Here’s why Instagram might just be your next favourite department store, especially when it comes to jewellery…
When you think of online shopping, your mind probably wanders over to the big names; low to high end superstores, packed with every brand under the sun. But what if Instagram was about to start joining those ranks? The move is pretty obvious if you’ve noticed the way in which some brands (like social media driven Glossier) have made their feeds instantly shoppable in a collaboration between Instagram and Shopify, which began to take hold in late 2016. Still, the feature isn’t available to all merchants – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t browse Instagram like one big scrollable mall.
Online stores are no strangers to harnessing the 500 million strong audience available on the app, and in the last few years the platform has become a hotbed for discovering everything from up and coming brands, to quiet little online boutiques. One area that seems to be particularly fruitful? Jewellery. The smaller boutiques showcasing their goods on Instagram play host to a wide range of beautiful accessories, from clunky earrings to delicate gems and necklaces. There is a little something for everyone, if you know just who to be following.
Utilising Instagram gives shoppers a unique way of looking at a brand; often, as well as highly stylised campaign photos, brands give followers a sneak peak into what goes behind the making of their pieces, as well as sharing how their loyal customers wear their new bling. The experience is all the more visual; and editorial delight, with a quick link at the top to take you to the actual store. The success of these brands no doubt comes from those wearing the brands on their feeds, and tagging back – a digitalised version of walking up to a stranger and asking where they bought their bangles (and praying they weren’t vintage) but without, you know, actually having to talk to strangers.
Instagram has given smaller brands the rare chance to become viral, developing a fan base of both their image and their products. There’s a little something for everyone, from the maximalists to the minimalists, the frugal to the luxurious.
Some brands stand out; those with both a unique take on classic styles, and an intriguing aesthetic to boot. Wolf & Moon describe their style as modern, graphic pieces for the independent person. Their ability to make wood based pieces a fresh feel makes for art deco inspired accessorising at a reasonable price.
In a similar price range, Kina and Tam pride themselves on their childish nature, and there’s no denying their store is a haven for the more playful of us. Their various unique takes on the infamous face earrings make it easy to be on trend without being predictable, and it’s unlikely you’ll be checking out with just jewels given their fantastic range of impossibly fun clothing. Think a cheaper UNIF.
If you find yourself somewhere in the middle of minimalist and childish, Cool Machine is the place for you; their selection of ceramic earrings are bold but a little more mature. If you’re looking for something a little more chic, and a little more plexiglass, Super Cool Supply store might be more up your street. They’ve nailed the tortoiseshell earring trend.
Feeling a little flush? You might be interested in heading to Young Frank‘s account. Their sterling silver and gold pieces are made of dreams, and their campaign imagery is wonderfully strange (a woman holding an onion, or crystal eggs? They’ve made it work). Their page is a strange mix of abstract images, and intimate portraits of women in their pieces.
So, maybe next time you’re looking for a wardrobe update, you might consider heading to your Instagram feed.
Follow Camilla on Twitter: @camillaackley