Fashion GIFs Rule The World!
Posted on February 06 2014
Urban fashion is a world in constant development. It is no news that trends come and go, and because of our quick online sharing, things are moving even faster than before. It’s not just the fashion designers who take advantage of our increased digital presence. Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more innovative use of our digital platforms in fashion photography.
First, we saw a big wave of fashion films coming out. Every editorial and lookbook was accompanied by a video, and some labels tried going 100% video. The next big thing was something in between: the fashion GIF!
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) has been around since the 80s, and when we first saw the animated versions online 10 years ago, they seemed super hi-tech. They then disappeared for a while, as viral videos became the big thing, but it’s safe to say that animated GIFs are back with a vengeance (the word “GIF” is now an officially recognized verb, and Oxford University Press voted it their word of the year in 2012).
With the importance of having material go viral, fashion brands and photographers are looking for ways to make their stuff even more interesting and appealing. Fashion GIFs seem to be answer. With tiny cycles of animation, the fashion GIFs allow for different stories than photos. Not necessarily deeper stories (“a picture is worth a thousand words” etc), but different.
When Daniel Sannwald shot Karmen Pedaru for the cover story for i-D Magazine, Pre-Spring 2013, he made an own set of fashion GIFs from the story. The images are interesting, appealing, and they spark curiosity.
We talked to Yiota Katraki from the blog I am not a designeur. She makes and posts fashion GIFs regularly, and we asked her why she loves animated GIFs:
“They last longer than an image and they are shorter than a video. You won’t get bored, and they are usually very funny!”
One of the challenges with animated GIFs is their quality. Especially in fashion photography, which often is dominated by laser-sharp imagery, the quality can be a challenge. “Their quality can get really annoying sometimes. But what can you do, nobody’s perfect” says Yiota.
Another problem with fashion GIFs is that they don’t work on Facebook. Like it or not, but Facebook is still the social platform we use the most. If animated GIFs were to work there, there is no doubt that fashion GIFs would be taken to the next level.
However you choose to see it, it is awesome that fashion photographers are exploring new ways to take advantage of our digital lives. We love fashion GIFs, and we hope to see a lot more of it!