In an Era of Viral Excess, How Do Quiet Brands Make Noise?

Like it or not, we’re living in the age of going viral, even when it comes to success in fashion.

A familiar pattern has emerged, in which a particular design or trend suddenly appears all over one’s Instagram feed. As anyone who’s ever worked in digital media will tell you, you can’t really “make” something go viral, but in fashion, there are some common denominators: It has to be photogenic and identifiable (so, a style that’s bold and a bit fantastical, like Selkie’s Puff dress, stands a good chance), or it could be nostalgic and familiar, but still playful and uncommon in the market (like Susan Alexandra’s beaded bags or OGBFF’s memorable graphic tees). One also can’t escape the “avant basic” craze, defined by kitschy statement pieces in bright, funky colors and patterns.