights.
In addition to his beauty and youthfulness, Rousteing stands out for being a black designer in the top creative role at a storied design house. This puts him in a category of one in fashion, an industry that, “for the most part”, he says, “is playing the same game with the same people”.
“Balmain is not about hiding, it’s about showing.” Although some may disagree with that statement, it certainly does appeal to the young and affluent.
“I’m not acting like a teenager and saying: ‘Oh my God, social media is really important.’ It is more that, as a business person, I see that Instagram is the new way of selling and communicating. So, as a business person, I was wondering, what are the limits of social media? What can we communicate? It was important for me to show the limits of what you can show and what you can’t show.”
Balmain continues to dominate the social media world. With over 5 million Instagram followers, Balmain continues to set the tone for competing designers. Recently, Oliver teamed up with the notorious mainstream couple “Kimye” and collaborated with the power duo on his most recent fashion campaign. Rousteing decided to use a song from Kanye West’s new album: The Life of Pablo. Together they produced an amazing campaign that showcased not only the popular rapper and his wife, but the collection as well. If you ask me, Balmain is definitely winning in 2016.
This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Poole School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own.