During the second session it was all about media: What topics are readers interested in today–including denim–and what influence do influencers have? Maria Hunstig, network editor at Vogue Digital, was the one to explain.
What is of current interest to Vogue online readers internationally?
It is fascinating to see how the interests differ nationally. Every country has its own focus. In Germany, for example, fashion themes with celebrity integration are well received, as are our columns and many beauty stories. In England, up-and-coming designers play a more important role, in France the runway shows are more in the foreground, while in Spain you can find out more about where you can buy certain looks. But some celebrities like the British Royals, Sarah Jessica Parker, the Kardashians or the international supermodels are of interest almost everywhere.
What is the impact of influencers on sales?
You should always make sure that person and brand really fit together. If this is guaranteed, influencers definitely have an impact on sales figures. Meghan Markle, by the way the third most important “influencer” after Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian according to a recent study by Lyst, appeared in a pair of Mother Denim jeans at Prince Harry’s side in one of her first appearances. This went through the media, and within a few days the jeans were sold out. Another influencer-driven jeans example is Khloe Kardashian’s Good American label, which last year very successfully introduced a new size, the 43, which lies between plus size and normal size and was apparently missing for many women.
Which influencers are particularly popular in Germany right now?
On a commercial level, these are Caro Daur or Leonie Hanne in the fashion sector. Influencers of this kind are now also invited to haute couture shows.
As a medium, how do you deal with the topic of influencers? Aren’t they something like competition for you?
Influencers report quite differently; for example, they don’t write reviews of shows and provide less critical coverage. In this respect, we don’t see any competition, but try to create synergies and also work together with influencers.
Let’s talk about denim again. What information about denim are readers looking for?
Our readers are looking for new brands and general denim trends. Sustainability also plays a role. It doesn’t necessarily have to be GOTS-certified jeans; vintage or up-cycling concepts or new wear styles are also interesting as sustainable alternatives. Such topics are relevant to our target group.
Which trend forecast do you give?
I don’t think the current trend towards casualization and sportswear will disappear again. In the last few seasons, social media in the denim sector has mainly brought forward what was as weird as possible: catwalk pictures of denim briefs or jeans with different long or wide trouser legs, for example. For Instagram, of course, this is worth gold, but I think only if people wear certain looks and are seen or photographed with them can a trend really emerge.
What is your prognosis for media behavior “print versus online”?
I hope that as many different channels as possible will remain. I don’t think they cannibalize, but rather complement each other. The only thing that is clear is that the themes have to be spread differently: Short-lived news, for example, are more likely to be read online and mobile, and for sure these news need to be pushed as quickly as possible to the reader.
Note from the editors: The interview is taken from our current issue #288, The Service Issue.