Instagram & fashion: a perfect marriage

instagramAbove all other social media sites, the fashion industry has embraced Instagram, a fact that is amply illustrated in the Abrams book “Designers on Instagram #Fashion.”

The beautiful but compact book is like a portable mood board showing us the places, people, objects and clothing that have inspired a wide array of the membership of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

In addition to the pure aesthetic pleasure of looking at pictures that have been curated by Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs and many other designers, the book demonstrates the commercial value of Instagram to the people who work in the rag trade.

“Using Instagram, a designer can test a customer’s response to a new handbag. If a designer wants to showcase the process leading up to a collection, they can chronicle the journey from the sketch stage to center stage,” notes CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb in his introduction.

“…many of our designers have not only embraced Instagram, they have used it in unparalleled ways. instagram3Perhaps there is no better example than when Oscar de la Renta debuted his fall campaign in July 2013 on OscarPRgirl’s Instagram account weeks before any major fashion books were privy. Fans who loyally follow the brand felt like they were getting access to something before anyone else. The campaign also defied traditional marketing practices and set the stage for many brand strategies to come,” Kolb writes.

The CFDA is now citing an “Instagrammer of the Year”  at its annual Fashion Awards, an addition that is boosting the volume and creativity of fashion world pictures being added to the site every day.

Because an Instagram feed consists of one single picture after another — most with minimal captioning — you quickly get a sense of a user’s lifestyle and interests. The rise of the iPhone has made photography easy for busy people who never had the time to lug a camera around or to bother with choosing and processing pictures.

Spur of the moment shots are encouraged by the cameras in our phones and we can link them to social network accounts in a matter of seconds.

Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom writes that in the pre-camera phone era, “capturing a moment became planned, not something that could happen right at the second something truly caught your eye…The fashion community on Instagram teaches us the art of how to simply and powerfully unlock a story.”

Based on the beautiful and educational evidence of this mini-coffee table volume, Instagram could be a source of many other photo books in the future. And, imagine the massive historical record of day-to-day life that is being collected and stored for future generations to ponder.