Topshop loses out on new fans from London Fashion Week without the ‘Cara effect’ this year, Starcount shows

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The Topshop Unique show for London Fashion Week did little to raise the profile of the high street brand, according to insight from Starcount.

Topshop’s efforts to “democratise fashion” seem to be misfiring; the brand gained a minimal amount of new followers over Fashion Weekend, despite streaming the Topshop Unique show on Periscope in an attempt to close the gap between luxury and high-street fashion.

While in previous years the Topshop Unique show has been instrumental in promoting the brand, Sunday’s show failed to draw the same attention on social media, gaining 37.1% fewer new Twitter fans than during the 2015 show. While during the 2015 fashion weekend Topshop gained 4052 new fans (an increase in fans of 244% against the norm for January and the brand’s biggest social gain of the year), Topshop gained the significantly lower total of 2546 new followers over the same period this year.

Cara Delevingne (notably absent from the show this year) has a history of promoting strong social growth for the brand and her presence at past Topshop Unique shows has been instrumental in generating online excitement for the event. A 2014 Topshop advertising campaign featuring Cara saw a growth in fans of 81.3% for the month of August. This success was repeated in January 2015, when Cara became the face of the brand for the third time.

This year’s front row struggled to replicate Cara’s social impact. Topshop have started 2016 with a campaign featuring Karlie Kloss, one of the most popular fashion models of the modern era, who had pride of place on the front row atSunday’s event. However, despite having a hefty 1.2M Twitter followers, Karlie’s campaign is struggling to take off. Since the start of 2016, Topshop has seen an increase in followers of 26,110, of whom 10.7% are followers of Karlie Kloss. During the same period last year (while Cara was the face of the brand), Topshop saw 30,761 new followers. This decline in new followers of 15.1% is hard to ignore.

While established fashion stars sat in the front row, the S/S 2016 Topshop Unique show featured up-and-coming models such as Sam Rollinson, Malaika Firth and Bella Hadid. Although this decision is in-keeping with the brand’s aim to open up fashion week to a wider audience, it may have contributed to the lack of online interest in the show. Not one of the show’s catwalk models features within the top 10 most popular models for Topshop’s new followers, while no-shows Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid head up the list.

There is one area in which Topshop seemed to be succeeding in their aim to democratise fashion: for the new audience gained over fashion weekend, the top brands were Michael Kors, New Look, ASOS and Chanel, indicating a promising mixture of luxury and high-street.

Clive Humby, chief data scientist at Starcount, said: “This data is able to measure the efficiency of a brand’s marketing strategies in a new and insightful way. Through analysis of new followers, we at Starcount are able to track not just how many new fans the brand has been able to convert as a result of a given marketing activity, but also who those new fans are – their demographic and their other passions.

“This report therefore provides unique metrics that prove Topshop’s most successful initiatives are those that involve celebrity endorsements.”

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The most popular brands with Topshop’s new followers

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The most popular models with Topshop’s new followers