Digital Domination: The Luxury Brands Scrambling to Work with Influencers
To understand the enduring power of influencers, consider the swift emergence of Nasty Gal, Pretty Little Thing, and Morphe.
These brands were built entirely around star influencers and the glittering trail they leave across their social media platforms.
Now, luxury brands, once reluctant to fully embrace influencer marketing, are reshaping this space, eager to acquire the authenticity that influencers possess.
The Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2017 show was, for the direction of influencer marketing, a seminal moment. It was the first time luxury brands strategically positioned influencers at the centre of a cherished and prestigious space – the catwalk.
Since then, luxury brands have built valuable, lasting relationships with influencers. And with 58% of Instagram’s 500m daily users viewing feeds to stay on trend, and 56% using Instagram to see brands’ new collections, the influencer-brand relationship is now essential.
So, let’s take a look at who’s working with who, and what role the social media influencer plays in the progression of luxury brand marketing.
Here are some of the biggest and best luxury brand and influencer collabs that we love.
Karen Millen x Lydia Millen
This collab is among the most beautifully aligned we have seen. Aside from the marvellously coincidental surnames, Lydia Millen has a style and aesthetic that seems hand-curated by designer, Karen.
Approaching nearly 40 years in the fashion industry, Karen Millen recently decided to modernise her marketing tactics, shifting new collections into the online-only sphere.
To achieve the new strategy, it needed the ideal influencer to bring in a new, younger consumer.
Enter Lydia Millen, a fashion influencer whose posts have always echoed the signature Karen Millen look – classic tailoring, muted tones and a cosy yet luxurious wearability.
The collaboration started with Lydia modelling fashion edits. Enthused by the online reception, a capsule collection, By Lydia, followed, quickly selling out.
Brands truly gain from mutual association when influencer, product and audience come together. The Millen collaboration is a perfect example of this and we can’t wait to see the next one...
Holland Cooper x Inthefrow
Another example of wonderfully balanced brand-influencer partnership that we have spent much of our time swooning over, was Victoria Magrath – better known as Inthefrow – and British heritage fashion label, Holland Cooper.
Victoria had already connected with major labels in the past, including Burberry and Dior, and had built a highly engaged following based on her contemporary, tailored, and traditional aesthetic.
For Holland Cooper, this perfectly chimed with their own fashion-forward approach to classic British heritage tailoring.
Allowing Victoria the pick of the Holland Cooper collection, a series of edits were created and pushed to both brand and influencers social platforms.
Victoria offered details on her thought process of each styling choice, namechecking founder Jade Holland Cooper and her styling team, giving the campaign an authenticity of reciprocated appreciation.
Speaking about the collaboration on her blog, Victoria emphasised this shared affection between influencer and brand;
“Sometimes you discover a brand that not only feels like you’d happily wear any of their creations but also embodies everything you love about fashion and the joy it brings.”
Bentley x Amelia Liana
We’re always impressed when a luxury brand fits seamlessly into the lifestyle of their chosen influencer.
And that’s precisely what Bentley achieved when collaborating with Amelia Liana.
While we’re all about brands utilising influencers that symbolise its ethos, thinking about the wider lifestyle of an influencer allows brands to gain from new and engaged audiences.
Bentley recognised that Amelia, through her associations with luxury living – country getaways, stays at manor houses, Lake Como holidays – could open a relevant following not directly linked to the automotive industry.
The success of this collaboration was achieved by subtle and authentic execution. Amelia posted two snaps amid excursions that synchronised with her usual outings, ones that fans and followers know are authentic to Amelia.
So, in a picturesque country lane and in the grounds of a stately home, Bentley and Amelia accomplished one of our favourite examples of influencer marketing through brilliantly aligned lifestyle aspirations.
Jo Malone x Fleur de Force
Sometimes, a brand and influencer collaboration seem to fit so perfectly and effortlessly that it's almost ‘meant to be’.
The collaboration between Jo Malone and beauty, fashion and lifestyle influencer Fleur De Force, was something we had all been waiting for. When the collab finally came to the fore, consumers were left wondering if it would meet their expectations.
But of course, it did. Jo Malone understood the authority that eleven years of beauty blogging had given to Fleur. She has a loyal and engaged following that have long been inspired by Fleur’s tips, ideas and advice.
Jo Malone harnessed this authority and perceived knowledge by letting Fleur create her very own Fragrance Combining Palette, presented in an elegant pouch and luxury gift box packaging.
By limiting the palettes numbers, and presenting it with such a thoughtful and elevated design, it gave the product a sense of a one-off, limited edition piece, making it a must-have product for many.
It sold out rapidly. And, when a brand and influencer collab is done this well, who can be surprised?
There we have it – a handful of our favourite luxury influencer collaborations. And we’re sure we will begin to see more of these filling up our social media feeds.
To find out more about luxury brand collaborations, contact our team of experts today by calling 0203 9580 427, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.