gucciGucci is tweeting and so is Oscar de la Renta. Donna Karan Louis Vuitton, Urban Outfitters and Rachel Roy are on social media too! The recent lead story of WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) ‘Social Media Rewrites the Rules for Brands’ highlighted how leading brands are customizing their message and medium to match the consumer.

We are not talking about the New York Flea market, some of the most prominent designers you would have never expected to see using Twitter, Facebook or any other online social media, today are active on the social media universe. The new communication channels are radically changing the way fashion brands engage with their customers and prospects online.

oscarPRgirlBrands are coming to realize that people are interested to know beyond what’s hiding behind the fashion label. Oscar de la Renta does a great job in managing his Twitter profile by appointing what he calls the OscarPRGirl, to promote the brand ‘from inside one of the world’s most prestigious design houses’. Who wouldn’t want to know more about what goes on inside Oscar’s fashion empire? Donna Karan tags right along with her very own PRgirl who provides the latest behind-the-scenes scoop from inside DKNY. What is also a great insight is that people like to see, a more humanized, responsive and sensitive facet of the brand.

Social media channels offer a huge experience for the brands to share and a great opportunity to reach out to customers, in a much more engaging manner. Social media is permission led communications which is far more effective than advertising. “Customers can feel like they are part of the brand’s extended family, and therefore the brand itself, while the interactive element further deepens that relationship,” said Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of Oscar de la Renta. “These characteristics address and satisfy that ‘tribal’ part of the fashion consumer — the way in which people identify themselves by the brands they buy.”

dknySocial media represents a powerful brand advantage that allows for both the brand and the consumer to engage in conversation while offering a fun and easy way to stay tuned on the latest products, lines, and promotions. As reported by Nielsen Media, Facebook and MySpace represent the most established social platforms with a retention rate of almost 70%.

One important fact that should not be overlooked by brands is that social media is here to stay, whether they evolve, lose, gain influence, one can love it, hate it but definitely can’t ignore it! As we know, the fashion world is constantly shifting and people’s habits are constantly changing too-particularly shopping habits- therefore, brands would need to adapt to these changes and keep up with the consumer and their demands.