Fashion Influencers Find New Opportunities During Covid-19

3 ways influencers are adapting their contents during quarantine

In light of current events around coronavirus, influencers too, are navigating the coronavirus’ new norms.
Influencers are shifting their focus to alternative social strategies that allow them to continue to earn a living without leaving their homes. They have more time to create aesthetic small-scale content, and those who are multiplatform, with more than one revenue stream, have less adjustments to make, compared to those who, for example, are into the travel business. But generally, social media engagement is up, even higher than normal as more consumers spend time in physical isolation.

In order to know more about this whole situation, I interviewed 3 worldwide fashion influencers.

Anna Penello

Anna Penello, 220 K followers, 23 years old from Italy, completed her studies at Polimoda, International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, in Florence. Recently she launched her label called Annywear.

“It was born because I wanted to do something on my own that had my style and that my girls could wear. Nothing crazy, is a very basic line but it really reflects me. Now because of the virus, I’m stuck with the production; I hope to start off again with Summer and Fall.”
On top of that, she works with numerous fashion brands and she is the brand ambassador for Forpen, a family business to which she feels attached to.

Since the coronavirus outbreak changed daily life, brands are still clamoring for consumer attention, but it’s difficult to know how to talk to customers under the current circumstances. So I asked what did she changed in terms of contents and if she adapted some new strategies.

“Well, at first I noticed to have a higher number of views in the stories. Indeed I like to entertain people every day by creating new workouts, recipes sharing Q/A boxes on my stories. This whole situation makes me feel very united to many other girls, and I also got the chance to reflect on my future, since this winter I felt demotivated, where something wasn’t right. That’s why I went to New York for a month, to find inspiration and when I came back I was reborn!” She also added that the time spent abroad gave her that extra push to elaborate on new projects and ideas.

Screenshot from Anna Penello’s Instagram page

Talking about the changes in a future post-pandemic in the fashion world, Anna quotes the Giorgio Armani :

“We are currently evaluating skipping or reducing to the minimum the pre-fall collections. I think it is sufficient to show one collection only, which includes also the pre-collections. This crisis is an opportunity to slow down and realign everything; to define a more meaningful landscape. I have been working with my teams for three weeks so that, after the lockdown, the summer collections will remain in the boutiques at least until the beginning of September, as it is natural. And so we will do from now on.”

Giorgio Armani

Moving on, I asked some questions to the beautiful Caroline Pigat, from Italy as well but who’s been living in Los Angeles for a year now. “Having a limited time Visa it’s like being on vacation. You enjoy it a lot, but you know it’s a temporary thing and soon you will be back home. LA is a dream city, we hope we will come back one day, maybe for good.”

Caroline Pigat w/ husband

She recently got married and now she’s 19 weeks pregnant; her husband has been been working in fashion for almost 10 years. “He knows a lot about the fashion environment, that’s why it is very interesting to share ideas with him; he’s also very passionate and he has a good taste, even tho sometimes we disagree.” Caroline says that her husband was the first one who believed in her and the Instagram project. Thanks to him she figured out her way and her own style.

About Instagram, she loves the fact that she can connect with people and share ideas, although she hates that everyone can judge her life based on a picture. As the main role of fashion influencers is to collaborate and advertise fashion brands, Caroline is currently collaborating with some LA based agencies but she usually works directly with brands.

In light of current events around coronavirus, Caroline says: “Covid has influenced our life in all aspects. Of course, we are all in the same situation, from big companies to small businesses. I think for influencers is a tough time because all the events, trips, photoshoots, campaigns have been canceled and brands are dealing with numerous issues. I hope this can lead to a focus on marketing strategies. The Internet at this time has become the only way to communicate and shop. People are spending more and more time on their phones and social media in general. It could be the right moment to push your business and spread it. Influencers could be the key during this process and having the amount of time to think, create and produce could bring innovative results.”

Screenshot of Caroline’s Instagram account

Indeed her daily routine has changed and she’s trying to use this time at home to engage differently with her followers. Every 2-3 days, she chooses a topic and she shares it with them. “Being at home means having more time to create content and sending out positive messages.”

The last question I asked her was “ Would you define fashion as frozen? Or do you think that people are still shopping online?”
“Hard question. Probably it depends on countries. For example, in the US a large number of people have been fired, someone’s hours have been drastically cut and finding a new job it’s maybe their main focus.
On the other hand, as I said before, we are constantly on our phones and many shopping temptations can come up. I bet that people are browsing around and buying stuff anyway. To be honest, I’m in this category, a little shopping may help stay positive and think about a better future.”

Last but not least, I interviewed Sophia Molen an Amsterdam-born Dutchie, she has a bachelor’s degree in Bio-Medical Science and 5 years ago she started to entrepreneur online and blogging full-time, today she owns several websites.
Let’s find out more about her!

What inspired you to pursue this career?

“I love to create content on a daily basis, and fashion is always on my mind. I guess my blogs are just my hobbies next to the content creation and advertising that I do on my Instagram.”

Your daily routine might have changed, are your contents different too? How do you engage your followers?

“Since the start of the corona crisis, I began to shoot my daily outfits in front of a white wall next to my home. Usually, I would walk around the city to shoot at more interesting places, but I got to be honest that I kinda like the clean wall thing, as it makes my Instagram feed also more aesthetic. During the current crisis, I try to engage with my followers a little bit more personal, by asking how they are doing and how the situation in their countries is.”

Which changes do you see in a future post-pandemic in the fashion world?

“I hope that people start to learn to be more present in a way that we don’t need to travel and consume so much constantly. Besides that, perhaps we will start to invest more in (timeless) comfortable clothes.”

Would you define fashion as frozen? Or do you think that people are still shopping online?

“I feel like people are still shopping online, perhaps now even more than before, as the physical shops are closed. However, I do think that we buy less right now, as I think most of us don’t feel the necessity to always have the newest en trendiest clothes.”

Although brands and retailers are tightening their budgets over coronavirus fears, and influencer marketing faces an uncertain future. Brands are leaning into influencer marketing to deliver relevant and consistent messages that keep their audiences engaged. Close relationships with influencers can help companies continue to deliver higher quality content during uncertain times.

Meanwhile check this article from Vogue Business.

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