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    Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana top Milan Fashion Week social media rankings, but others are receiving greater reviews

    What strategies did these fashion players employ to distinguish themselves in the fiercely competitive landscape of Milan Fashion Week?
    Image: Weibo screenshot
      Published   in Fashion

    In the second instalment of our Milan Fashion Week review, we spotlight three standout brands that excelled in terms of Earned Media Value (EMV), as determined by social marketing agency Lefty's ranking.

    The top brands are, in order, Prada, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana, with their EMV primarily driven by the presence of influential celebrities.

    Jing Daily delves into the performance of other noteworthy brands such as Diesel, Marni, Sunnei, Max Mara, and MM6, which all garnered exceptional reviews from both fashion insiders and online communities.

    What strategies did these fashion players employ to distinguish themselves in the fiercely competitive landscape of Milan Fashion Week?

    Diesel#

    At Diesel's Fall Winter 24/25 show, a noteworthy element was introduced as attendees sat before colossal screens broadcasting a Zoom call featuring over 1,000 meeting participants. Photo: Diesel
    At Diesel's Fall Winter 24/25 show, a noteworthy element was introduced as attendees sat before colossal screens broadcasting a Zoom call featuring over 1,000 meeting participants. Photo: Diesel

    Leading up to the show, Diesel announced a significant milestone: the label synonymous with 'successful living' is now growing. It posted 13.1 percent revenue expansion in 2023, a turnaround from a decline in 2022.

    Notably, young Chinese consumers have played a pivotal role in rewarding the parent group OTB's endeavors in the market.

    Diesel founder Renzo Rosso, in an exclusive interview with Jing Daily, disclosed that over 60 percent of the brand's annual investment is directed towards China, a commitment reflected in the opening of 30 new stores in the country last year.

    A noteworthy element at Diesel's Fall Winter 24/25 show comprised colossal screens broadcasting a Zoom call featuring over 1,000 meeting participants. This unconventional setup meant show attendees were able to "watch while being watched," adding a unique interactive dimension to the brand's presentation.

    This season's showcase saw creative director Glenn Martens evolving his signature pieces, presenting models adorned in ultra-mini skirts, oversized faux fur, acid-washed see-through jerseys, and denim jackets. The collection garnered significant praise from fashion insiders, highlighting Martens' adeptness at maturing Diesel's distinctive style.

    In a stark departure from other major luxury players, Diesel is deliberately carving out its niche as an 'alternative' choice for young consumers eager to express their individuality and coolness through fashion. This distinctive wardrobe offering has proven to be an effective strategy, one that resonates in Mainland China.

    Max Mara#

    Jing Daily

    For this season's collection, creative director Ian Griffiths drew inspiration from the multifaceted writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette of the Belle Époque era, known for her sophistication, intelligence, and sexual liberation. Departing from the prevalent camel hues, the palette transitioned to encompass shades of black, dark blue, and gray, creating a more formal and serious wardrobe that exudes Belle Époque elegance, catering to Max Mara's discerning clientele.

    Exquisitely tailored coats continue to dominate the fashion landscape, and in China, Max Mara stands as a timeless classic, often regarded as a maker of generational piece passed down through families. Amid a sea of luxury coat offerings, Max Mara has solidified its position as the go-to brand for cashmere and wool coats. With over 60,000 instances of user-generated content on Xiaohongshu, the brand's iconic pieces like the Ludmilla, Teddy Coat, and Manuela garments have become household names among Chinese audiences.

    Prada#

    In this season's showcase, the creative duo of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons explores themes of romance, love, emotion, and history. Image: Prada
    In this season's showcase, the creative duo of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons explores themes of romance, love, emotion, and history. Image: Prada

    Prada continues to ride the wave of Shanghai Blossoms fever, following its Lunar New Year campaign featuring Du Juan, a character from Wong Kar Wai's TV series. For the show, the label welcomed Ma Yili, a prominent figure from the drama, who commands an impressive 44 million followers on Weibo.

    Prada opted for a safe approach, acknowledging that Ma's influence may not match that of past 'little fresh meat' ambassadors like Cai Xukun.

    In this season's showcase, the creative duo of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons explores themes of romance, love, emotion, and history. Biker jackets, bomber jackets, and knitwear drew inspiration from the past, but the lines and details underwent a modern reinterpretation.

    Despite widespread anticipation of Prada's livestream, which amassed a total of 36.7 million views, some viewers were hoping to catch a glimpse of actor and Prada ambassador Li Xian at the show, given his presence at last month's menswear event. He didn't put in an appearance. Notably, Prada claimed top spot in Lefty's Milan Fashion Week ranking, securing an impressive $14.7 million (106 million RMB) in Earned Media Value (EMV).

    Versace#

    This season, Versace steered clear of the Spring/Summer 24 baby pink and baby blue hues, opting instead for a bold 'mob wife' aesthetic. Image: Versace
    This season, Versace steered clear of the Spring/Summer 24 baby pink and baby blue hues, opting instead for a bold 'mob wife' aesthetic. Image: Versace

    This season, Versace steered clear of the Spring/Summer 24 baby pink and baby blue hues, opting instead for a bold 'mob wife' aesthetic. The runway was adorned with leather jackets and pants, animalier prints, and striking red and black looks, complemented by spiked hair and heavy eyeliner. In stark contrast to other brands embracing a more subdued direction, Versace boldly explores its world through statement pieces that unmistakably embody the rebellious spirit of a Versace girl.

    Adding to the allure of the show was the presence of K-pop star and Chinese singer Ning Yizhuo, the newly appointed ambassador for Versace. Also in attendance was Versace's global ambassador and K-pop singer Hyunji. The collective star power, including the notable attendance of Anne Hathaway, significantly elevated Versace's online engagement. According to Lefty's data, Versace secured the second spot in terms of EMV of all the brands at Milan Fashion Week, amassing an impressive $12.7 million (91 million RMB) in EMV. Despite not livestreaming the show on Weibo, Versace's event videos garnered tens of thousands of views, reinforcing the brand's magnetic appeal.

    Sunnei#

    The independent Italian fashion label Sunnei, crafted by the creative duo of Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo, presented an original, vibrant, and playful collection. Image: Sunnei
    The independent Italian fashion label Sunnei, crafted by the creative duo of Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo, presented an original, vibrant, and playful collection. Image: Sunnei

    The independent Italian fashion label Sunnei, crafted by the creative duo of Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo, presented an original, vibrant, and playful collection that stood out amid the serious 'quiet luxury' tailoring of major brands at Milan Fashion Week. The runway was accompanied by background music that captured the stream of consciousness of models adorned in colorful, futuristic garments, complemented by a reinterpreted Labauletto handbag featuring spikes.

    According to Rizzo, the label's co-founder, China is Sunnei's second-largest market, trailing only South Korea. The niche label has garnered substantial popularity in Asian markets, with Chinese consumers making purchases through online retailers such as Farfetch. In response to growing demand, Rizzo disclosed plans for activations in China this year and his aim to strategically position the brand in the most fitting concessions. However, Sunnei faces competition from local streetwear brands that are rapidly gaining market share in China, leveraging more affordable pricing strategies and localized marketing approaches.

    Marni#

    For the Fall/Winter 24/25 collection, Marni departed from incorporating images or references, returning to a state of purity. Image: Marni
    For the Fall/Winter 24/25 collection, Marni departed from incorporating images or references, returning to a state of purity. Image: Marni

    After a three-season journey through New York, Paris, and Tokyo, Marni triumphantly returned to the heart of Italian fashion for its 30th-anniversary celebration. The show venue was transformed into a jubilant spectacle, adorned with white paper, a colossal cake, and vibrant balloons.

    To kick off the festivities, Marni hosted a pre-Milan Fashion Week party in China, with Francesco Risso, the creative mind behind the brand, in attendance. The event underscores the significance the brand places on the Asian market, a sentiment further emphasized by the presence of Chinese actress Yuan Shanshan at the show in Milan. The runway's live broadcast on Weibo garnered an impressive 3.2 million views.

    For the Fall/Winter 24/25 collection, Marni departed from incorporating images or references, returning to a state of purity that eliminates the superfluous, focusing solely on masterful shapes and tailoring. This commitment to simplicity marks a significant shift in the brand's design approach for this season.

    Dolce Gabbana#

    Designed for powerful women, Dolce & Gabbana's fall collection exudes boldness and allure. Image: Dolce & Gabbana
    Designed for powerful women, Dolce & Gabbana's fall collection exudes boldness and allure. Image: Dolce & Gabbana

    While Chinese celebrities maintain a distance from Dolce & Gabbana, the brand is successfully exploring alternative avenues to connect with the China, notably through K-pop. The front row was filled with K-pop stars, including Mun Kayoung, NCT’s Doyoung, Han Hye Jin, and Lee So Hyuk, who joined Eva Mendes at Dolce & Gabbana’s show. The move resonated with K-pop enthusiasts, as evidenced by the Weibo livestream attracting 2.5 million views, predominantly from fans supporting their idols.

    Dolce & Gabbana's fall collection exudes boldness and allure, designed for powerful women who can effortlessly don see-through cocktail dresses crafted with lace or gauze, paired with maxi-size faux fur, or a striking leopard-print coat.

    In a bid to reclaim market share in mainland China, Dolce & Gabbana is collaborating with Chinese Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), such as Molly Chiang and Cristine Sun. The involvement of K-pop stars significantly contributed to Dolce & Gabbana's EMV. Securing third position in Lefty's Milan Fashion Week ranking, the brand closely trailed Versace, accumulating an impressive $12.4 million (89 million RMB) in EMV.

    MM6#

    Jing Daily

    The avant-garde label showcased a collection that epitomized pure, minimalistic, and chic aesthetics, featuring clean cuts and squared shapes that offer an elevated and classy vibe with a subtle rave undertone.

    The label's front rows primarily consist of editors, with the presence of bloggers a rarity. However, MM6 made a departure from this norm for its latest collection by extending invitations to Chinese fashion KOLs Nikki-Min and Avafoo, who boast 4.8 million and 3.4 million followers on Weibo, respectively. Their social media posts covering the show are poised to significantly amplify the reach and impact of the collection in China.

    In recognition of the influence bloggers wield in the social media era, MM6 is embracing this shift and opening up to collaborations with influential voices in the fashion blogging sphere.

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