If you scrolled through your Instagram feed last week, it’s likely you saw a heap of photos featuring shoes, makeup, clothes and models. The platform absolutely blew up with buzz surrounding New York Fashion Week. And with good reason. The ability to soak in the season’s upcoming style trends in real time is made possible by the prevalence of image-sharing social apps. A look at Instagram activity over the last three seasons demonstrates that consumers are more engaged than ever with this luxury event.

fashion week instagram data

Curalate tracked six hashtags (#NYFW, #MBFW, #fashionweek,#nyfashionweek, #newyorkfashionweek, #mercedesbenzfashionweek) and found that 340,076 photos were shared on Instagram during the weeklong event, an increase of 193% over the Spring/Summer 2015 show in September and a gain of 268% from last year’s Fall/Winter show. This astonishing growth is a clear indicator that Instagram has become a go-to for fashion, beauty and style fans to engage with their favorite brands. If brands who cater to this crowd don’t maintain an active presence on the platform, they’ll miss out on more than just likes and comments, but revenue as well.

So much opportunity! But how to start? A look at the top three users who drove engagement last week illustrates what fashion brands can do to excite their fans on Instagram.

1. @MichaelKors: Embrace the power of hashtags.

Michael Kors fashion week

Michael Kors encouraged engagement during New York Fashion Week, and it certainly paid off. With #AllAccessKors, the brand saw more than 1.0MM likes and comments on Instagram – more than any other designer participating in the event.

Michael Kors top Instagram

To top it off, five of the top 10 Fashion Week images originated from the Michael Kors account, each tagged with #AllAccessKors. The brand promoted the hashtag on its website and on nearly every piece of marketing material for the show. Models, bloggers and fans alike used it to tag their photos, showing that something as simple as a hashtag can do a lot for a brand.

2. @marianodivaio: Offer a peek behind the scenes.

Mariano Di Vaio Instagram

Fashion and lifestyle blogger Mariano Di Vaio had the second-most popular photo in terms of engagement during New York Fashion Week. Interestingly, the image was not taken from the runway, but because he tagged it #NYFW, fans associated it with the event. The photo of the New York skyline taken from his room at The Pierre generated nearly 100K likes and comments.

The popularity of Di Vaio’s image demonstrates just how valuable behind-the-scenes photos can be for a brand. Fans commented on the image, expressing how much they love New York, and how they wished they could be there for Fashion Week.

3. @kourtneykardash: Tap a celeb.

The most popular image shared at last September’s New York Fashion Week show was produced by one of the top 25 most-followed Instagram users (Ellen DeGeneres), and that trend continued this season. Kourtney Kardashian’s snapshot of her sister Kendall leading the finale of the Diane Von Furstenberg show garnered more than 242K likes and comments.

Kourtney Kardashian NYFW

With more than 14MM followers, Kourtney is the epitome of an influencer on Instagram. Though she simply meant to give praise to her sister’s accomplishment, Kourtney also became a promoter for DVF when she shared that photo. By partnering with celebrities who have an influence over their fans, brands can benefit from the massive levels of engagement they yield.

How We Did It

new york fashion week instagram

To understand the growing value of Instagram for fashion, beauty and style, Curalate collected and analyzed more than 340,000 images during New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015. All data was collected between February 12th and February 19th, 2015 using one of the following 6 hastags: #NYFW, #MBFW, #fashionweek, #newyorkfashionweek, #nyfashionweek, #mercedesbenzfashionweek.

Make Your Move

After tapping into the influence that thrives on Instagram, there’s only one thing left for a brand to do: turn that engagement into revenue. With Curalate’s Like2Buy, brands can do just that. Like2Buy makes Instagram a shoppable channel, turning feeds into purchasable galleries. To learn more about how to transform likes and comments into revenue, click below.