The global fashion industry is worth 1.9 trillion dollars as of 2019 (Statista, 2022). Much of this revenue comes from designer brands like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. Over the past few decades, these high-end brands have increased in popularity. Their marketing teams have found a way to attract many demographics. Designer clothes are no longer exclusively for the world's richest. Now, they reach a variety of ages, races, and income brackets.
Luxury brands are spending 33% of advertising costs on digital marketing. (G & CO, ?). The most successful brands spend hundreds of millions on advertising. The most recent annual figures for Gucci’s advertising spend is roughly $567 million, an estimated 11% of Gucci’s revenue. (swiftadmin, 2021). Digital marketing has become essential. “You know about the shift from what you call traditional to digital [marketing]… I mean on one level, you could say you know shift or die”, says Susan Fournier, Dean of Boston University's Questrom School of Business. Brands have harnessed the power of Social Media. Pinterest, for example, is one of the best platforms for brands because it gives customers purchasing power, meaning users have the ability to purchase products through the app with only a few clicks. In addition, Pinterest is a good traffic-driving site because the lifetime of posts is much longer than on Facebook and Instagram.
Fashion Week is another major opportunity for brands to market themselves. Initially, it was created, so wealthy clientele could see a variety of designer brands in one city and one week. Brands still benefit from these shows. Aspen Bilton-Gregoire, a high school senior and director of a 2022 Social Works Chicago fashion show, says, “Brands need to showcase their new work each season and put the outfits on people to bring the pieces to life.” This is true. But, nowadays, designer fashion shows seem to be less about what’s on the runway and more about what celebrities are sitting in the front row. Celebrities attract the press which results in profit. This form of indirect marketing and/or endorsements is very powerful.
The majority of today’s luxury fashion brands have remained in the spotlight because of their clever use of digital marketing and their reputations. Since many have been around for decades, they’ve become a symbol of elitism. Once a brand has reached that level, it is hard for them to go out of business.
Susan Fournier, Dean of Boston Universities Questrom School of Business
Kassandra Gutierrez, Student at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School