COVID-19 caught the world off-guard in March, and while verticals like skincare saw self-care content skyrocket at a stressful time, many fashion brands—particularly in the luxury space—experienced declines in Earned Media Value (EMV), as influencers could no longer share looks from their daily adventures or glamorous nights out. However, content creators didn't let stay-at-home orders rain on their Instagram parade, and continued to chronicle how they were social distancing in style—even if that meant dressing up for the couch. Here are some highlights from March’s top fashion content trends and activations.
Gucci & Balenciaga Benefit From “Quarantine, but Make it Fashion” Trend
The Luxury Fashion vertical saw widespread month-over-month declines in EMV, community size, and post count in March. While the COVID-19 pandemic likely exaggerated these dips, this February-to-March drop-off was to be expected, given February’s surge in impactful content creation around Fashion Month.
However, many influencers continued to share outfit content throughout March, while acknowledging the coronavirus crisis. Fashion bloggers Instagrammed “pre-quarantine” throwbacks, or flaunted luxury loungewear in “quarantine outfit-of-the-day” posts. Others dressed up in glamorous ensembles “just because” as part of the “quarantine, but make it fashion” content trend. Mentions of “quarantine” powered notable EMV for Gucci in particular, as did posts tagged #StayHome, which ranked among the luxury label’s 10 highest-earning March hashtags. Influencers like Sammi Jefcoate (@sammijefcoate on Instagram) featured Gucci in #ootd posts, noting how getting dressed every day helped keep her “sane.”
Similarly, much of Balenciaga’s top-earning March content touched on bloggers’ new lifestyles at home: Jeffree Star’s (@jeffreestar) “Quarantine & Strike a Pose” Instagram featuring the brand’s sneakers ranked as Balenciaga’s No. 1 March post. The brand enjoyed an overall 4% MoM EMV uptick—the only EMV growth in that Luxury Fashion Top 10.
Gymshark & Alo Yoga Drive Growth With At-Home Fitness Campaigns
With in-person events off the table in March, many apparel brands galvanized their influencer networks and promoted a sense of virtual community with branded hashtags, like Fashion Nova’s #NovaAndChill, Nike’s #PlayInside, and SheIn’s #SheInAtHome. Activewear and athleisure brands saw particularly impactful content creation this month: many fitness bloggers, who typically share their gym routines on social media, pivoted to home workouts in response to stay-at-home orders and created home training and nutrition programs to support their followers’ health and well-being.
Gymshark, for example, re-entered March’s Apparel Top 10, enjoying a 41% month-over-month EMV surge thanks to an influx of at-home workout content from fitness bloggers like Whitney Simmons (@whitneyysimmons). #HomeWorkout and #AtHomeWorkouts ranked as the brand’s top two March hashtags, outperforming #Gymshark. Meanwhile, Alo Yoga achieved a 17% MoM EMV increase thanks in part to its #OmAtHome activation: the brand partnered with yoga influencers including Adell Bridges (@adellbridges) and Leanna Decker (@leannadecker) on virtual classes via its Alo Moves at-home yoga program. Influencers also sported Alo Yoga’s comfy apparel in posts tagged #StayHome.
To learn how much EMV these, and other, content trends and campaigns generated in March, as well as the broader impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the beauty and fashion space and influencer engagement, check out our special-edition COVID-19 Influencer Marketing Impact Study & Tribe Top 10.