YouTube: Fashion’s most diverse runway

Alison Lomax / February 2018

Google UK’s Alison Lomax, Director of Lifestyle & Retail, reveals the latest Google Search trends in fashion, why Fashion Week is no longer all about the ‘front row seat’ and how YouTube is fast becoming the ‘new black’ for designers and brands. Fashion has never been more accessible... and you’re all invited.

For over a century, there was only one ‘fashion platform’ that counted: the catwalk, and only an elite few got anywhere near the front row to view it.

Today, there’s a new fashion platform on the scene and of course, it’s the web. YouTube is fast emerging as one of the most influential spaces for fashion content, and now everyone can enjoy it – it’s no longer all about the front row seat. It gives the chance for designers and brands to appear in the spotlight, too.

We've just seen the 35th London Fashion Week, the bi-annual cycle of presentations, where we can access premium content from the catwalk on the British Fashion Council’s Channel, as well as behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive designer interviews.

For advertisers, the numbers are irresistible

A search for ‘London Fashion Week’ reveals over four million videos, with total views pushing billions. Not surprising then that even the glossy magazines are recognising that glossy videos are the future, with Vogue as a great example (have you seen its cult 73 Questions videos?).

Beautiful fashion photography is still important but video gives a completely new depth to show off how the clothes flow, feel and behave. If a picture ‘paints a thousand words’, how much more can a video convey?

73 Questions With Donatella Versace | Vogue

Then, combine your videos with VR/AR technology and the results can be mind-blowing. Take a look at the Google Arts & Culture #WeWearCulture YouTube series.

Some of the world’s greatest fashion museums and private collections are transformed into walk-in- wardrobes. From a spellbinding 360° video exploring Coco Chanel’s black dress at the Musee des Arts decoratifs in Paris, to Marilyn Monroe’s stilettos at The Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence.

Musée des Arts décoratifs: How did the black dress become an icon?
“YouTube is fast emerging as one of the most influential spaces for fashion content, and now everyone can enjoy it – it’s no longer all about the front row seat.”

– Alison Lomax, Director of Lifestyle & Retail, Google UK

Making fashion content accessible for all

The Devil Wears Prada coined the fashionistas’ favourite brag “everybody wants to be us” and now, thanks to YouTube, everyone can. This is no bad thing for brands; bloggers are now more influential than celebrities when it comes to product endorsements.

Influencers are trusted and they're emerging as fashion’s storytellers. One of their most popular video trends is ‘haul blogging’; where hundreds of millions of creators show and talk about products they’ve bought. Top vlogger Victoria Magrath of Inthefrow publishes this type of content three times a week, doing hauls for luxury brands like Net-A-Porter as well as high street brands like ASOS.


What I wore in New York | Fashion Week Haul | Inthefrow

The next big trend?

Of course, fashion is always searching for the next big thing, and Google and YouTube’s search-stats offer an inside track on what the future holds.

“Google searches for ‘ethical clothing’ are up +1600% YoY”

– Alison Lomax, Director of Lifestyle & Retail, Google UK

Right now, sustainability is the industry’s hot topic (just ask Stella McCartney), and sure enough, Google data1 reveals that searches for ‘ethical clothing’ are up +1600% YoY, with ‘affordable ethical clothing’ up +533% YoY. ‘Organic kidswear’ searches are up 177% and (new trend alert) ‘vegan women’s shoes’ is up 2100% YoY (Stella will be happy).

So, how can the fashion world make the most of the web? Google tools, data and resources are here to help. We've partnered with the British Fashion Council to mentor new talent and provide digital skills for the next generation of rising fashion stars.

Most recently, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones of emerging fashion label Teatum Jones, shot their London Fashion Week film at the new YouTube Creator Space, a built-for- purpose studio opened in Kings Cross in 2016 (the first of nine in the world including LA, Rio and Mumbai). The space brings together creators and influencers to spark off each other.

Teatum Jones’ film featured a roster of influential women spanning politics, art, design and music alongside YouTube influencer Farida Sharma.

Global Womanhood | AW18 | Teatum Jones

Hotter than a pair of Nike Air Max 98s, more ubiquitous than a trench coat, YouTube is the 'new black' for both designers and brands.

The diversity of content from fashion shows, to designers, to influencers, to historical archives, to publishers makes it the place for Fashion Weeks to live on 24/7.

Teatum Jones: Why YouTube is a perfect place to be for fashion designers