Building brand awareness and credibility is a key implication of good public relations. In some cases, great hype is built about new designers' collections before they are released into the market, due to the immense exposure generated by practitioners. Social media, such as blogs, micro blogs, podcasts, photo and video sharing sites have all become increasingly important to fashion public relations. The interactive nature of these platforms allows practitioners to engage and communicate with the public in real time, and tailor their clients' brand or campaign messages to the target audience. With blogging platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, Wordpress, and other sharing sites, bloggers have emerged as expert fashion commentators, shaping brands and having a great impact on what is ‘on trend’. Women in the fashion public relations industry such as Sweaty Betty PR founder Roxy Jacenko and Oscar de la Renta's PR girl Erika Bearman, have acquired copious followers on their social media sites, by providing a brand identity and a behind the scenes look into the companies they work for.
Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an especially strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people.
Why you should follow: High fashion can sometimes seem like it's out of reach. While the likes of Chanel and Gucci will always hold a place in our hearts (and most bloggers' closets), sometimes it's great to know how to shop without spending a fortune. Alex Stedman of The Frugality constantly proves that the high street offers incredible pieces that look super expensive (such as this jumper from M&S).
^ Noricks, C. (2006). From style to strategy: An exploratory investigation of public relations practice in the fashion industry. Unpublished master's thesis, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.