McDonald’s-inspired products. Bubble-gum pink Barbie frocks. Construction couture. Car wash glam. Over the last couple of seasons, Moschino has gone big on pop culture – what some have called a ‘popaganda’ – with ever-flamboyant surprises thrown in at every opportunity.
Continuous novelty, playfulness, entertainment and, most importantly, hyping it up to the max are the things that come to mind when I think of Moschino, especially under creative director Jeremy Scott.
In the last two years, Scott has taken the Italian brand back to its eccentric roots. From the world’s fashion royalty – magazines, bloggers, influencers and the like – it’s been lauded. This direction, however, has also resonated with the most important new fashion demographic, the digital millenials.
Particularly in China. ‘I love the American lifestyle and what it stands for,’ a friend, a Chinese lifestyle PR manager from Shanghai, recently told me. ‘I look out for American celebrities and I follow entertainment gossip.’ With increased exposure to global trends, Chinese consumers have an ever-growing desire to stand out from the crowd, and immediately, too.
Moschino has intelligently played into this, marrying its popaganda with the power of social media. Scott’s utterly Instagrammable creations have been the darling of the digital realm and opened the brand to a whole new class of people who aspire to live the American glampop life. The Windex-referencing Fresh Couture phone case, for example, which has been wielded by A-list celebrities, bloggers, supermodels and ‘it’ girls, has become the ultimate, simple statement piece. Best of all, for the Chinese millennial/Gen Y consumer, this instantaneous ‘it’ girl status is accessible for a mere RMB200.
Moschino’s poptastic DNA was always going to suit social media, but it is hardly the only brand to put social media squarely at the centre of their mission to capture the ever-growing digital audience.
Versace, for one, has seen its potential. The Milanese fashion house has been enlisting the ‘it’ girls of social media to help it rule the digital world. Gigi Hadid, Natasha Poly and Raquel Zimmerman, who boast a combined Instagram followership of more than 16m, were the faces of SS16’s icy twist campaign. This approach is continuing for the AW16/17 and couture collections, this time with big name supermodels. With Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Lara Stone, and Rosie Huntington-Whitely heading up the campaign, it’s a great example of how models are now selected for not only their looks but their social media influence, as well.
The instantaneous, broad reach of social media has led to many changes in the fashion world’s habits. But increasingly, everyone is going to know how to play the game. The question then is, how do you grab the public’s attention and then keep it?
Columnist Yanie Durocher is the creator of fashion and lifestyle blog THE MARGINALIST. She has worked in the luxury fashion realm in Milan, New York, Paris and Montreal, and Shanghai, where she now calls home. Read more from Yanie at themarginalist.com.