A while ago a post I wrote touched on how luxury brands can’t rely on influencer marketing to convert sales. To briefly recap, millennials are the largest group of social media users. So many of our behaviours, consciously or subconsciously, are dictated by the performative aspect of a platform like Facebook or Instagram. After all, we grew up learning how to filter, curate albums, choose photogenic restaurants for our birthdays – the TGI Friday celebrations of our 10 year old selves won’t cut it anymore. Unless we’re trying to be both ironic and nostalgic, in which case you can bet that’s going public.
So we like to show off but not necessarily material things but skills, accomplishments and experiences. Part of this is the tightening of our finances where we leave school with more debt than we really comprehend (I still don’t understand what my student loan repayment plan actually is, I just pay it 🤷🏻♀️). And for the bolder amongst us, we are leaving those six figure salary expectations behind in pursuit of a more meaningful, creative and personal way to earn the big dollars.
Context over, what does that mean for luxury now? When I was categorised as a luxury lifestyle blogger I was a little surprised. I’ve never featured the latest ‘it’ bag on my Instagram or any statement heels off the runway so how did I end up with that tag? Okay, so I don’t advertise fast fashion but that was a
decision more so out of bad and unprofessional experiences with almost every one of those retailers, rather than a heated distaste for things obviously Made In China. And that’s when I realised that while the actual luxury buyers of today may still be our parents, brands are prepping our age group to be the next legion of loyalists.
Want some convincing? Gigi and Kendall. Okay, I’ll try harder – Louis Vuitton’s shift from Gorbachev in 2007 to using an anime character during their 2015 campaign. The see-now-buy-now concept as seen in Burberry, as opposed to the strict seasonality as dictated by the very idea of a ‘Fashion Season’. The revival of 90’s brands, like the ones we grew up admiring such as Tommy Hilfiger (omg who would’ve thought right) and Calvin Klein – and for like a month, DKNY thanks to Cara. And finally, Kim in Balmain advertisements. If the world of luxury didn’t have its eye cast on the 18-30 year olds of this world, then I don’t know what all the strange social-driven phenomena of the above is about.
Right, so what does this mean for bloggers and influencers who are seen as ‘luxury’ or desire this tag? As I said in an interview, real luxury is aspirational. It’s not something to show off like a close up of a double C lock a la Chinese reseller. For millennials, the definition of luxury is slightly different to what it means for older generations. It is not so much about the cost and status but also the idea that time is well spent, enjoyed and yes, aesthetically pleasing. That in itself is far more acceptable on social than extravagant behaviour that attracts attention and resentment (think Rich Kids of Instagram). And if that so happens to be a feed of carefully selected designer pieces (mostly bought on sale) and top foodie restaurants in London, apparently that counts too.
Shot by Anastasija, @anastasija__je
Ksenia Schnaider t-shirt
Burberry trench coat