It's hard to believe it's only been three years since a handful of Vogue editors ignited an industry firestorm by calling influencers at fashion week "embarrassing" and "pathetic." In the years since, influencers have proven that, whatever legacy publishers might say, they have serious staying power — and in fact, we've seen more and more editors go the influencing route themselves as the world of traditional media continues to destabilize.
So what exactly is the value that an influencer brings with them to fashion week? We looked at a new report examining mega-influencer Aimee Song to find out.
The report, which was undertaken by Launchmetrics, tracked Song's "media impact value" — which is calculated based on reach, media rates, media quality and content quality — to gauge how much value she was able to generate over the course of fashion month. Though this number doesn't necessarily translate to straightforward dollars earned by Song or the brands she partners with, it is a useful indicator of the kind of value she can drive by making appearances at events and posting about them.
Unsurprisingly, the report concludes that Song wields considerable power with her 5.4 million Instagram followers. According to the report, she generated $1.9 million in media impact value over the course of New York and Paris fashion weeks, with $1.1 million of that coming from NYFW alone.
Interestingly, though she had an overall bigger impact through her New York coverage, Song's best-performing post was actually a shot from Paris Fashion Week in front of the Place Vendôme. That post earned $101,709 in media impact value, while her second-highest performing post — a sponsored partnership with L'Agence posted on the first day of NYFW — earned $91,429. Her third best performing post featured her own clothing line, Song of Style.
Read the full report from Launchmetrics here to see the breakdown of Song's other most valuable posts. All in all, it's proof that any publication or brand that underestimates influencers does so at their own risk.