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HMXME — Are People Finally Reclaiming Fashion?

Has haute couture finally come to be ruled by the masses, instead of the masses being ruled by haute couture?

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Designer collaborations on the high street started a long time ago — December 2004 to be precise. That’s when H&M released the collection they’d made with Karl Lagerfeldt. Personally, I still have some items from Sonia Rykiel’s collection with them in 2009. This year H&M teamed up with Moschino, which was featured in British Vogue. And just recently Halpern x Top Shop made waves with their glittery glam collection.

What’s currently trending on Instagram, though, is #HMXME. At a time when “haute couture” is changing, people are starting to reclaim their own sense of style. Seasons are no longer seasons. Ready to wear is a thing. The aforementioned high street collabs are happening. Female and male fashion is merging. You’re almost as likely being featured in Vogue by wearing cool clothes on the street during Fashion Week as you are if you’re a model. Companies like Vetements are protesting against the system (but still using it to their advantage to sell clothes for insane amounts of money). People are starting to wake up to the fact that sometimes it’s fashion, and with it, multi-billion dollar conglomerates, that rule them, rather than them ruling fashion. And so, the rebellion has begun. From capsule wardrobes to the importance of making a style statement by creating your personal style instead of being a slave to “the current season,” people are starting to reclaim their wardrobes by limiting seasonal influence.

Fashion is a big industry that supports a lot of people. Fashion is a great way for creative expression and simply showing off who one is through what one wears. It’s also a wonderful tool to make a statement for a cause. But, it can be used for unethical business practices, harm the environment through the use of synthetic materials and over-consumption, and ruin people’s economies (and egos) if they believe they’re nothing without the latest season designer labels in their wardrobes. What’s more, many people have come to believe that they need to be “model thin,” or airbrushed, to feel good about themselves, but that, too, has started to change.

User Generated Content for Marketing in the Fashion Industry

Burberry started a trend many years ago of using customers as their models. They encouraged people to take photos of themselves wearing their iconic trench coat and post them on social media. They teamed up with street photographers and models around the world to make it happen, but essentially they were turning their customer into a model.

Companies like Aerie (part of American Eagle Outfitters) made a pledge to only use non-edited photos of swimwear models and followed it up with encouraging people to take real shots of themselves wearing Aerie swimwear and post it on social media to raise awareness for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

There have been many more similar campaigns where companies have monetized people’s wish to be seen. It’s a marketing trick. But it’s also a trend that’s led to people being more and more in charge of the fashion industry. I, for one, find it incredibly exciting.

Quality control is still needed. H&M isn’t going to stick all photos people take on their website. In a similar manner, here at Vigyaa, we allow anyone to post, but editors are constantly going through the content, looking for what to put on the front page. Like H&M we have brand guidelines and our own set of rules for quality control. That prevents us, and H&M, from being just another social media feed. But what’s exciting is that the doors are open to anyone.

It’s the same in the publishing industry. Websites like WattPad, InkItt and FicFun means anyone can publish their novel to the world. What gets put on the front page and who the big publishers source from there is still a matter of quality control, but unlike in a bureaucratic past, every man has a shot at being seen. And it’s exciting.

To celebrate this trend we’re featuring some of the images we found on Instagram for HMXME. Personally I’m also hoping that soon HMXME will be designs created by the people, not just well-known designers. 

@sweetladylollipop

We can’t resist this lollipop sweet rendition of Christmas cozy. 

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@maajitaa

A classy, wintery feel. Who doesn’t love that?

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@thefoxandfern

Festive. We love how the red lipstick gets picked up by the red leaves in the background.

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@raquelsmx

As she points out: sun in London in winter and sunglasses to match. It’s rare. Love the happy touch the colorful scarf brings.

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@nickkimberley

Street style.

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@itsalexlinares

The matching browns are just right. And check out the metallic vibe in the sneakers.

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@alessioveschi

Shearling at its best. OK so we chose this because of the matching colors in the photo — its stunning. But shearling is hot right now.

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@ultraviolence_blog

These high waist trousers are so right now. But we fell for the black and white vibe and the pose, more than anything else.

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@wearitlikemel

This feels kind of twenties…had it been a dress, but it’s actually a sweater and a skirt. We love the happiness this photo exudes.

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@littleglitterybox

Those pants. Seriously. New Years is saved.

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@mimisfashionmoments

Anyone else thinking “hello 90s punk” meets Christmas, meets general greatness?

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@sarahrebeccanel

A plunging v-neckline is all en vogue in the swimwear section right now.

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@christinawonsbeck

This is just too cute, but with just the right amount of attitude. Love it!

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@ogata_photo

That shot. The hero in the movie has arrived. 

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