May 28, 2014 4:37PM

Tom Ford: Rihanna's Instagram Is More Influential Than Fashion Reviews

He means 'was'.
RIP Rihanna's NSFW Instagram account. It shocked us to the core (not kidding) when we found out it was deleted and we're still going through withdrawals. Meanwhile, the light bulb above designer Tom Ford's head has switched on — he's realised that social media is kind of important and the value of accounts like Rihanna's can't be underestimated in the world of fashion. The obvious statement of the year went like this, "Something new is happening that I'm just clueing into now — this probably won't go down well — but customers don't care any more about reviews or hard copy publications. They care what picture Rihanna just Instagrammed while she's naked in bed, what new shoes she has on, how she's talking about them. That's what they respond to." He knows she deleted her account, right? 
 
 
Where do we begin. Firstly, yes Tommy. Instagram is popular for a reason. It's because it cuts out the middle man. Front rower Rihanna's proved that she doesn't necessarily need a platoon's worth of marketing people behind her, pimping her music out to the world. She can just do it herself. Any blogger, journalist, celebrity or tween girl will tell you — times are a'changing Tom. In Australia, magazine circulation is down 11.5% and out of 91 magazines audited in April, 69 reported sales declines. Commercial magazines are incorporating social media on pretty much every one of their shiny, shiny pages. They're like "Check us out in our office!" and "Look at these celebrity Instagrams!" Except that said Instagrams are often three months old by the time they're printed. #noshade
 
 
Tom Ford might not be getting 'inspired by the internet' every season, but a tonne of designers are. It's the biggest inspiration cliche of the last five to ten years. But it exists because designers understand it's where 'real' people dwell, and they're doing interesting things. The more 'real' something/someone is, the more people are drawn to it. It's that lure of the real that counteracts the mediated, magazine/TV world. Why would you wait three months read to read a collection review when you could look up the pictures instantly and make up your own mind? Why would you want someone telling you what a bad gal's been up to, when you could just ask the bad gal yourself? She may not answer you, but she just might. Not necessarily in a positive way, but still. #PromBat 
 
 
And that's why there's a Rihanna-shaped hole in our bad gal hearts.
 
Photos: @badgalriri (RIP)

Jerico Mandybur

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