Fashion Designer’s Identity Self-Verification through Social Media Engagement on Instagram

Tin Chun Cheung, Sun Young Choi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In recent years, online identity and social media engagement have been areas of study that have garnered a lot of interest. However, studies have yet to pinpoint empirical and theoretical connections between engagement and identity. Moreover, current research lacks holistic methods for measuring engagement rate and identity. Our multifaceted study examines how fashion designers use Instagram as a resource to self-verify their complex identities through social media analysis, body & face detection programmes such as Face++ and manual content identification. Statistical tests such as one-way and two-way ANOVA and t-tests were employed to determine the correlation in engagement rate between designers, image type and influence tier variables. By engaging with followers, designers verify their self-identities, which ultimately reinforces the fashion social identity online. We found variation in followers’ engagement behaviour when different identity type content, image type and designers of varying influence levels are presented. According to the result, images reflected designers’ personal identity such as selfie, body image, and miscellaneous image drew higher engagement than role identity-related images. Among all image types, the full-body and upper torso more gained follower’s attention than a selfie, advertisement and product images in every influence tier. Therefore, fashion designers should consider posting body images as a meaningful form of identity and medium conveying their dressing aesthetic. Our findings suggest managerial implications for designers to strategise their content according to their tiers of influence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFashion and Textiles
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Jul 2021

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