LONDON — Are TV series stars the new influencers?
As the power of the picture-perfect Instagram influencer is being questioned, fictional characters from hit TV and Netflix series — ranging from “Bridgerton” to “Gossip Girl” and “Squid Game” — are reemerging as the ultimate trend setters.
According to recent data by Lyst, the ’80s styling choices of the “Sex Education” cast or creative personalities like poet Kai-Isaiah-Jamal are starting to drive trends and move product much quicker than the Instagram set.
“Fashion lovers don’t need to look at some Instagram influencers anymore, they prefer to layer different styles, and mix influences from digital-born trends, Netflix, musicians or video games,” said Brenda Otero, Lyst’s cultural insights manager.
So, fashion brands are looking to grasp the momentum — and capitalize on the opportunity.
Coco de Mer is the latest to strike a deal with a blockbuster TV show. The British lingerie brand is readying the launch of a capsule with BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” set to launch on Dec. 6 on the label’s website and on Net-a-porter.
It’s following on the footsteps of the likes of Malone Souliers, which recently announced a “Bridgerton” shoe collaboration; Balmain which released a capsule for Netflix’s “The Harder They Fall” movie, and Halston’s archival capsule inspired by the limited series “Halston.” Blockbuster Netflix series “Emily in Paris” will also become shoppable for its season two release.
The “Killing Eve” capsule, which was brokered by licensing agency IMG, will feature 10 silk and lace pieces inspired by the cities that form the backdrop of the hit show, including Moscow, Berlin, Paris, Vienna and London.
Prices range from 115 pounds to 595 pounds. A second drop is set to launch next February in time for Valentine’s Day.
“This collection explores the idea of taking a fictional world and encapsulating it into a tangible product that fans of the show can take into their own worlds and explore further. The key elements from the show that I wanted to recreate were power, body confidence, independence and sensuality,” said Coco de Mer’s chief executive officer and owner Lucy Litwack. She added that the bold colors in the characters’ wardrobes also encouraged her to play with new color palettes, too.
“Killing Eve” caught the eye of the fashion world as soon as its protagonist, Villanelle, donned a bright pink Molly Goddard dress on screen, followed by more viral hits, including Halpern suits, Batsheva floral dresses and Loewe accessories.
Given the show’s fashion credentials, the collaboration was a no-brainer for Litwack, who sees the link between fashion and entertainment growing: “I believe that this crossing over of the worlds of fashion and entertainment will continue to grow and develop as it highlights how women’s lives are made up of so many different facets and allows us to embrace the characters in our favorite shows in our own way.”
This particular partnership was also aligned with Coco de Mer’s overall ethos of creating women-centric narratives and owning female pleasure. “We are experiencing an unprecedented, inter-generational increase in female stories in culture. ‘Killing Eve’ is a cultural phenomenon that I have admired from the outset. As a show with two female protagonists, a central character who lives life on her own terms and represents an unapologetic view of what women are capable of, we identify very deeply with their core values,” she added.
While Coco de Mer has navigated many challenges the last 18 months, having to shut the doors to its Covent Garden flagship during lockdown, it remained nimble. The brand quickly pivoted to a digital-first strategy according to Litwack; focused on core categories like lingerie and adult toys over licensed products, and doubled down on collaborations tapping the likes of Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Helena Christensen and Laura Bailey.
“As today’s world shifts shape, we are now looking to drive growth in many different ways across customer touch points, with a focus on direct-to-consumer channels and social commerce. We know consumers are making more informed decisions about purchases, it’s our job to serve their needs and push the boundaries of pleasure and sensuality on their terms,” Litwick said.