• Anne Heaney, Director

The Rise of 'Instagramable' Brands - the new way to launch a fashion brand

As traditional business models continue to crumble, there's a new way to launch a fashion brand — but is it sustainable?

We all know that Instagram is changing the fashion industry; it goes without saying that a strong Instagram presence is a crucial component to any fashion brand that aspires to any significant measure of success, and that influencer marketing has become one of the most effective methods of building awareness and driving online sales. But all of these factors, in a time when both the traditional fashion calendar and the wholesale model have become less relevant, seem to have converged to create a new wave of "Instagram brands," which use the platform as a primary launchpad.

Traditionally, launching a clothing line has been insanely, prohibitively expensive. Some estimate that a designer would need between $2 million and $3 million to get a clothing line off the ground. It's why so many brands need a strong financial base before launching — and those that don't often struggle to establish themselves or end up in debt to investors.

But now that brands can sell their wares and connect with consumers online, there's a little more wiggle room; Instagram has become one way to bypass many of the skills, schedules, events and other expenses and parameters that were once necessary in getting a line off the ground.

While press appointments and showroom visits are still crucial to help drive traditional buzz around a new product launch, Instagram is a sure way to gain global exposure quickly, (especially if you are working with influencers) and cultivate relationships with a community of potential customers.

E-commerce sites such as Revolve are succeeding with a new business model largely based around influencers posting its wares and driving sales. These sites are challenging the traditional retail model with an ever-changing range which already has a wide audience on the day the product is launched on the site.

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