As indie and disruptor fashion brands rise in importance, traditional fashion brands are looking to their younger siblings to collaborate, with a heavy emphasis on Instagram.

Jimmy Choo recently revamped its image with a collaboration with street-savvy brand Off White, founded by DJ and designer Virgil Abloh. The resulting shoes kept the traditional Jimmy Choo silhouette, but added touches of the younger brand’s quirkier style. 

This unconventional move allowed Jimmy Choo to tap into Off White’s sizable online fan base. Although the shoe brand has a bigger Instagram community than Off White, with seven million followers as opposed to Off White’s two million, they get roughly the same number of likes per post and Off White sees three times more engagement.

Tods on Instagram

Similarly, Italian heritage brand Tod’s used Instagram to capture a younger Asian audience by collaborating with K-pop idol Krystal. With a $928 billion e-commerce market (for comparison, the US market is just $398 billion), China offers a significant opportunity for brands. Tod’s still has a relatively small Instagram community, with under 100,000 followers and one or two thousand likes per post. But the brand’s posts with Krystal got as many as four times more likes, as well as comments from her fans.

Collaborations with new labels and influencers can help a brand extend its reach to a wider consumer base and transcend traditional sectors. These collaborations also reveal that traditional fashion brands are moving out with the old and in with the new, as millennials become their key targets.

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