With the dominance of social media in modern culture, it is no surprise that the fashion world is changing to accommodate a whole new world of social media celebrities and models, and uses their influence to gain a whole new audience. It is clear that Youtubers and Instagram stars have a significant influence over their followers, something that often leads to brands paying for their products to feature in videos or photos, and this influence is something that Dolce & Gabbana used to their advantage at their Autumn/ Winter 2017 Milan Menswear collection show.
The luxury Italian Fashion House have always been a star on the fashion week circuit, with keen fashion lovers paying close attention to what they will do next. At this year’s show, the designers appealed to the millennial market by featuring numerous social media influencers in their menswear show. Playing a key part in the collection was Austin Mahone, a 20-year-old American singer and songwriter with 9.7 million twitter followers who performed as the models were walking.
The clothes themselves certainly had a youthful feel, with bright colours and interesting prints dominating the collection. This creates the impression that Dolce & Gabbana are directing their brand at a whole new audience. The patterned suits and cheeky jumpers reflect a high fashion equivalent of the clothes millennials are interested in, albeit at a very different price point. Whilst the average teenager may not be able to afford the collection itself, the clever use of big names such as Lucky Blue Smith, an 18-year-old model with 2.7 million Instagram followers, and Marcus Butler, a popular Youtube star with 3 million twitter followers and 4.6 million subscribers on YouTube, drew in the interest of teenagers and led to the use of the hashtags #DGMillennials and #DGPrinces on Instagram and Twitter. Butler was featured wearing a patterned shirt with a bow tie, a Dolce & Gabbana branded belt, smart trousers with a partial velvet finish, and patterned smart shoes, a look that his followers will then try to emulate.
The jewel in the crown of Dolce & Gabbana’s royalty inspired collection was the show’s opener, Cameron Dallas, an incredibly popular internet influencer who has more than 17.5 million Instagram followers. Dallas walked the show in a patterned dark purple suit with a white shirt and purple bow tie, with his significant influence being clearly shown by the fact that the photo he posted of the event has reached nearly 1.3 million likes on Instagram.
Whilst some may argue that the runway should be reserved for ‘legitimate models’, with the questioning of whether social media stars can be called supermodels being raised in relation to megastars Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, in the case of Dolce & Gabbana the use of these models appears to be a smart decision. The use of young and upcoming models and social media influencers clearly created a hype around this show, with fans on twitter becoming incredibly excited by the appearance of their favourite stars, and whereas it can be argued that this hype led to discussion of the clothes becoming an afterthought, it is clear that the combination of bright and bold clothes and influential models has created an interest in Dolce & Gabbana that will hopefully continue.