The rise of the Internet has caused once popular retailers like American Apparel and BCBG to file for bankruptcy while brands like BEBE are migrating from brick-and-mortar to online only. In an industry where the look, fit and feel of the product is paramount, it’s surprising that the fashion world is thriving on online. Influencers are replacing models and Instagram posts are replacing print ads. Consequently, the new “it” thing when it comes to fashion advertising is social media marketing.

Instagram and fashion are the perfect pair

Almost more than any other field, the fashion industry is hugely visual. It’s no wonder then that the photo-driven app is the vehicle most fashion houses are choosing to propel their brands. The virality of Instagram makes it a great way for brands to share their message and build a connection.

Influencer collaboration is trumping traditional marketing

When Burberry was being destroyed for choosing David Beckham’s teenage son to photograph their 2016 campaign, they were forced to explain. While many were in protest that he was undeserving, Burberry explained that it wasn’t Beckham’s creative eye that won him the position- it was his then 6 million followers on Instagram.

Fashion houses are seeing the value in influence and are capitalizing on others’ popularity to boost their own. Instead of spending marketing dollars on photoshoots of models in uncomfortable-looking poses, they’re using it on online influencers who have a more authentic voice.

Whether it’s celeb influencers or micro-influencers, brands are seeking out individuals for a more holistic way of peddling their products. This re-formatting of fashion marketing has created an entire sub-industry where brands and influencers do business.

“Fashion Influencer” is becoming a legitimate profession

While many people on your Instagram aren’t getting paid for those promotional posts, earning money with your Instagram is possible. It won’t come easy, though. Everyday people, bloggers and celebs are vying for brands’ attention so that they can make a living posting photos on Instagram.

Being a successful fashion influencer requires followers, unique content, a great fashion sense (duh), and a ton of influence. People may love your photos but if they don’t trust your opinion, you’re useless to advertisers. This trust comes from personally engaging with your followers, continuously vouching for good products, and a lot of invested time.

People who have no traditional experience or training are now able to build a business branded solely on themselves. If you have a good eye and a smartphone, you’re eligible.

While top influencers can make up to 150k per post, the norm is much less than that- about $5,000 for influencers with around 100k followers. That’s a lot more than you and I probably make in a month. Excuse me while I go jump off a building. For influencers with less followers than 100k, they can still make a few hundred to a thousand per post.

As a side note, if you want to be a social media influencer without the work, go on The Bachelor. Homegirl Corinne is pretty much set for life based purely on bad choices and cheese pasta.


Just like how chokers are the new black, Instagram is replacing the catwalk as the go-to spot for fashion trends. Gone are the days where you need to put pants on to see what the coolest new pants are- just open that amazing little pink app and scroll away.