From royalty to fashion influencers... who is your favourite?

Who is your fashion influencer? Are you more Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton when it comes to shopping trends? They may seem like polar opposites but these two personalities can be just as influential when it comes to making wardrobe updates. According to the latest report from global fashion search platform Lyst, Prince William’s missus Middleton is one of the fashion world’s unparalleled influencers, generating thousands of web searches and causing all kinds of items to sell out fast.

In the space of just a few years, social media has become a key playground for consumers hunting down new trends in fashion and beauty. This has notably been buoyed by the rise of “influencers”, hailing from diverse backgrounds such as reality TV, movies, sport, modelling and music, all sharing daily looks that give their followers some fashion food for thought. But what about the world of royalty? Royals may have limited or no social media presence, but they can sometimes prove more influential than the influencers themselves. Just look at Prince William’s mother Lady Diana, who even had one of Dior’s most emblematic bags named after her.

This is confirmed by the Royal Fashion Report 2020 from the global fashion search engine Lyst, which classes Middleton as the biggest influencer in the field. She sent the internet wild at the end of June, with Lyst registering a 512% increase in search- es for her Marie Louise dress by Faithfull the Brand. In fact, this floral number is the royal outfit that has triggered the most searches so far this year. It even sold out when demand surged after being worn by the Middleton.

Queen Letizia of Spain is no stranger to the phenomenon either, with her outfits piquing the interest of consumers the world over. The royal has helped designs by Charo Ruiz become more popular than ever (+352%) after stepping out in the Corazon maxi dress last summer.

Another of the report’s major findings is that today’s royals tend to dress more like mere mortals. It’s out with the sheath dresses and ball gowns that little kids dream of, as modern-day royals wear jeans, casual dresses and even caps. This particular accessory has been spotted on the heads of Monegasque royal Pierre Casiraghi, the Crown Prince of Dubai Fazza and even Prince Harry, all of whom have driven searches in the field in recent months.

Similarly, the Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria gains much media attention when she steps out in H&M dresses, whether day to day or at society events. Indeed, a design she wore in June led to an 57% increase in searches for the Swedish clothing giant’s dresses.

For its Royal Fashion Report, Lyst analysed the online shopping behaviour of more than nine million monthly visitors searching 12,000 brands and online stores. Lyst also took into account Google search data, as well as social media mentions and stats since the beginning of the year. The platform-based its findings on an analysis of more than 70 million searches from January, while also studying fashion moments or royal personalities to determine who really proved the most influential.

Haute couture at affordable prices - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Haute couture at affordable prices

Fancy slipping into a million-dollar dress for the modest sum of GBP65 ($115.32)? It does not sound possible but Singapore-based luxury label Republiqe may have the solution with its virtual haute couture clothing. The concept will no doubt be completely lost on some people but then they are almost certainly not online content creators glued to social media 24 hours a day. So could this economical and sustainable innovation gain ground as a new way of shopping?

While many ready-to-wear brands are trying to reinvent themselves — notably embracing environmental issues and digital lifestyles — others stand out completely with their innovative, almost futuristic offers. One such brand is Republiqe, a 100% digital clothing brand that only sells virtual luxury clothing. If, for the moment, that seems completely crazy — or even pointless — to some people, for others, this could prove to be much more than just a passing trend in the long term.

This digital brand offers a taste of luxury at an affordable price, selling styles first designed in 2D then finalized via a 3D fashion tailoring platform. To slip into these garments (virtually), you simply upload a high-resolution photo of your- self, add a style to the basket then pay for your order like at any other online store. Once you’ve done that, a digital tailoring team fits the creation to your photo, making you into the belle (or

beau) of the ball, ready to bag loads of likes on social media.

As well as giving more people the opportunity to strut their stuff on Instagram in haute couture gowns — without having to shell out a year’s salary — the concept can also help shoppers reduce their environmental impact. Be done with outfits that end up abandoned at the back of the closet, as you can now build a virtual wardrobe with a minimal environmental footprint. What more could you ask for... apart, perhaps, from the ability to buy clothes for real life. In fact, you have to admit that this innovation is currently only really suited to influencers who would no longer need to borrow, get given or buy outfits for their daily snaps.

One of the many options on the virtual shopping site is the Million Dollar look, featuring a nude mini-dress embellished with diamonds and silver details, a corset, diamond-encrusted gloves, iridescent glasses, and matching embellished footwear. All of which is yours for just under US$85 ($115.45).

Republiqe offers other clothing styles too — no less stylish, but perhaps a little more suitable for day-to-day virtual life. Options include paper bag pants, blazers, trench coats, biker jackets, t-shirts, corsets, various dresses and a selection of accessories. A plethora of possibilities for expanding your digital wardrobe responsibly and without breaking the bank.