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Cannes, Met Gala, Louis Vuitton show: fashion highlights of 2023

According to Lefty's A Year in Data 2023 report, first place goes to the Cannes Film Festival, which regained its pre-pandemic visibility this year, while Louis Vuitton got the attention of the entire sector with its men's spring-summer 2024 show by Pharrell Williams

Published: Dec 28, 2023 10:55:02 AM IST
Updated: Dec 28, 2023 11:12:31 AM IST

Cannes, Met Gala, Louis Vuitton show: fashion highlights of 2023Louis Vuitton's spring-summer 2024 men's show, with Pharrell Williams at the helm, was one of the fashion highlights of 2023. Image: Julien De Rosa/AFP

Which designers, brands, influencers or events will forever be associated with the year 2023?

That's the question influencer marketing platform Lefty and brand-building agency Karla Otto have tried to answer in a report that looks back at the fashion highlights of the last 12 months. And first place goes to the Cannes Film Festival, which regained its pre-pandemic visibility this year, while Louis Vuitton got the attention of the entire sector with its men's spring-summer 2024 show by Pharrell Williams.

Every year, fashion houses pull out all the stops in a bid to one-up one another with inventiveness  in order to stand out in the eyes of an ever more demanding public, whether in person or on social networks. The result is a series of events, each more spectacular than the previous. But who came out on top in 2023? It all depends on the type of event, according to Lefty's A Year in Data 2023 report, produced in partnership with Karla Otto. The report presents an analysis of the impact of key opinion leaders in several sectors, including fashion, beauty and watch & jewelry, based in particular on Earned Media Value (EMV), calculated by estimating the number of impressions for each Instagram publication (regular posts, videos and carousels) and associating a Cost Per Mille (CPM/CPT) of $100.

Cannes on top of the world

After years of being a mere shadow of its glory days due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cannes Film Festival seems to have regained its heady, legendary aura for its 76th edition, held May 16-27. According to the report, its Earned Media Value (EMV) this year is estimated at some 413 million dollars, with a red carpet and big names. Cannes Film Festival returned to its pre-pandemic glory, bursting with A-List stars and blockbuster previews. Its lucrative EMV of $413M, due to an increased social media presence, means brands are not only designing for the screen, but cashing in on the cultural cache of Cannes," note the authors of the report.

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Contrary to what one might think, it's not in France that the Cannes Film Festival gets the most of this kind of attention, at least this year . In terms of target audience, France (8% audience share) ranks just ahead of Indonesia (7%) and Brazil (6%), but far behind the United States (10%) and India (16%), which appears to be the audience most interested in the event. Anushka Sharma's presence on the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals is no doubt a factor in this success, as the Indian actress and model alone generated $17.9 million in MPE.

Other highlights of 2023 included the traditional Met Gala (an EMV estimated at $230 million), Coachella ($129 million), and the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan last June ($75.4 million).

Louis Vuitton and Dior take to the runway

Appointed menswear Creative Director at Louis Vuitton last February, it didn't take long for Pharrell Williams to make a name for himself in the inner sanctum of fashion. His very first show for the French fashion house, dedicated to the spring-summer 2024 season, was a runaway hit last June, generating no less than $49.2 million in EMV, and more than 2,275 publications. All of this was boosted by world-renowned (and influential) voices such as BamBam, Jackson Wang, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Song Joong-ki. "This historic moment marked a new era, for not just fashion, but for the whole creative sector, where culture is no longer just peripheral; it's a core component to building a brand today and surviving tomorrow," experts point out.

Looking at the women's shows, Dior came out on top with its show dedicated to the spring-summer 2024 season. The show generated no less than $46.2 million in EMV and 2,448 publications. The show was boosted by eA-listers such as Jisoo, Nattawin Wattanagitiphat, Phakphum Romsaithong, Anya Taylor-Joy and Tontawan Tantivejakul. "Dior’s well-rounded celebrity strategy helped propel it to the top, generating $46.2M in EMV.....This media impact was driven by a global and diverse range of talent. Paired with Maria Grazia Chiuri’s mission to challenge female stereotypes – something that resonates in this modern landscape – this show was a masterclass in showing how strong marketing strategies can broaden the reach of the message," outline the report authors.

Also read: In fashion, 'quiet luxury' speaks volumes to those in the know

Sofia Richie was named Influencer of the Year 2023, despite having 'only' 10.9 million followers on Instagram. But a specific event, albeit a personal one, helped the American star gain visibility this year, and forge numerous partnerships. "2023’s undisputed It Girl, Sofia Richie stole the limelight in April with her highly publicized wedding in South of France’s prestigious Hôtel du CapEden-Roc. With three custom Chanel looks created for the occasion, this proves how such partnerships can generate high visibility for brands," the report outlines.

*This study covers the performance of brands, specific activations and influencers over 2023, from January 1, 2023 to December 6, 2023.