“Social media meltdown,” “sad times,” and “end of an era” were all words used to describe the collective resignations of DKNY and Oscar PR girls Aliza Licht and Erika Bearman.
Both women catapulted fashion into the social media sphere with their witty and personal approach to the often exclusive world of high fashion. With the erasure of DKNY PR Girl, and the search for Bearman’s replacement, it is no surprise people are sadden by the “death” of fashion’s reigning social media queens.
However, is a social media cleanse really such a bad thing?
“We mature, we improve,” said Gretchen Harnick, digital marketing consultant and president of Pattern to Plan, a global online fashion incubator. “Change always opens new doors, and when you remove the dead weight, which is what [DKNY] did by removing old posts, it leaves room for new things to be born.”
While DKNY took a more severe approach to their social media restart, deleting all their previous posts on Instagram and Twitter, it will have a more difficult time replacing a figure as dominating as Licht. It was Licht’s overwhelming presence that led to DKNY’s new creative directors, Public School’s Dao Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, to start from the ground up.
“[Licht] started creating her own brand, and she started writing books and creating more social platforms under her own name. I do think it was more about her than the brand, it was very personal,” said Harnick, who used to manage the social media presence of Parsons School of Fashion. “Maybe it just ran its course. Sometimes it needs a reset.”
What can an individual learn about this decision to clean up your online presence?
In today’s day and age, where social media is such as huge part of your daily ritual (28 percent of online activity is spent on social media), people are experiencing social fatigue and going through digital detoxes and diets to get away from the noise. Along with the noise, there is also clutter on social media. Just look back at your first Instagram post, the first photo album you uploaded to Facebook, and even your first tweet. Is it still representative of the person you are today?
People should take a lesson from DKNY, and actively clean up their social media presence, and take control of their image. “It is obvious when you go back through someone’s account where they started paying attention to it,” Harnick said. “You can really see a line.”
And as for people panicking about Licht and Bearman’s palpable absence, remember it’s just change– inevitable and often for the best.