One of the first brands to use memes in their advertising campaign was Gucci: in 2017, the brand launched the #TFWGucci campaign. The brand has collaborated with famous Instagram artists and meme authors - @textsfromyourexistentialist, @siduations, @pollynor and others.
The sad lady in the Renaissance painting with the caption “When he buys you flowers instead of Gucci watches” or images of ordinary watches and Gucci models, accompanied by the words “Me and the guy she says not to worry about” - a simple and funny message will be remembered by everyone for a long time. Despite varying customer reactions, estimates show that Gucci's humorous campaigns have attracted more than 120 million people.
1 of 4 © digital.gucci.com © digital.gucci.com © digital.gucci.com © digital.gucci.com
With the arrival of Demna Gvasalia in Balenciaga, the brand's Instagram account quickly turned into a source of memes: all the photos seem to be taken completely by accident, the videos are not formatted, there are no marks or signatures in the posts. Hundreds of comic comments appear under each photo, from which users quickly make memes. It is not known how this affected the company's profits, but one thing is clear: the brand knows its audience well.
In the spring, the Dutch brand Viktor & Rolf released a whole collection of memes: 18 tulle dresses with comic, sometimes obscene expressions were presented at the couture show. “Sorry for being late, I didn’t want to come”, “I’m not ashamed, I just don’t like you”, “To hell with this, I'm going to Paris”, “No photos, please” - photos from the show were immediately scattered across the Internet, so that meme dresses brought Viktor & Rolf huge popularity.
1 of 5 Viktor & Rolf Spring 2019 Collection © Victor Boyko / Getty Images © Victor Boyko / Getty Images © Victor Boyko / Getty Images © Victor Boyko / Getty Images © Victor Boyko / Getty Images
The release of the collection logically coincided with the theme of the Met Gala: it was the camp style with its inherent absurdity and grotesque. At the costume institute ball, actress Haley Steinfield appeared in a dress with the words "No photos, please". Later, dresses from the couture collection were worn by many celebrities: Julia Roberts poses in this on the March cover of The Hollywood Reporter, Kylie Jenner - in the shoot for the German Interview Magazine, and Kim Kardashian - for Vogue Japan.
According to a study by fashion search engine Lyst, memes have become the main trend of the past year, which is not surprising, since they all turn into good viral ads. We all love the giant straw hats and tiny Jacquemus handbags, the Balenciaga IKEA bag, or the Supreme brick. Thanks to things-memes, brands are quickly gaining popularity and attracting a young paying audience.
Balenciaga bag © balenciaga.com
However, for the purpose of PR, memes are used not only by fashion brands, but also by stars. For example, the singer Celine Dion became a style icon. It is believed that her "dizzying makeover" began in the summer of 2016 with couture fashion week in Paris, when she appeared at the exit from the hotel in a Vetements hoodie depicting Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio on the poster of "Titanic", for which she performed the soundtrack (and famous song) "My Heart Will Go On". Continuing to mock the fashion "attributed" to 49-year-old women, she went out in a white Off-White trench coat, then in a lemon-yellow Maison Margiela dress and chunky sneakers, then in a neon yellow Balenciaga dress with a leather jacket, for which Vogue called Dion "The first celebrity to wear Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga."
1 of 5 Balmain © Marc Piasecki / GC Images Alexandre Vauthier © Edward Berthelot / Getty Images Iris van Herpen © Mehdi Taamallah / NurPhoto via Getty Images Vetements © Marc Piasecki / GC Images Maison Margiela © Marc Piasecki / GC Images
All jokes, and in 2017, Celine Dion was invited to the Met Gala for the first time, where she made a splash with a black Versace dress with a bold asymmetrical neckline. This comic approach played an important role in the development of Dion as a fashion icon.
Celine Dion, Met Gala 2017 © Mike Coppola / Getty Images for People.com
The reactions to the use of memes in fashion are very different: some believe that they are breathing new life into the brand, others that in this way the companies show their disrespect for the customer. One thing is for sure: memes launch a viral wave, and images are fixed in the minds of the audience for a long time. The jokes not only reflect the spirit of the times, but also greatly help brands to spread fashion trends.>