‘Savage’ Streaming and Smart Business
How Fenty Beauty and YouTube Changed the Fashion Industry
By SHAMONTIEL VAUGHN | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
[RETHINK Retail] — In a tech-savvy world where people can buy vehicles online, pay for in-home delivery, and even skip past the post office, there is one industry where brick-and-mortar reigns supreme: fashion.
According to Harvard Business Review, approximately 80 percent of apparel is bought in stores. From small boutiques to large apparel stores, this is where consumers can feel fabric, try on clothes and scope out matching accessories. When fashionistas walk out of retail stores, they already know the clothes fit and the makeup is complementary to their skin shade.
But if traditional stores are where consumers go to shop, why are there 931,000 subscribers for YouTube’s Fashion Channel? Customers have all they need by going to the mall, right? Not exactly. And this is where streaming comes in.
How streaming services complement fashion trends
By now, anyone with a social media account has already seen makeup tutorials, red carpets and runway walks on video streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Instagram and YouTube. But once they’ve seen a few, why do these fashion-forward subscribers return?
Education + fashion = better job opportunities. For aspiring fashion gurus who want to create job opportunities out of this industry, YouTube’s Fashion Channel does something that traditional stores simply don’t. It provides videos to learn how to be a successful creative director, fashion director or fashion news editor, fashion illustrator and more. Unless viewers already live in cities and towns where Fashion Week and runway shows are the norm, simply finding someone in the industry can be a challenge. These videos prepare them in a way that a basic fashion design class simply cannot.
Diversity + models = larger viewing audience. While events such as the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2020 Runway Show provides viewers with the opportunity to see a diverse group of people modeling the popular brand, too often minority groups and specialized groups still don’t regularly see themselves in fashion magazines and billboards. The YouTube Fashion Streaming Channel gives fashionistas and beauty enthusiasts more options to choose from. Where else can they easily find makeup tutorials for models with vitiligo or who represent refugees and immigration policies? Where else can #TeamNatural go to check out celebrities who become fashion icons in spite of not having the traditional straight and long-flowing hair common among Eurocentric models?
Cosmetic counter + missing answers = more fashion ideas. Walk into a cosmetics aisle right now or stroll through the jewelry department. How often do cosmetics clerks give jewelry tutorials for women who wear hoojabs? YouTube’s Fashion Channel not only carefully picks more popular brands to show off their clothing and big events. It gives lesser-known fashion enthusiasts the ability to explore their own cultures in fashion.
Streaming services take fashion advertising one step further
YouTube isn’t the only streaming site that has figured out how lucrative streaming can be. Fenty Beauty, owned by pop star Rihanna and LVMH, will air its “Savage x Fenty Show” visual event on Fri., Sept. 20, on Amazon Prime. Described as a “shoppable visual event,” the show will include the who’s who in modeling and celebrate all genders and sizes. Music artists such as Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Migos and newcomer Tierra Whack will also perform.
As the face of Fenty, Rihanna became the world’s richest female musician and bypassed her own music career with beauty and fashion. The “Work” songstress literally worked her way into being the first black woman in charge of a major luxury fashion line. And if Rihanna’s own dance performance at the upcoming event doesn’t make the fashion extravaganza a big deal, one of the most notable faces in the LGBTQI community will: Laverne Cox will make a debut, reports Vogue, and show off some pretty impressive dance moves. The latter is yet another example of how fashion and inclusion win over a wider audience.
Long after the show is over, and unlike the traditional fashion show, YouTube and Amazon Prime viewers can go back again and again to examine their favorite beauty tips and outfits. Fashion show streaming literally brings the fashion show into consumers’ own homes to interrupt models as they strut. And if the outfits are really appealing, consumers can pause and take shopping notes to (potentially) buy the clothes in stores later.
And if streaming fashion and beauty tips gets more people inside of physical stores, it’s a win-win for all.