A Amanda Gorman would have been enough a couple of appearances to become the global sensation of the year. Exaggerated? Perhaps, given the circumstances: it is possible that 2021 will not be the most fruitful harvest in recent times, we have not even reached March yet and the two events were two of the most mediatic appointments in recent months ( the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States and the final of the Super Bowl in that country).
Still, the 22-year-old poet has been revealed as a powerful sales catalyst: searches for yellow coats (+ 1328%) or red headbands (+ 560%) skyrocketed in the Lyst aggregator .after reading it at Biden’s inauguration.
The same thing happened a few days later when a video of him was broadcast in the famous sports intermission: his Moschino coat became the most desired and interest in the brand’s coats grew 94% the next day in the same search engine.
The poet, who went from 50,000 followers on Instagram to 2.9 million in the 48 hours after the inauguration (currently 3.5), became a few days later in Time magazine (interviewed by Michelle Obama). Of each of his three books, a million copies have been ordered in the United States and will arrive in Spain in September, thanks to the publisher Lumen.
Because Gorman matters much more than what to put on or take off. Wanting his coat is, in this case, a collateral consequence. “The consuming public begins to look beyond fame, to people with a specific purpose as a role model to be exalted,” wrote editor Tara Donaldson in WWD .
“Gorman, a young, black woman who has spoken out on issues of race, about elections and about sustainability, is more brilliant for many.” Precisely that ‘purpose’ referred to by Donaldson is the new imperative demanded of firms.
In the McKinsey Purpose report : shifting from why to how, the consulting experts pointed out that,In the scenario that will emerge after the pandemic, the brands most likely to survive will be those that have a clear reason for being. And, of course, be able to communicate it.
Something similar happens with the personal brand of influencers and celebrities. “There is no magic formula that ensures that a character will generate sales,” believes María Campoy, image consultant and colorimetry and styling trainer at La Tecnocreativa.
“It depends on many factors: what he projects, what he defends, his profession, how close he is or the moment we are going through.” And today the public, fatigued by circumstances, less tolerate empty messages that only support consumerism without reflection.
Amanda Gorman has managed to connect because it condenses several current social phenomena: “From the empowerment of women, to (especially) the Black Lives Matter movement,” adds Lydia García, director of the López-Trabado Collection.
The symbiosis between politics and fashion in the United States will only increase in the coming months. This is highlighted, for example, by the 2021 edition of the compendium of trends that Wunderman Thomson compiles annually : “In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the BLM movement and a tense political atmosphere, the sense of collective social responsibility became a priority issue in 2020 .
Consumers are taking firm positions on their values and are demanding the same from brands . ” And brands that orbit around a character like Gorman have a long way to go.
“To all this we must add that she is young and pretty, ” says García. Two factors that cannot be tiptoed over: a ‘pleasant’ physical appearance, especially in the case of women, is still an indispensable requirement in figures to be revered.
But also the writer, unlike other activists such as Greta Thunberg or Malala Yousafzai, is passionate about fashion, which makes her a sweetheart for large luxury groups.She knows her potential and exploits it wisely and without leaving any loose threads.
That is probably why he entrusts his outfits to Jason Bolden, who usually works with other characters with ‘purpose’, who also do not hesitate to use their loudspeaker to transmit those messages that matter to them: Alicia Keys, Cynthia Erivo, Trevor Noah, Sasha Lane … They have the key to winning over the post-pandemic public.