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ONLY FANS: THE RISE OF THE LUXURY FASHION FANS

ONLY FANS: THE RISE OF THE LUXURY FASHION FANS

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ONLY FANS: THE RISE OF THE LUXURY FASHION FANS


In January 2021, Bottega Veneta, a brand at the height of its hype power, deleted its Instagram account. A bold move in a time dominated by the virtual. But a move that made headlines asked some big questions about how they’d connect with the world going forward, and a move that left the doors wide open for @NewBottega... Welcome to the era of the luxury fashion fan accounts – the new hot spots to engage, connect and get inspired. And maybe, have a few laughs.

Originally set up to follow the then-newly-appointed-but-since-departed Daniel Lee and the brand’s fresh direction, in 2022 @NewBottaga has hit the million mark – and then some. Essentially a brand mood board, its feed is a mix of cult pieces, celebrities in looks, snippets of shows and campaigns, merged with borrowed images of a very specific Bottega aesthetic. Think fluffy baby chows – that cleverly resemble the camel-toned ‘Pouch’ - Martin Parr’s melting ice creams from his book Real Food, and snapshots of the iconic poolside at the Chateau Marmont. Scroll down the feed and watch as the colours shift - from cheesecake yellow to truffle pizza beige and flamingo red.

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Founded by Laura Nycole, who was an Italian fashion student at the time, the account is a visual feast, impressively curated and thought-out. So much so that Bottega Veneta fans clamour for a spot on the grid, tagging @NewBottega as they go. Over on the gird, posts are getting a lot of love. A recent snapshot of Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi has amassed a cool 34.3k likes. The mini Jodie spotted on the hand of Julianne Moore has more than 20k and over 300 comments.

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“One of the secrets of being a luxury brand is that you don’t need to talk about yourself. If you know, you know,” Dexter Darbouze, WW Head of Integrated Media at Bottega Veneta, told Highsnobiety in their recent Luxury 3.0 report with BCG. “So, with that positioning, it made sense for us not to have a social media where you talk about yourself every single day and it doesn’t really line up… what you saw from that is other people rising to the top and trying to fill that void that we created.” Enter @NewBottega.



But it’s not just brands without social accounts that have garnered big followings. @Prada.Archive is on 82.9k followers, thanks to its dedication to celebrating ‘All things Prada and Miu Miu’. A blend of vintage campaigns, iconic magazine editorials – like a Helmut Newton shot fashion story styled by American Vogue legend Andre Leon Talley and starring Naomi Campbell – and runways past and present, make it a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about the Italian powerhouses. 



While Stone Island’s iconic badge has its own dedicated account @stoneislandpatch. Playing into meme culture, the brains behind it take the logo and apply it to pop culture and nostalgic moments. Think John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, Dot Cotton in Eastenders, that Bernie Sanders deckchair moment. Even Jesus Christ himself has been adorned.



The fashion fandom doesn’t stop there, with creatives themselves front and centre. The likes of @Demnagram, a fan account for Balenciaga’s out-there creative director Demna Gvasalia, have amassed 175k followers and counting, while @VirgilAblohStories, a tribute to the late designer, is on 62.5k followers, and @wintourworld documents the editor-in-chief of American Vogue’s every move to its 253k fans.

Fandom – in the shape of fan sites – became big business in the late ‘90s as the internet exploded. Fast forward to the ‘00s and ‘10s and it was all about online fashion communities, with forums like Superfuture and Stylezeitgeist gaining cult followings. This new era of ‘fanstagrams’ is taking over where they left off.

So, what’s behind the rise in the luxury fan account? With our lives playing out more and more in the metaverse, we’re relying heavily on social media to stay connected. To find our tribes. To get our fix of the world of new luxury beyond the norm. To see behind those previously closed doors. To laugh and joke and have a bit of fun. After all, fashion is fun. Welcome to the metacommunity. You’re going to love it.