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How Important Are Stars and Celebrities to Fashion? How Does the Rise of Social Media Transform the Significance of Celebrity Fashion?


Celebrities have long served as brand ambassadors and have influenced fashion trends in the entertainment and fashion industries. Celebrities now have a new platform to influence the fashion business because to the expansion of social media, especially video-sharing platforms like Instagram and TikTok. To obtain a better understanding of this topic, important terms must be defined. Celebrities or stars have created a name for themselves in the public eye, often in the entertainment or media sectors. Celebrities may be key trend setters since many people look to them for fashion advice. Social media refers to a broad range of Internet-based services that enable interpersonal interactions and information transmission. The media has become an inextricably linked component of all social processes (Rocamora 507). Influencers in the fashion business are increasingly using social media to promote themselves, their companies, and the current fashion trends. TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most popular social networking services. This essay will explain how stars and celebrities are important to the fashion business and how the emergence of social media has altered the importance of celebrity fashion in recent years.

Celebrities and Fashion Through the Years

Celebrities have a huge influence on the fashion business even before the advent of social media and the internet. This trend started with Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton in the early 1960s, progressed through the 1970s with Jerry Hall, and culminated in the 1990s — the era of the “Supermodel.” The line between modeling and celebrity grew more hazy (Barron 759).

Throughout history, celebrities’ admirers and followers have looked up to them as style leaders and inspirations. In the early days of Hollywood, long before they became household names, actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn established the stylistic standard for decades to come. Hepburn began her modeling career in fashion magazines and is closely tied to the couturier Hubert de Givenchy, whose creations she was regularly seen in throughout her career and who she has stated helped raise her self-esteem (Moseley 40).

Throughout the twentieth century, celebrities had considerable power in the fashion business. The unusual design choices of rock singers like Mike Jagger and David Bowie in the 1960s and 1970s impacted a new generation of young people. Because of the impact of pop musicians like Michael Jackson and Madonna, neon colors, massive accessories, and vibrant patterns were all the rage in the 1980s.

Athletes, like singers and actresses, have had a huge effect on the direction of fashion. Tennis legend Bjorn Borg’s signature headband and basketball legend Michael Jordan’s effect on off-court shoe design are two examples. During the twentieth century, red carpet events and fashion publications enabled celebrities to flaunt their style and establish trends. The right celebrity endorsement may either make or break a designer’s career. As a result, they routinely sought out famous people to wear their masterpieces at the Academy Awards.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, hip-hop culture became important in the fashion business. During this time, rappers and artists such as Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z were instrumental for popularizing brands such as FUBU, Timberland, and Tommy Hilfiger. Hip-hop artists have popularized fashion staples such as huge shoes, baggy clothing, and enormous jewelry.

The rise of reality programs in the early 2000s led to the blurring of the borders in contemporary society dividing superstars and ordinary people. Viewers were given an up-close glimpse at the lives of young socialites and reality stars on shows like “The Hills” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” As a consequence, the design decisions made by these young superstars have profoundly affected youthful viewers.

Celebrity Culture’s Rise and Influence on Fashion

The stratospheric rise of celebrity culture in the twenty-first century has had huge ramifications for the fashion business. Because of the extensive availability of social media and the emergence of celebrity influencers, celebrities such as actors, artists, and socialites are becoming more prominent in determining fashion trends (Wigley 5).

Celebrity culture has risen to prominence in modern society. Social media has spawned a new generation of influencers who have amassed massive followings by offering their own style and fashion tips, while reality television series such as “The Real Housewives” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” have made celebrities out of ordinary people.

There are countless instances of how celebrity culture has influenced the fashion industry. Most clearly, celebrities may increase sales of clothing lines simply by wearing them on the red carpet or in public. For example, when Meghan Markle was pictured wearing one of their jackets at her engagement announcement in London in 2017, the website for the Canadian firm Line the firm collapsed.

Celebrities have an effect on the fashion business for reasons other than their ability to sell merchandise. For example, Kim Kardashian’s millions of fans quickly copied her decision to wear bike shorts and crop tops. Like Harry Styles’ choice of more androgynous dress alternatives, his departure from conventional male clothes inspired the mainstream.

Another way celebrity culture has influenced the fashion business is via limited-edition or capsule collections created in conjunction with celebrities. Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand, for example, has proven to be very successful, and her collaboration with the high-end fashion conglomerate LVMH has established a new bar for celebrity collaborations.

Another way celebrities have helped to the growth of the fast-fashion business is via the creation of body couture. According to Hyland, “we have officially entered a domain that you could consider post-fashion,” which implies that these celebrities are dressing up their bodies as if they were couture. Fashion, which was previously the domain of a select few, has been democratized in this image-saturated era by a range of quick fashion purveyors such as H&M and Forever 21, as well as an unlimited number of fashion websites that offer how-to’s and where-to’s to acquire products (Wissinger 144). Fashion has affected even the most casual clothes, such as sweatpants. They were formerly used to hide one’s body, but today they are part of a fashion trend known as “athleisure,” which hides nothing and leaves nothing to the imagination.

Emergence and Impact of Social Media

As TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube have increased in popularity, they have had a significant influence on the fashion industry. A new set of fashion gurus with big internet followings attributes their success to social media’s accessibility and exposure. As a consequence, fashion firms can now engage with their customers on a whole new level by marketing their products, sharing catwalk images, and so on.

Social media can help the fashion industry in a variety of ways, including engaging with consumers, extending professional contacts, and building an online brand. However, social networking has another impact; it is changing the way many fashion designers operate (Sellers 2). Because of the power of social media, influencers and celebrities have been pushing new trends and altering consumers’ perceptions on fashion and personal style. The rise of fast fashion is often highlighted as one example of how social media has influenced the fashion industry. The hottest social media trends are often immediately duplicated in fast fashion shops such as Zara and H&M, enabling customers to constantly stay up with current styles without spending a lot of money.

Furthermore, social media has enabled the fashion industry to achieve a new degree of openness and variety. The capacity of celebrities and influencers of many races, genders, and body types to build large followings has aided in challenging traditional beauty norms and creating a more inclusive and varied fashion scene. According to The Fashion Spot, the Spring 2022 fashion season will have the most racial diversity in the industry’s history (Heiser 5). Nearly half of the models in 198 shows were people of color.

Because of the variety of today’s runway models, more individuals than ever before are interested in what is fashionable. People who previously felt unrepresented in fashion are encouraged when they see someone who looks like them wearing the item. Ensure that your clothing line reflects culture for reasons other than enhancing your clients’ self-esteem. As an extra advantage, this allows you to take greater chances in your own fashion design work. Furthermore, expanding your reach may allow you to communicate with more individuals and collaborate with other influencers.

Furthermore, the growth of social media has given birth to a new breed of ethically aware fashion influencers who use their online platforms to advocate for ethical and ecologically responsible fashion practices (Lidgren & Major 3). Another significant impact that social media has had on contemporary fashion trends is the democratization of the fashion business. Because regular people may now create their own clothing content and disseminate it to a global audience through social media, consumers now have a bigger voice in the fashion industry’s story. The traditional dominance of designers in fashion and companies has been challenged by the rise of a broader range of designs and styles as a result of the increased usage of social media.

Celebrity Fashion and Social Media

Celebrities may now broadcast their fashion choices to a worldwide audience because to social media’s global reach. As a result, celebrities may now establish trends merely by sharing images of themselves online. Because of the growth of social media platforms, a new generation of fashion gurus with massive online followings has also formed.

As an example of a celebrity who has used social media to influence the fashion business, Kim Kardashian is undoubtedly the most well-known. Kim has a sizable Instagram following, which she utilizes to promote her own clothing lines as well as the work of other designers she admires. Rihanna has also used her social media accounts to promote the Fenty brand and show off her own fashion sense. Kanye West has used social media to advertise his products “The Life of Pablo” and “Yeezy Collection.” His influence had a huge effect on Adidas, and their collaboration resulted in double-digit growth in 2016 (Hobbs 2).

Other celebrities whose usage of social media has had a significant effect on fashion trends include Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Zendaya. These celebrities have garnered large Instagram followings by posting photographs of their personal fashion choices and encouraging current trends.

Because of the extensive use of social media by important trendsetters, who are generally referred to as influencers who express their own style preferences while offering fashion direction, social media has become a game-changer for many in the world of fashion. Fashion influencers often collaborate with industry leaders to promote various items, which has a significant impact on consumer purchasing behavior (Ashiq 6).

Fashion influencers have grown in prominence due to their ability to engage with audiences on a personal level, and they have overcome the limitations of conventional advertising approaches, which tend to be mechanical and imposing, by developing a dedicated following via their trusted recommendations. To build a following as an influencer, you must publish authentic material that connects with your audience while connecting with them via comments on posts, direct messages, and live broadcasts. Because of the power of social media Today, there is a new crop of fashion influencers that establish enormous audiences by sharing fashionable material or just offering practical ideas on how to dress. These influencers come from a variety of professions, but some examples include bloggers, stylists, and personal shoppers.

Sharing personal style and providing valuable fashion insight to her Instagram followers on a consistent basis, as Chiara Ferrari did, is how some individuals establish their influence within the industry; similarly, Aimee Song, Danielle Bernstein, and Blair Eddie have a sizable social media following (Cabak 16). Self-branding may be a bottom-up self-managerial phenomena (at least in its early stages), as with fashion bloggers like Chiara Ferragni, or it can be manufactured industrially, as with Justin Bieber. This is due to the fact that self-branding promotes neoliberal concepts such as self-improvement, accountability, and self-surveillance (Pesce 16).

Celebrity relevance has changed as a result of social media.

Setting new fashion trends for others to follow has long been a fundamental role of celebrities in the fashion business, but social media has changed the power dynamic, and today, ordinary people have the capacity to influence fashion trends in the same manner that celebrities do. The undeniable influence of social media on fashion can be seen in the shortening life cycle of fashion trends that now only last a few months, and the ‘influencer model’ causes individuals to post multiple try-on hauls due to brand partnerships or in an attempt to display their preferred brands (Cooper 1). The rise of social media has offered an excellent forum for the fashion-conscious people to not only exhibit their clothing alternatives but also interact with one another. However, you should also engage with individuals who share your likes.

Furthermore, celebrities’ use of social media has allowed them to form closer bonds with their fans, resulting in an authentic and relatable persona for many stars, as their fans now see them not just as aloof celebrities, but also as humans with similar hobbies and lifestyle choices.

The influence of social media on the fashion business may be observed in increasing democratization and inclusion, since power over the domain of fashion used to belong to just a few persons, such as designers and celebrities, who defined what was considered in style, leaving many unable to participate. Thanks to social media, different styles and trends are now more widely recognized (Ahmadi et al. 12).

Because of social media, underrepresented demographics such as plus-size folks and people of color are seeing an increase in exposure in the fashion industry. By utilizing social media platforms, they can express their own style and interact with others who have similar interests.

Social networking has also aided in the delivery of improved product lines. The usage of social media helps companies to engage with their target audience more directly and personally; given that more Millennials with greater purchasing potential are utilizing social networks every day, it has become critical to respond appropriately. According to Accenture statistics, the amount spent on consumer products or services, which is predicted to be $1.4 trillion, will come from those in the Millennial age group, who are between the ages of seventeen and thirty-four (Esposito 2). It is critical that social barriers are overcome in order for both brands and retailers to see improvements in engagement rates and financial performance, as this is also a key prospect for designers and other branding professionals because they will be able to familiarize themselves with consumer preferences, resulting in the development of more profitable products. Instead of releasing new goods blindly, designers now prioritize user input in order to select correct product design aspects such as colors and patterns.

Although the democratization of fashion through social media is a positive development, it still poses new challenges and concerns, as people are now driven towards an insatiable appetite for constant consumption as a result of the dynamic nature of social media, which breeds a ‘keeping-up-with-the-Joneses’ phenomenon that involves constantly buying new clothes (Morin 6).

Because the emergence of social media influencers and sponsored content has raised concerns about authenticity and transparency in the fashion industry, it is critical that the affiliations between companies or individuals be clearly disclosed in order to promote responsible fashion decisions toward sustainability.

Study of Cases

There are several instances in the fashion business of how social media impacts trends via celebrity marketing.

Kim Kardashian is perhaps the most well-known celebrity fashion influencer; with over 200 million Instagram followers, she has used the medium to promote her own style label while also collaborating with a number of firms. Her daring sense of style has left an indelible mark on the world of fashion, inspiring new trends such as the bare dress and sporty leisure wear (McGinley 2).

Rihanna’s cutting-edge sense of style is constantly covered in the media, and she has partnered with various businesses while also pushing her own fashion enterprises, such as Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty, via her social media platforms (Uhrig 8). Rihanna has been lauded for resurrecting the unpopular sneaker trend with her own way of dressing in heavy clothing.

Zendaya’s innovative and daring style has made her one of the most influential figures in the world of fashion in recent years, and her work to promote diversity and inclusivity within the fashion industry can be seen through her collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger on a size-inclusive collection as well as her use of her platform (Chia 10). Zendaya has been praised for her significant influence to resurrecting 80s aesthetics by restoring power suits and mullet haircuts.


This article highlights the importance of celebrities to fashion and how they have changed through time with the emergence of social media, since celebrities have always had an indisputable influence on molding fashion over time. However, it is fair to say that their influence has grown significantly since the advent of social media, and the growing popularity of fashion influencers on various social media channels means that the line separating regular people from celebrities is becoming increasingly difficult to draw. As a result, new opportunities for creative cooperation have evolved. The rise of social media has elevated celebrities’ role in shaping fashion trends and styles, and directly reaching out to followers via social media platforms allows celebrities and fashion influencers to share personal style choices as well as advertise exclusive clothing lines. Today, anyone with an active account on social media platforms can have their voice heard in the world of fashion, and it is clear that in the social media age, celebs’ relevance in the fashion sector will grow further, resulting in the emergence of new opportunities as well as hurdles.

Works Cited

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