From the Editor: A World of Social Media Influencers

The internet has ushered in a whole new age of technological advancement never seen before in human history. The introduction of 4G for mobile phones has seen an explosion of access to a universe of knowledge at your fingertips anytime, anywhere. The rise of cyberculture has seen a new breed of cyber citizens emerge - the social media influencer. These young celebrities make full use of whatever they have at their disposal: looks, talent and charisma to subvert the traditional marketing practices of the fashion industry, creating a brand new economic model that is commanding more and more attention.

No one could have predicted the day that the long established fashion writers occupying VIP seats at the major shows would be completely upstaged by a bunch of unknown influencers and bloggers who came out of nowhere to become the arbiters of all things fashionable.

Even the overlords of fashion marketing, International Management Group (IMG) has been forced to accept the new reality. Dan Porter, IMG digital director says that consumers have gone way past the point where they wait for fashion buyers or editors to dictate the must-have pieces for the season. Instead, they’re watching fashion vloggers and streamers on social media platforms to choose what they want. Some are ordering whilst they are watching, knowing straight away that a featured piece fits the bill. The direction and development of the fashion world is slowly but surely transferring into the hands of consumers. As a result, social media has become the quickest and most efficient way to connect brands and consumers for instant feedback.

It is undeniable that Gen Z and millennials are the major consumers right now. These generations were born into the cyber age where YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Weibo and other platforms have become their major suppliers of information and entertainment. They are the creators and the followers of the new cyber culture. They have a fresh and distinctive take on the world which has attracted many fans across all ages, resulting in an extraordinary group emerging from the crowd - the social media influencers.

The old notion that bloggers, youtubers and Instagrammers are shallow, self-promoting fame seekers is rapidly changing as influencers inundate all social media platforms, imbibing their favourite products with their own unique brand of charm and allure. They share very personal aspects of their lives, showing how they use their favourite products in their day-to-day routines. Their influence has surpassed that of more traditional stars and celebrities.

In this age where cyber culture is permeating into more areas of our lives, influencers are becoming the opinion makers for consumers who can convert fan numbers into soaring sales for the brands they endorse.

While so many other traditional magazines and newspapers have been negatively impacted by the rise of the influencer, VISION has stayed ahead of the curve. We have been creating and maintaining relationships with various social media celebrities and influencers over the years. Our clients are thrilled with this strategy, highlighted by our successful collaboration with Tag Heuer at the launch of their flagship Sydney store. VISION has once again demonstrated its distinctive style to the world, acting as a launch pad delivering all the information on current and up-and-coming trends to keep our readers on track for the very latest in fashion and lifestyle. By linking with our influencer friends, this information has a ready-made market of millions of followers, with the unique advantage of offering the stability for a traditional publication that will remain current for many years to come.

夏言 (Editor-in-chief)