Sell Yourself! The Growing Influence Of Instagram In The Fashion Industry

Fashion and Instagram Influencers

Brought together by mutual admirations for glamour and self-promotion, Instagram and the fashion industry have become increasingly intertwined. Large brands, such as H&M, Fila and Nike, are turning to the platform to promote and sponsor content. This development has established Instagram Influencers as leading actors in contemporary fashion world.

Our initial inspiration was to explore how fashion progresses, and the continuous turmoil of the industry. To narrow our focus, we looked at an emerging development in fashion, the prominence of influencers on social media, specifically Instagram.

After researching the platform, we began to understand how the medium has been appropriated by the fashion industry, and the lucrative entrepreneurial rise of influencers. On Instagram, certain users, based on following, can attract brand attention and be offered to sponsor content on their accounts.

So, we set out to concretize this industry development, and deconstruct the commercialization of the Instagram frame. In particular, we looked at how Instagram Likes, Comments, Shares and User Engagement has become a monetized commodity, which can be measured and evaluated or sold.

Our artefact

We wanted to capture the narrative of an influencer as they gain popularity and, as a result, being to negotiate/demand larger sponsorships.

As well, we wanted to emphasize the relationship between traditional print advertising and this emerging social media content. In particular, we chose to highlight the ‘Instagram frame’ as a mannequin, which can be seamlessly outfitted with multiple brands.

The first post begins with a typical Instagram photo, yet, as you spin right, the content reveals to have been sponsored by H&M. As you continue to rotate, another dress emerges, which similarly reveals to be sponsored by another brand. Importantly, the amount an influencer can demand is directly related to the amount of their followers (measured though Likes, Comments and Shares). As a result, their asking price for sponsoring content increases, as well as the prestige of the brand.


Our artefact looked at the rise of social media platforms and how their aesthetics and user dynamics are appropriated by industry to facilitate advertising and marketing. In particular, it highlighted the monetization of user engagement, through Likes, Comments, and Shares. As well, we were drawn to show how clothing brands, by appropriating Instagram’s aesthetics and user intimacy, are able to create disguised advertisement that seamlessly blends their sponsored content with the account’s identity.