The key takeaways from Haute Couture 2024 or The King is Naked

The key takeaways from Haute Couture Spring Summer 2024 fashion week or The King is Naked. Juicy Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Images: Runway Magazine.

Story Recap

Haute Couture fashion week Spring Summer 2024 was under the influence of an “AI-generative algorithm” (very fancy words) called MIV – Media Impact Value created by Launchmetrics (one of the partners of Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode). Based on the report generated by this “AI algorithm” or “AI-driven software” some media had a very high impact value, and some did not have impact at all. It turns out that movie stars and influencers had their fate determined by the whims of MIV, with some gaining influence points and others losing their impact mojo. This report was distributed to all luxury fashion houses. Did it really influence Haute Couture fashion week?

Selected media just before Haute Couture fashion week published a press-release with screaming titles like “Jenna Ortega’s Emmy Red Carpet Look Generated $5.6 Million in Media Exposure for Dior”. However, the catch is, it’s not the cold, hard cash earned by Dior from selling luxury goods in early 2024. No, no! It’s an assigned money value, a figment of imagination carefully designed to uplift the reputation of Dior, a brand that apparently had a financial rollercoaster in 2023 with a -55% nosedive, as per LVMH reports.

Enter Interbrand, the venerable Global Brand Consultancy established in 1974, boasting over 40 years of professional expertise in evaluating brands. According to their evaluation, Dior’s value is very low, it finds itself in the 76th place in the brand ranking, its value trailing far behind Zara and H&M. Brands evaluated by actual turnover. In 2023, Dior’s turnover, a meager $9,666.5 million, pales in comparison to the retail giants.

So, that announced $5.6 million for Dior before Haute Couture fashion week? It’s not a tangible turnover or actual sales – it’s a fantastical value, an ephemeral illusion. You can’t touch this!

U can't touch this

Introduction – The King is Naked

Yes, that’s right “The King is Naked” or “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Do you remember this wonderful story written by Hans Christian Andersen?

Apparently Luxury Brands in Paris: all this court of marketors, public relations, these brand ambassadors, general managers, and designers forgot. And most of all they also forgot TO WHOM they are actually selling their products. And the answer would be: to us… people, who love to look nice, and maybe a little bit extravagant, and from time to time to show our sense of liberty and social status. Let’s try to remind them, shall we?

There are so many takeaways that I don’t know where to start. And by “takeaways” I mean “take it and throw it away”. So let’s start from “The King is Naked” story.

1 MIV, Media Impact Value at Haute Couture 2024 Fashion Week Runway

“A long time ago in a country far away, there lived a king who loved to be dressed in fine clothes. He had an outfit for every hour of the day. One day two con-men arrived in the city. They claimed to know how to weave a fabric that only foolish people could not see. They offered to make new clothes for the king. The king thought that it would be an extraordinary dress and that he could identify the intelligent people of his kingdom this way. The two charlatans then went to work. A few days later, the curious Emperor came to see the weaving of this notorious garment. He saw nothing because there was nothing. That upset him a lot and he decided not to tell anyone, because nobody wanted a foolish king. He sent several ministers to inspect the progress of the work. They did not see anything either, but did not dare to admit it, for fear of being exposed as fools. The whole kingdom spoke of this extraordinary fabric. When the two crooks decided that the dress was finished, they helped the king put it on. Hence “clothed” and accompanied by his ministers, the sovereign presented himself to his people, who also pretended to see and admire his clothes. Only a little boy dared to tell the truth: “But the king is naked!” Everyone agreed and the king realized that he had been fooled.”

Hans Christian Andersen
6 MIV $5 million in Media exposure for Dior fraud at Haute Couture 2024 Fashion Week Runway

Yep… The meaning behind the story is used to describe a situation in which most people praise or seem to believe something that is false or has no value, because they are afraid to go against the general opinion.

Well, I’m not afraid, and I’m going to be this girl who screams: “The King is Naked”!!!!!!!

First “Take it and throw it away” – Stars

It is known that Haute Couture fashion week is very elitist. “Elite” is a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of society. “Star” is usually a reference to a movie star, known, recognized and appreciated by many people for his / her talent. But a movie star is not superior in any way, not to me, and not to you.

I’d also add here that “star” is also a person who earned resources and has very high capacities to buy luxury items, and probably goes out more often than you and me. So for a luxury brand inviting as many stars as possible is essential. Stars can afford to buy several luxury items, and show them more often to the large number of spectators. It’s all about spectators, isn’t it? And who are the spectators? It’s us. 

So this Haute Couture fashion week we can see on the streets of Paris: Jennifer Lopez JLo, Glenn Close, Rihanna, Zendaya, and the Kardashian clan (let’s add them to the stars, as they are more known than just influencers). There were some more, but they were not invited to the Haute Couture fashion shows at all.

Once in your life you wanted to be a star, or this thought might have crossed your mind once or twice. But certainly not this time. You don’t want to be a star at Haute Couture fashion week in Paris. Why? Because you are not invited, that’s why! With all your fame, with all your financial capacities to buy – YOU ARE NOT INVITED!!!! It couldn’t get more elitist than that.

Why??? Who knows! Because some luxury brands don’t want to see you, and don’t want you to buy their goods. How brilliant, isn’t it?!

Jennifer Lopez JLo at Schiaparelli Haute Couture 2024 Runway

For example Jennifer Lopez came for the entire fashion week to Paris. But to her big surprise she was only invited to Schiaparelli, Elie Saab and Valentino shows….. But why was she not invited to Dior, or Chanel, or Fendi, Giorgio Armani fashion shows? Apparently Dior and Chanel didn’t want to see her among guests, and didn’t want her to buy anything from them. Do you think it’s just one example? 

Let me give you a list:
Glenn Close was only invited to Dior and Giorgio Armani shows, but she was not invited to Chanel, Fendi, Schiaparelli and Valentino fashion shows. And just a year ago the creative director of Valentino Pierpaolo Piccioli accompanied her to the Met Gala. Perhaps Chanel couldn’t handle her Oscar-worthy elegance, and Fendi thought she might outclass their creations.

Rihanna only went to the Dior show. She probably couldn’t shield herself from the selective invitations. She made a solo appearance at the Dior show, leaving us to wonder if she was expecting more than just an ‘umbrella, ella, ella’ from the other fashion houses.

Zendaya, once a muse of Valentino, faced the cold shoulder from Dior, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, and even her favorite house, Valentino. She was only invited to Schiaparelli and Fendi shows. Maybe her stylist accidentally spilled coffee on someone’s couture creation, or perhaps the fashion gods just weren’t feeling the Euphoria.

And by the way, was it Zendaya or Fendi who hired clackers for her, I wonder? There are plenty of videos circulating on Instagram, showing some people asking the public for applause when Zendaya showed up. Yes, these people are hired “clackers”. I thought only Olivier Rousteing from Balmain does that. WOW… take it away!

Zendaya at Fendi Haute Couture 2024 Runway

Let’s continue our list : the Kardashian clan. They also all came for the fashion week in Paris. But what did they get?

Kylie Jenner was invited to Schiaparelli, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Maison Margiela shows.  Kris Jenner: Valentino, Maison Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier shows. Kim Kardashian was the lucky one this time, she was not invited anywhere except to the Maison Margiela show. 

Dior, Chanel and Fendi said NO to them…. And who cares about their dramatic outfits after all? 

Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner at Maison Margiela Spring Summer 2024 Haute Couture 1

Second “Take it and throw it away” – Influencers

In a world where everyone’s life is an Instagram filter away from perfection, enter the influencers – those mystical beings who, armed with a smartphone and a knack for strategic posing, shape our perceptions of reality. But let’s not be fooled by the glamorous façade; beneath the meticulously curated posts lies a world of smoke, mirrors, and more ‘WOWs’ than a magician’s hat.

So, what exactly is an influencer? Well, according to the modern dictionary of the digital era, an influencer is a person who showcases their oh-so-enviable lifestyle on social media. It’s like a reality show, but with more filters and less authenticity. Because who needs reality when you can have a perfectly staged moment of someone sipping kale smoothies on a golden unicorn float in an infinity pool?

But wait, there’s more! In the world of marketing, an influencer is a person who possesses a horde of followers on Instagram, with the magical ability to make people buy things by uttering the profound words, “WOW, I love it!” Forget about expertise or reasonable opinions; these influencers are here to turn us all into mindless consumers, swayed only by their mesmerizing ‘WOW’ chants.

Luxury brands, in particular, have mastered the art of trembling in fear at the thought of opinions. All they desire is an army of influencers showering their products with enthusiastic ‘WOWs.’ Of course, it doesn’t matter if half of these influencers are about as genuine as a knockoff designer handbag purchased from a shady street vendor.

5 MIV $5 million in Media exposure for Dior fraud at Haute Couture 2024 Fashion Week Runway

Now, here’s the kicker – this marketing technique isn’t exactly cutting-edge. In fact, it dates back to the XVIII century, a time when powdered wigs were in vogue, and social media meant gathering at the local tavern. Haven’t we evolved beyond the era of snake oil salesmen and dubious marketing tactics?

One would think so, but the allure of the ‘WOW’ still reigns supreme in the digital age. Apparently, people are more than willing to suspend disbelief and follow influencers into a parallel universe where every product is a game-changer and every lifestyle is straight out of a fairy tale.

While influencers continue to ‘WOW’ us with their perfectly orchestrated lives, it’s essential to remember that behind the filters and strategically angled shots, there lies a timeless marketing ploy – one that might have been old as time, but still manages to make us collectively exclaim, “WOW, they got us again!”

Let me tell you another little story:

Once upon a time in the XVIII-XIX century in the fabulous realm of France, there lived a legendary wigs-maker named Léonard Autié – the grand wizard of coiffures, the maestro of hair theatrics. Léonard, with a flair for the dramatic, didn’t just create wigs; he crafted extravagant head-top masterpieces adorned with flowers, ribbons, jewels, and even tiny ships. Each wig was a captivating saga, a wearable novella begging to be observed.

But how did this wig maestro rise to fame, you wonder? Well, he cleverly hitched his wig-wagon to the rising star of the Comédie-Française – an actress whose performances were only rivaled by the grandiosity of Léonard’s wigs. The ladies of the court, ever on the lookout for the latest fashion whimsy, witnessed this spectacle and promptly declared, “We want in on this follicular fiesta!” And thus, the era of extravagant wigs was born.

Fast forward to the present day, and we find ourselves asking: Does the age-old strategy of “wigging out” still hold water in the XXIst century? The answer, my friends, is a resounding NO! Who in their right mind wants to resemble an Instagram influencer while casually strolling from the office to the grocery store? It’s the epitome of absurdity. We chuckle as we pass by these street fashion victims, victims of the influencer delusion, clad in tasteless ensembles that make us appreciate the anonymity of sensible attire.

But that’s not the end of the madness! Today’s so-called “influencers” aren’t just mindless ‘WOW’-machines; they’ve graduated to a new level of creativity – criminal activities. France, always at the forefront of cultural and legal innovations, has launched police investigations into the murky financial waters of these social media mavens. Who knew that influencing could have legal consequences? Certainly not Chiara Ferragni, the Italian influencer extraordinaire.

2 Influencer and fraud at Haute Couture 2024 Fashion Week Runway

Chiara, once the queen of the ‘gram with nearly 30 million followers, found herself in hot water over a fake charity campaign. Her empire, built on selfies and sponsored pandoro cakes, faced a storm of controversy after she was fined €1 million for “incorrect commercial practices.” Apparently, her charitable pandoro campaign turned out to be more fictional than her followers’ aspirations.

As her prestige crumbled faster than a day-old croissant, eyewear maker Safilo decided they’d had enough of her antics and terminated their contract. Prosecutors in Milan even got in on the action, investigating her for alleged fraud related to other campaigns.

From the extravagance of wigs to the absurdity of influencers, one thing remains true – the pursuit of vanity and deception knows no bounds. So what started in the XVIII century so purely in the XXI century became fraud.

But this time influencers were massively invited to the Haute Couture shows. Let us see and wonder why?

Third “Take it and throw it away” – Media Impact Value (MIV®) or big fat Yoy

4 MIV, Media Impact Value, digital illusions at Haute Couture 2024 Fashion Week Runway

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around as we delve into the dazzling world of high fashion and algorithmic illusions, where the kings wear invisible clothes, and the money is as imaginary as a unicorn’s summer vacation home.

I saved the best for last. And now I really have to scream “The King is Naked, people! The money are imaginative! This is not cryptocurrency, which you can cash from media posts to your bank accounts!”

Our tale begins just before fashion week, with the buzz echoing from prestigious publications like Hollywood Reporter, WWD, and CNEWS (France). The protagonist? None other than the enigmatic Media Impact Value, a creation of the American-French duo known as Launchmetrics.

Launchmetrics is a merger of two companies and two founders Eddie Mullon and Michael Jaïs, who were proposing for the last 15 years different services on the fashion market (B2B, to Be exact).

“What services?” you ask, with a skepticism worthy of a seasoned detective. Brace yourselves for the brilliance – they offer a calendar for your events. Yes, a calendar. Groundbreaking, isn’t it?

But that’s not all! They’re also your digital assistant, collecting your precious contact lists when you decide to organize an event. Need to send out invitations? Fear not, Launchmetrics will do it for you. Guests can click ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ in response, conveniently feeding the database of your social empire. Oh, and they are collecting all your clients and contacts lists, by the way.

Oh, but there’s more! For the fashion brands out there, Launchmetrics unveils the pièce de résistance – a platform to host your lookbooks and show images. A fabulous service, indeed! Picture this: a luxury brand hires a photographer to capture every look, pays for the job, claims copyright, and then generously shares these images with the media (free of charge, of course).

“But wait,” you say, “where’s the catch?” Well, here it is – Launchmetrics quietly sneaks in the part where they sell your copyrighted images to media, bloggers, and anyone willing to pay. And who gets the payment? Not you, the brand, silly! It goes straight into the coffers of Launchmetrics. Subscription fees, anyone?

Now, in the grand tradition of unveiling deceptions, let’s compare this to the saga of “My Lawyer,” a $60-per-month app. The promotion of this app was given to the influencers, who repeated marketing lines with fancy phrases like “AI algorithm”, “My lawyer is in my pocket”, “I don’t need to pay huge sum to my divorce attorney”, “Everything I need to know about the law is here only for $60”. Turns out, the app’s creator wasn’t a tech wizard or a legal luminary but a sportsman who tossed in ChatGPT and sprinkled some “marketing techniques” to convince folks to part with their hard-earned cash. Spoiler alert: ChatGPT is free, folks!

Yes, The King is naked! So let’s go back to this Haute Couture fashion week. Just before  Launchmetrics launched a huge marketing campaign about MIV® like they call it. A trademark, no less!

What is MIV you might ask? MIV is Media Impact Value, pure marketing invention of Launchmetrics. What does it do? What doesn’t it do? “MIV Allows brands to assign a monetary value to every post, interaction or article to measure its impact and identify contributions to Brand Performance across Voices, channels and regions. This single measurement standard lets you compare and understand which strategies create the most media impact across print, online and social by reflecting the audience perspective.”

Yep, this is it!!!!! Assign monetary values to the posts, articles, words. These are not money in your bank account, these are imaginative money, a value. But who’s evaluating, giving this value to the media articles, posts, words, events? Launchmetrics again. PAUSE BEFORE CONTINUE READING… THINK… Really?

If you are still not convinced that an article of this media or another can have a monetary attribution (not the money you paid for it), you should read the report of Launchmetrics, which is smartly crafted. And even better you should read their latest marketing campaign they launched with Hollywood Reporter and WWD. Our fellow media didn’t make the “pause”…

A key takeaway to note is that Influencers and Celebrities were the Voices that experienced the highest growth YoY.
Pharrell Williams’ first collection announcement with Louis Vuitton generated $38M+. Hailey Bieber also significantly boosted Fashion MIV®, impacting Fila and Saint Laurent. And, athletes redefined the industry as aspirational ambassadors – something to watch out for in the upcoming Paris Olympics.
One thing is certain: Brands must make unforgettable campaigns, featuring opinion leaders in their marketing strategies to amplify Media Voice echo.
Find out top 2023 collaborations, overall industry Voice Mix Tactics and successful go-to strategies in our data analysis across the Luxury, Mass Market and Premium Fashion segments.”

Launchmetrics marketing campaign

“Jenna Ortega’s Emmy Red Carpet Look Generated $5.6 Million in Media Exposure for Dior at the Emmys. In THR’s latest Red Carpet Power Rankings, the ‘Wednesday’ star, along with Ayo Edebiri, Pedro Pascal and Jeremy Allen White, were the most buzzed-about women and men at the 75th Emmy Awards, bringing millions in earned exposure to the brands they wore, according to Launchmetrics.
Using a proprietary algorithm, the AI-driven software, data and analytics company tracks the media-impact value (MIV) of earned exposure, assigning a monetary value to the combined influence of brands from online and social media posts and editorial stories.”

Hollywood Reporter

“Algorithm”, “AI-driven software” – fancy words… sounds familiar?

CNEWS (France) took this marketing campaign as a real number in the bank account:

During the last Emmy Awards ceremony, it was the actress Jenna Ortega who dominated the ranking with an estimated value of 5.6 million dollars (5.14 million euros) for her appearance on the red carpet , dressed in a dress designed by Dior.
The star of the series “The Bear”, Ayo Edebiri, comes in second place among women with 3.3 million dollars reported for Louis Vuitton (owned by the LVMH group, like Dior). Jessica Chastain finished on the third step of the podium with $2.7 million in media impact for the Gucci brand.
Among men, Pedro Pascal tops the rankings with $1.2 million reported for Valentino. Jeremy Allen White, star of the series “The Bear” and currently in the credits of the film “The Iron Claw”, comes in second place with $998,000 generated for Armani. Actor Tyler James Williams, from the series “Abbott Elementary,” finished third with $596,000 for Dolce & Gabbana (he was also 4th with $350,000 for Cartier).”

CNEWS (France)

“Paris Hits New Attention Record, Brands Post Less but Better, Launchmetrics Says
The fashion capital leapt 30 percent to hit $499 million in media impact value, while Dior, Gucci and Prada ranked as most viewed houses of the season.
According to data released Tuesday by Launchmetrics, the French capital netted $499 million in media impact value thanks to rising star attendance, in particular A-listers from the Asia-Pacific region; the nigh-on unlimited access offered by social platforms; and the breadth of its fashion calendar.
In a webcast with Launchmetrics chief executive officer Michael Jais debriefing Paris Fashion Week, the executive president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode Pascal Morand attributed the prominence of Paris to the presence of “big winners” that included global brands, but also to the vitality of an ecosystem that includes brands of all sizes and “stakeholders that work together,” such as press agencies and the federation itself.
(MIV) tallies the impact of relevant media placements on all channels (online, social and print), inclusive of paid, owned and earned mediums.
What worked this season for brands was fostering A-list relations, as celebrity voices saw a 93 percent growth in Paris, reaching $63.6 million this season versus $32.9 million for spring 2023.”


3 MIV, Media Impact Value, digital illusions at Haute Couture 2024 Fashion Week Runway

Hans Christian Andersen, where are you when we need you the most?

Remember the story I told you at the beginning, about two fellows who showed up in the kingdom and “marketed” to the king that they have an amazing, the most luxurious fabric only smart people can see?

Remember that whimsical tale? The one where they clicked their scissors in the air, choreographing an invisible wardrobe fit for a king? Spoiler alert: the king ended up parading the streets stark naked.

So as this Haute Couture fashion week…

And I’m just laughing… The King is naked, guys!!!! Dior didn’t earn $5.6 Million, it’s just “an assigned media value” by Lanchmetrics. But where’s the real money?

This is a really juicy “takeaway”.

Brace yourselves, for I predict the next move in Launchmetrics’ marketing ballet. If you wish to grace their list of the most influential stars, media, or influencers, guess what? You’ll have to pay for it – to Launchmetrics, of course! It’s the latest trend in becoming fashion royalty: pay your way to prominence, and let Launchmetrics boost you like a couture Cinderella.

Perhaps the stars were not invited because they didn’t fit into Launchmetrics’ report right? This is a brainer.

Oh, Paris, the city of luxury, where the air is thick with the scent of extravagance and the streets are paved with imaginary gold.

But, alas, take it away! I’ve had my fill of watching this king parade around in his birthday suit. After all, fashion is about clothes, not about flaunting naked algorithms. There’s nothing to see here, folks – just a king with a penchant for invisible fabrics and a tech-savvy tailor named Launchmetrics, weaving digital illusions in the name of haute confusion.

Posted from Paris, 4th Arrondissement, France.