Burberry had the big news at London Fashion Week. This will be the last show to preview clothes for next season. From September, we’ll be able to buy all Burberry clothes as soon as they’ve appeared on the catwalk. This announcement, and the discussion around it, helped Burberry to the lion’s share of online conversation during #LFW16.

More than 80 designers previewed their Autumn/ Winter lines this week. To get a snapshot of the broader social media picture, I compared five of the UK’s top designers with five up and coming labels. I used Brandwatch’s analytics platform to measure variables such as share of voice, output, sentiment and topics.

Here’s what I found:

1. Established designers are hottest

Unsurprisingly, established designers held a whopping 97 per cent share of voice, with Burberry taking the bulk of that (58 per cent share in total – see Fig.1). The plan to sell clothes straight off the catwalk sparked some social media buzz, but it was predominantly Burberry’s beautiful show that helped generate 19,571 Twitter mentions: the bulk of these celebrating new looks such as the combination of military jackets over frayed silk.

Fig 1 - share of voice

Fig.1: Ten UK designers’ share of voice during London Fashion Week, February 2016 (graphic and analysis via Brandwatch)

2. Celebrities boost content

Burberry also boasted the most star-studded audience. People tweeted about Nicholas Hoult bringing his sister while front row regulars like Suki Waterhouse and Rosie Huntington-Whitely shared images and video on Instagram and Snapchat. Fashion bloggers Victoria Magrath and Xenia Tchoumi helped spread the word on Instagram. An image of Jake Bugg’s performance saying his recording would be available on iTunes gained 452 retweets.

3. Periscope is trending

The return of Alexander McQueen to London resulted in a strong social media performance. The brand had the second largest share of voice in the group – 28 per cent. As with Burberry, most of the comments focused on design details (antique silver jewellery, butterfly embroideries, hand painted leather). The live stream on Periscope generated 280 mentions alone. In fact, #Periscope was a popular hashtag overall – suggesting many designers made use of live streaming during Fashion Week.

4. Not everyone embraces social

The number of online conversations about Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith (4 per cent each) and Simone Rocha (3 per cent) was disappointing. Although these designers are well-known, they failed to break through on social media.

By contrast, Claire Barrow and J JS Lee put on a respectable performance as relative newcomers, with 164 and 109 Twitter mentions respectively. Christopher Kane, surprisingly, showed a very low score. He had just two Twitter mentions picked up by Brandwatch during the whole of London Fashion Week.

5. A young following helps

Up and coming UK designer duo Marques Almeida (Instagram coverage pictured above) punched well above their weight with a two per cent share of voice (628 Twitter mentions). The duo themselves created very few social media updates over London Fashion Week. But the week before, they ran an Instagram campaign introducing their catwalk models. Commentators praised the “oversized fluorescent looks” and rainbow bright, sharp techno-colour palette. A tweet of Korean popstar Sandara Park wearing the brand’s denim flared skirt gained 90 retweets. We can only imagine what might have happened if MA’s number one celebrity fan, Rihanna, had been in town!

Why did Marques Almeida do so well?

It’s all about exciting content – the duo put on a great show that naturally generated coverage – but there’s no doubt being popular with a young, urban demographic also helps.

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