February 28, 2022

New York Fashion Week AW 2022 Reflects a Shift

Last week, New York Fashion Week shows concluded with a bang as Generation Z took center stage and emerging brands gained increased visibility across Instagram.

@rinasonline via Instagram

Fashion Week Continues, Albeit Covid-19 Concerns

  • New York Fashion Week ran from Feb. 11 to 16.
  • Due to Covid-19 concerns, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren canceled its shows, and designers employed a mix of physical and digital runway shows.
  • Emerging talent grew in visibility at this season's NYFW due to cancellations from big-name designers.

This season, New York Fashion Week experienced a fresh approach. While big-name designers still hold court, many young brands and influencers took center stage instead. Cancellations from big-name brands like Tom Ford due to COVID 19 concerns and a combination of digital/physical shows helped emerging talents showcase their work and gain visibility in ways they never had before. 

Brands Increased in Visibility, and Newcomers Broke Into the Top Ranks

  • Michael Kors, Coach, and Tory Burch were the top performers on social media.
  • Attention from celebrities and high-profile influencers at NYFW resulted in a 22% increase in Earned Media Value.
  • Brands with the largest influencer communities, not posts, ranked highest.

More high-profile influencers and celebrities posted content surrounding the different runway shows this season. As a result of this increased attention on social media, there was an overall increase in Earned Media Value (EMV) across the top ten performing brands, up from last season's NYFW SS 22 show. Top performers included Michael Kors, Coach, and Tory Burch, with stand-out newcomers Area and Dion Lee also breaking into the top 10. 

Interestingly, none of the top-performing brands at New York Fashion Week were given a leg up regarding post frequency and engagement rates, as they were all relatively the same. Instead, this season, a clear correlation existed between brands and their influencer communities as top performers Michael Kors, Coach, and Tory Burch all had the most sizable communities, and thus the most considerable rates of EMV.  

Top performing brands ranked by EMV.

Gen. Z Proves Key to Influencer-Brand Partnerships

  • Brands teamed up with Gen. Z stars to reach younger consumers across Instagram.
  • With the help of Gen. Z influencers, Tory Burch increased their EMV by 173%.
  • This season, the top opinion leaders were: Bella Hadid, Angus Cloud, and Madelaine Petsch.

One of the most compelling trends to emerge this season was the number of influencer-brand partnerships with young talents. Brands like Michael Kors and Tory Burch teamed up with prominent Gen.Z celebrities and influencers, such as Camila Mendes, Addison Rae, and Charles Melton, to reach younger consumers and heighten visibility online. This strategy seems to have paid off significantly for Tory Burch, who experienced an increase in EMV by 173% from NYFW SS 22.

Last year, Tory Burch focused on recruiting millennial-centric talent like Gemma Chan. However, this time around, the brand went after young Gen. Z stars such as Madelaine Petsch, who stars in Netflix's hit teen drama Riverdale and 24-year-old YouTube influencer Lena Mahfouf. These talents proved pivotal for Tory Burch as Madelaine Petsch's single Instagram post attributed 71% of the brand's total EMV. Additionally, Lena Mahfouf had the highest engagement rate among top influencers at 13%.

Top opinion leaders ranked by EMV.

Key Takeaways

What does this mean for future fashion weeks? It's hard to say with the Covid-19 pandemic still impacting the fashion industry. One thing is for sure, though: we can expect to see more emerging brands and talents taking center stage in the coming seasons. With an increase in social media coverage and attention on young creatives, it seems that fashion week will continue to be a breeding ground for new talent.

Check out our in-depth report covering the evolution trends and brands strategy.

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