The ground beneath fashion’s feet is shifting. From Burberry to Louis Vuitton, stereotypically stuffy brands are taking to the streets for inspiration. The value millennials place on authenticity and informality has had an outsize impact on the industry, with logomania and the demand for streetwear reaching an all-time high in 2018. Here’s how luxury fashion brands are remaking their aesthetic and creative direction to embody the new mood.
Louis Vuitton is one of the most recent brands to sink its teeth into streetwear, appointing Virgil Abloh as men’s artistic director. This has also impacted brands’ marketing strategies and consumers’ search habits, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion Global. Luxury brands are leveraging streetwear for high-low collaborations and increasing their adoption of streetwear’s distribution tactics. Price and quality are no longer the only indicators of luxury, and brands and retailers are experimenting with artificial scarcity and limited distribution, including “drop culture” to create demand and urgency, a strategy pioneered by streetwear brands like Supreme. Brands’ promotion of limited edition drops, streetwear collaborations or exclusive store events are now frequently seen on social media, mimicking tactics used by streetwear brands.
The streetwear ideals of authenticity and community have also impacted brands’ influencer strategies. While brands still use influencers for reach and awareness, the tightening standards for influencer marketing and the increasing perception of influencers as advertorial content has diminished their impact. This is especially true for a small group of fashion insiders commonly used by brands for influencer marketing. By shifting spend across a wider range of influencers in different niches, brands can expand their reach into untapped communities and audiences.