Paris Fashion Week A/W 16: Who won at social media?

The time has come, fashion month has ended, beautifully as ever in Paris. From Chanel to Dior to Balmain the potential for social buzz was exponential, and to say the final Fashion Month event took over Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat is a bit of an understatement. But which luxury fashion houses managed to get their social media right and what are the digital lessons to be learned from this season? We offer up a #PFW social rundown.

1. Digital influencers are bigger than ever (aka The great Balmain hair swap)

If you thought that the reality TV turned supermodel era was on the wane, you need to take a peek at this image. 143K likes and counting, this image of Gigi and Kendall has racked up more than any other snap on the Balmain Instagram feed of the AW16 collection. Whether this turns into sales, we’ll have to wait and see though. While the collection went viral, the clothes themselves, corset and waist restricting style belts won’t be to everyone’s taste or comfort levels.

A photo posted by BALMAIN (@balmain) on

2. Willow Smith is announced as the face of Chanel.  

A photo posted by CHANEL (@chanelofficial) on


If you work in marketing, sales or fashion, you’ll know that there is one group everyone is keen to capture the attention of: Gen Z. Chanel did it this week with the announcement at #PFW that Willow Smith is the new Chanel Ambassador. The 15-year-old spent last year racking up fashion covers- including her iconic i-D magazine one. Now she’s sealed her fashion status with this announcement. Why is this a savvy move for Chanel? Through her they can harness her social power, and her direct relationship with Gen Z, and while most of her peers can’t afford a Chanel purse, they can get the more affordable accessories and the brand can build desire with this ‘little sister’ consumer group who will grow with the brand, and buy more as they get older. It’s also a savvy move for diversity. Interesting to note, Chanel ditched the grand Instagram-worthy runway set this year, to reflect the sober attitude of the city and to bring the focus back to the clothes.

3. Balenciaga experiments with VR  

We’ve heard it all fashion month, London and New York are doing ‘see now, buy now’ but Paris and Milan have shunned this idea, preferring instead to create magical fashion moments. It’s interesting then that Balenciaga opted for a 360 VR live stream of the show, while the actual recording was plagued with some technical difficulties, and there was no payment element connected to the VR, it does show that the designers in Paris do want to have one foot in the future.


4. Vivienne uses Instagram to declare love.  

The autumn/winter fashion month always falls so close to Valentine’s day, so it was delightful to see this announcement from Vivienne, harnessing the power of social to declare a lovely moment, that her husband would have his first collection under his name. It was a sweet moment, but also an incredibly smart way to build a buzz around the collection.

MORE: Find out who won social media at #NYFW here

NEED EXPERT ANALYSIS? WGSN publishes 350 in-depth reports each month on what’s coming next. We’re talking fashion, marketing and technology to name just a few of our areas. Sound good? Join WGSN.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.