There’s no such thing as an institution on Twitter

Oscar PR Girl DKNY PR girl

It’s the end of an era. Aliza Licht – DKNY PR Girl – and Erika Bearman AKA Oscar PR Girl – have resigned. Their former employers are re-strategising and how they’ll fare without them remains to be seen. But as the dust settles on this, one thing is becoming clear: there is no such thing as an institution on Twitter.

Because while fashion let out a slight gasp at these departures, the majority of Twitter didn’t give a toss. Twitter moved on ages ago. In the age of uber-vloggers trailing zillions of obsessed followers across every social platform, were Oscar PR Girl and DKNY PR Girl that relevant or influential anymore anyway? Not really – not in the grand, vast, sprawling scale of things – and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Their stepping down has an uneasiness about it. They undoubtedly helped build their brands’ social tone and presence. They took that leap into a space which – at the time – was a bit murky, and dragged their employers with them. They were canny, and their companies benefited. Thanks to Bearman and Licht, Oscar De La Renta and DKNY didn’t have the struggle many brands still have answering the simple question: um, what are we doing on here again?

But the bald, brittle truth – which anyone who works in social media knows – is everything is fleeting in this space. You’re as good as your last tweet, retweet, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, whatever. You’re relevant as long as others don’t encroach on your niche and get more followers than you – but that’s inevitable. As the space changes, you have to change. Bearman and Licht were “names” for a while because they were early adopters, but since they took Twitter with their shiny, funny fashion tweets, Twitter has changed.

Sites and brands dying for clickthrough have saturated everyone’s feed with the same stories, the same pictures. It’s less about constructing wonderfully witty tweets and more about tweeting something – anything – every seven minutes. And during fashion weeks, it’s a continuous sycophantic dizzy mass popularity contest, pushing the same opinions and blurry catwalk pics. There’s no charm, there’s little humour, it’s desperate. Anyone who actually works in fashion switches off because – to be frank – it’s a massive bore.

So where to now? Instagram, where a degree of authenticity somehow survives filters and photoshopping and where social media is still fun. And as for Twitter? The new crop of fashion tweeters could learn a lot from their predecessors, Bearman and Licht.

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