The Brand with More Social Media Buzz During NYFW than Rihanna, Marc Jacobs

The conclusion of New York Fashion Week has brought the inevitable social media round ups, including ListenFirst’s Digital Engagement Rating, which measures consumer engagement across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia combined with organic conversation volume, post engagements – such as a “like” or a retweet – and general searches. Victoria Beckham, Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors, which have all ranked well in recent years, topped the Spring/Summer 2018 list.

As noted by WWD, “Victoria Beckham’s brand garnered 5,661,938 consumer engagements on social media, representing 17 percent of all engagement during fashion week. It was also more than both Calvin Klein (2.9 million) and Michael Kors (2.2 million), who took the number-two and number-three spots, respectively, combined.”

In the number four spot on the list, nestled in between Michael Kors and Rihanna – whose Fenty x Puma show brought in a total of 1.8 million engagements – is a relatively unknown name in the upper echelon of fashion: Sherri Hill.

Hill, an Austin, Texas-based designer enjoyed 1.9 million engagements during NYFW for her eponymous label. Despite her status as a relatively obscure name on the NYFW calendar – which is best known for the shows of Ralph Lauren (with brought in 1.7 million engagements), Tom Ford (1.6 million), Marc Jacobs (1.1 million), Alexander Wang (957k) and Coach (621k) – this is not the first time Hill has ended up on the social media engagement list. Last year, her brand came in at number three.

Unsurprisingly, there appears to be some tact to her continued placement on this list. Part of that is casting. According to W magazine's Lauren McCarthy, “In her a six years of showing [during NYFW], [Hill] has quietly helped launch the runway careers of now mega-models like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, and Grace Elizabeth.”

McCarthy went on to note: “It is Hill's showroom, after all, that acts as a centerpiece for a 2011 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, where Kim Kardashian and Jenner take Manhattan to determine if Jenner's modeling dreams are worth pursuing (turns out, they were). Jenner, who made her first appearance this week at Tom Ford, would go on to walk in Hill's debut show at New York Fashion Week, which also marked her own runway debut.”

For Spring/Summer 2018, Hill put Jamie Foxx’s daughter Corinne on her runway, along with actress-turned-reality star Lisa Rinna’s daughter, Delilah Belle Hamlin, who – if industry predictions are correct – is slated to be one of the next big names in fashion, largely thanks to the trend of celebrity-spawn models.  

While Sherri Hill may not be one of the names that immediately comes to mind when fashion industry insiders think of NYFW, her brand boasts a very real following, nonetheless. Hill - who first made her mark in the fashion world when various Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss America contestants won titles in her gowns - maintains a business with a network of over 1,000 stores in over 30 countries.

And unlike the vast majority of looks that go down the runway either in New York or Paris, Hill caters to much more inclusive audience. For instance, the average designer’s dresses do not run above a size 12 or cost below $1,000, whereas many of Hill’s dresses – which range in price from $250 to just upwards of $1,000 – are available in size 00 but also in size 26.

This is just one way that Hill is catering to what she calls “today’s contemporary women.” It is also likely one of the areas where Hill is succeeding that traditional high fashion brands are woefully falling short - that very may help boost the visibility of and demand for her brand. Aside, of course, from a famous face or two.