How Social Media is Changing Fashion Design

Written By: Blake Simms
  • 3/2/2018
PTC Retail FlexPLM

Like many industries, fashion has become digitally centric. Social media is one of the biggest factors behind this transformation. The fashion house is no longer setting trends, consumers are. They make the rules, and if retailers want to survive, they must follow them.

We often talk about the impact digital transformation has on retailers, but let’s dig a little deeper and look at the impact this change is having on designers. With the push to design more products on-trend, on-time, and on-cost, retailers are looking to technologies such as digital storyboards to help.

Inspiration straight from the source

The life of a fashion designer can be very demanding and highly competitive. If you lack passion, determination, and/or ambition, you are unlikely to survive.

The true challenge, however, is incorporating your vision and personal style with the latest trends to ensure you create something that's exciting, unique, and profitable. In previous years, designers turned to the likes of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Allure for inspiration, but now they’re going straight to the source: Consumers.

Designers are now listening in on social activity to see what styles are “in” and what trends are soon to come. According to SocialMediaToday, 74% of consumers rely on social media to make a buying decision. If consumers are turning to Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to decide what to wear, then it stands to reason designers should look to consumers’ social actions to decide what to design. 

The problem is, tuning out the white noise and zeroing in on social discussions indicative of burgeoning trends is incredibly difficult unless you have the tools to do so. Digital storyboards are delivering this capability. These applications pull in social media feeds directly to designers’ desktops, adding pictures and videos to storyboards to build concepts and proposals.

Collaboration is key

One designer might create the initial sketch, but a design idea undergoes multiple revisions before product development establishes a mock-up. Selecting colors, patterns, fabrics, styles, and cuts is a team effort, and one that takes time and attention to detail.

Efficient collaboration is one of the greatest challenges digital designers experience. Designers need a central place to propose ideas and exchange feedback in real time. A digital storyboard provides the accessibility and mobility they crave. With the simple click of a button, designers can share their moodboards with their teams and immediately get input.

Without a doubt, technology is shaping the future of fashion. As consumer demands change and expand, retailers must also push designers to change how they work. Digital storyboards are the perfect start but certainly not the end.

If you are interested in learning more about digital storyboards, join Mark Harrop, CEO of WhichPLM, for a webinar on March 7th about nex-gen storyboarding and how it’s empowering retail with digital design capabilities:

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About the Author

Blake Simms

Blake has an extensive international career in marketing and business development within the technology, fashion, retail and consumer products industries.

With a Degree in International Marketing Management, Strategy & Communications, Blake has worked for a variety of leading global organizations and supported them in developing and delivering their strategic vision and corporate goals.

As a Marketing Director, Blake has designed, implemented and executed both international and regional go-to-market strategies, with a strong focus on increasing brand awareness and reputation, developing acquisition/lead generation initiatives and delivering powerful sales-enablement tools.