New Media: A new platform for fashion industry


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Written by: Mahesh Shaw & Mehak Mittal

Social media has opened doors to new and emerging designers with
small budgets to push their creativity and contribute to the fashion
world by actively staying plugged-in. Designers and brands now market
themselves directly to clients through the social media and gradually
build brand loyalty because of the user-friendly and accessible nature
of social media, write
Mahesh Shaw and
Mehak Mittal.

New Media is a catch term of the 21st Century. Very broadly, new
media is something related to the internet and the interplay among
technology, images, and sound. It is about making things digital, and
has characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense,
compressible and interactive. The various forms of new media are
internet, websites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS and
DVDs. The population of internet users is increasing at a very fast
rate. According to a nationally representative survey by the Pew
Research Centre’s Internet and American Life Project, some 70 per cent
of American adults aged 18 and older have speed-broadband connection at
home as of May 2013. India has the 3rd largest internet user population
after China and the US as per the report NASDOC: SCOR, 2013.

The internet is one of the forms of new media which we use
extensively. We say humans are social animals. We now say humans are
digital animals. We tweet, re-tweet, share, post, upload, comment, like,
follow and update 24/7. For us, being social means going digital in the
world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr and
LinkedIn which are the most commonly used social media networks. Not
only is our social life getting digitalised, our entire lifestyle is
also getting progressively influenced by the internet. People chat, have
online discussions and forums on micro-blogging sites, read books,
magazines, and newspapers on the web, shop online, email, and surf
various search engines for anything and everything they want to know
either on their phones or tablets. Social media is the most popular form
of new media used for virtual communication, which allows us to stay
connected to all of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances with the
click of a button.

Social media and fashion

The fashion industry uses social media as a promising platform to
connect with consumers directly. Social media is used by brands of all
categories. It has also played a major role in helping the fashion
industry reach out to a much wider customer base with lesser costs and
more presence in the digital world. All fashion brands and designers
have a Facebook page, and a Twitter and an Instagram accounts. Brands
have also started previewing their collections exclusively on Pinterest.

To drive growth, to be more exclusive, and to augment the user’s
online brand experience, luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana,
and Burberry have launched their own social networks. Chanel along with
its social networking site has also launched an application with Apple
where it allows users to catch up on the latest news, watch exclusive
ready-to-wear shows, browse through looks, and also locate stores
nearby. DKNY used Instagram to interact one-to-one with fans.