Milan Fashion Week (running from Feb. 22-28) was a star-studded event with Gucci making a return and a new creative director for Bottega Veneta. Still, the social media response lacked the same hype as last season.
This month's Milan Fashion Week was a star-studded event, bringing out some of the biggest celebrity names. With Gucci finally returning to Milan after two years, and new creative directors Matthieu Blazy for Bottega Veneta and Glenn Martens for Diesel, there was high anticipation around Milan Fashion Week's latest collections. Despite all of the hype, however, around MFW A/W 22, the social media response lacked the enthusiasm of the previous season, resulting in a $10 million decrease in Earned Media Value (EMV). – Source, Lefty data.
This season was quieter than usual regarding brand-talent collaborations and visibility, though posted content increased slightly. Despite these anti-climactic results, Prada and Gucci's latest collections created big waves in the industry and on social media. Newcomer Diesel also fought among top established brands to succeed this year, showing that younger, less established brands can compete at any level.
This season's most stand-out star was undoubtedly Prada, whose runway collaboration with Raf Simmons focused on conceptualizing and blending the brand's past while shining a light into their future.
High profile stars came out in force for Prada's fall/winter 22 runway show, with model and actress Arizona Muse and Kim Kardashian in attendance. At the same time, Generation Z took center stage on the catwalk with Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber, and Euphoria star Hunter Schafer modeling Prada's newest collection and movie star Tom Holland drumming up support on Instagram.
Prada's choice of talents reveals that the brand's communications strategy tends to focus on expanding its audience demographics, which is reflected by the high-profile Gen. Z and Millennial celebrities on the guest list. This ongoing trend, as seen at New York Fashion Week, in order to garner maximum exposure, continues to persist with Prada.
With the help of a powerful cast and celebrities, it's no surprise that Prada ranked #1 in visibility this season. They increased their Earned Media Value (EMV) by 55% from last year's show - showing just how much star power can impact brand awareness. Though Prada had fewer posts than before, with only 1,096 compared against 1,262 last time around, these high-profile appearances helped keep up robust optics for the brand.
This season, Gucci breathed new life into the industry with a unique collaboration with Adidas. The collection #ExquisiteGucci melded Italian couture and sleek sportswear to create athletic yet sophisticated looks on the runway.
There's no surprise that Gucci's unexpected Adidas collaboration ranked #3 in overall visibility and garnered the most posts around their collection on social media. The brand's partnership with Thai Gen. Z stars Bright Vachirawit, and Win Metawin drove most of Gucci's EMV on Instagram and drew in international crowds. Whilst the attendance of celebrities such as Serena Williams, Jared Leto, A$AP Rocky and Rihanna at the show caused even more buzz online.
This season, Diesel took a significant step into the high fashion world. Diesel's first runway show under new creative director Glenn Martens was a sensation on social media, ranking #8 in visibility and breaking into the ranks among well-established brands like Prada, Fendi, and Gucci.
Diesel's newest collection's Y2K-era style paid homage to the brand's roots with complete denim-on-denim looks. The brand's penchant for the unconventional and trendy was cemented by appearances from rising Gen. Z celebrities. Rappers Gunna and Flo Milli and teen-drama Elite's Aron Piper helped further boost brand awareness on Instagram through posting content and resulted in the brand obtaining the second-highest engagement rate.
Versace has always been a fan favorite at Milan Fashion Week, but it fell from its usual top ranking this season. Compared to MFW SS22, when they reached the top in EMV, the brand saw a 77% decline due to brand-influencer collaborations and Instagram content being halved.
The buzz around Versace's AW 22 collection was not as successful this season, partially due to the large amount of attention received last year with their Fendi X Versace collaboration. Though some big celebrity names were present this season, like Emily Ratajkowski, Versace's emphasis on generating buzz online fell short. As a result, Versace ranked #4 in EMV, overtaken by Prada, Gucci, and Fendi, who all relied more heavily upon brand-talent collaborations.
Overall, Milan Fashion Week showcased standout collections, despite decreased visibility on social media. The exceptional brands this season were those that collaborated with prominent Gen. Z stars, which resulted in significant increases in EMV and overall visibility. With Diesel's rise closer to the top, it seems that the future for non-high-end and young brands is looking bright.
As we move into the future, it will be interesting to see how fashion weeks continue to evolve. With more Gen. Z stars in attendance and controversial brands making big statements on the runway, it is sure to make for some exciting and headline-grabbing seasons.
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