20 years after everyone else, Fashion World realises Internet is actually good


Okay, I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. An element in the fashion world, largely around the top end haute couture brands, has always held nerds, computers and things like web pages in slight contempt, preferring biannual fashion mags over social networks with silly names to connect with their customers.

Not surprisingly – things have changed and an article on the BBC website notes a shift in attitudes even among the exclusive top-end fashion houses.

Part of the hang-up for elite fashion brands with the internet has been exactly the elite part – certain brands thrive on having a few customers who pay large amounts for the feeling of being part of an exclusive club. It’s contrary to the access-all-areas democratic ethos of the internet. Also nerds have never been very fashionable [your loss fashionworld].

But the internet is the great invention of our era, and let’s face it – it is just a great way to show stuff to people. There are ways to convey the minimalism and exclusivity of a brand with a website, just as there ways to do that with a real-world bricks-and-mortar shop. You just need to learn how to do it.

Now, when people are happy to buy cars online, we just expect to be able access things we want to buy on the internet. Not having shops online because they are too easy to access is like not having shops on major streets in towns because there are too many people there – silly.

*PS: Of course a shout out to the fashion bloggers out there who have forced the pace of change by bringing some of the fashion best content onto the web, I’ll namecheck Shiny start-up Shiny Style but there are many others.. And there are also brands like TopShop which have taken their high street lead onto the web by creating sharp useful websites that show an understanding of how the internet works and what people want from websites.

Anna Leach