Word for the Wise: Why brands are investing in Underdog Influencers

Madison by Nicolas le Forestier.

Gucci is killing it.

It started when I was scrolling (spare me the eye rolls, I’m a millennial) through Instagram, fanning over my latest musical crushes like Børns, Wild Belle, Aurora. All of them, decked out in surprisingly high-brow labels — McQueen, Valentino, and most aggressively, Gucci. In case you’ve moved away from the fashion week scene, this is one thing to know — this newly restructured nerd-chic label is absolutely rising from the out-of-touch ashes its peers have seemed to sink into. Thanks to Alessandro Michelle — who has been at the helm of Gucci for just over one year — that $3000.00 Dionysus bag doesn’t seem exorbitant (it is) or out of touch (it might be, considering North America’s consumer culture is unprecedented around the world), but rather symbolic, rebellious, and as we’ve probably caught our parents saying as we bought our first “work outfit” — A total investment piece.

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Chiara Ferregni

What’s working? Well, big brands are starting small — they’re reaching out to form relationships with smaller indie bands, brands and bloggers who have a true aura of authenticity — they’re in the bubble that Chanel, Dior, even Vetements at times — seems to exist beyond. By dressing cool 20-somethings as they perform at dive bars, local pubs or grab coffee in Brooklyn, these super-brands are tapping into every market they can, including the most powerful one — ours.

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It’s powerful, too — For who are our discerning eyes going to believe, at the end of the day? Is Chiara Ferragni and her Instagram account, brimming with literally every it-item in the industry, going to persuade us to part with our hard-earned dollars, or will it be the girl-next-door with undiscovered style, carefully selecting who — and what — she represents?

Just some food for thought as we take the next decade to observe, shape our society and make fashion an industry that’s fantastic for all.

In love and labels,
Madison (M/O/M)