Officially, Clara Cornet is in charge of EMEA beauty and fashion partnerships at Meta (formerly known as Facebook). But in more familiar terms and to those who know her, she’s a charismatic conduit connecting and promoting talents across the industry. Based in Paris, she was previously involved in the launch of Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysees as Creative and Merchandising Manager, and before that, she gained retail experience at cult stores Opening Ceremony and The Webster. If Cornet’s enthusiasm for the many facets of fashion comes through in her posts, she also shows a more personal side as a mother on the move. Here, she shares her informed insights on how to maximise exploration of all things fashion through Instagram and beyond.
In what ways do you see exploration as a natural part of the design process ?
Exploration is a fundamental part of what the design process is. Exploring is where you get inspired, where you ideate, and then you implement this vision into your work. Instagram has become a central place to get inspired and start this creative journey. Fashion has always had a special place on Instagram: #fashion is among the top 5 most-used hashtags on a daily basis. This is why the platform successfully reunites the whole ecosystem from creative directors, stylists, casting directors to fashion school students. The designing process is a path full of interactions between people and these interactions are then making trends emerge. We see it with our audience. They go to Instagram as the ideal space to find people sharing their same centre of interests and beliefs. Nowadays, even artistic directors are sharing on their personal account their vision to inspire their own community and engage with them from the beginning of their designing process. The platform has also allowed many talents to emerge, to be spotted by brands and thus make a credible place for themselves in the fashion industry, even beyond the platform.
What are some of the themes and ideas that you would like to see designers exploring through the next few seasons?
At Instagram, we have seen that members of the community are looking for brands that are more transparent about their work and the products they offer. So I would highly recommend brands use the different tools at their disposal to share the most authentic content as possible, such as Reels to share relatable videos – for example a sneak peek backstage goes a long way (Pieter Mulier, Peter Do, or Kevin Germanier are great to follow). I also think the fashion industry works well with some “second degree” – think humour and constructive criticism – as we’ve seen many exciting Meme accounts (IdeserveCouture for ex) emerge. Leveraging humour in your storytelling is a great way to further bond with your community, to be more relatable and engaging. In addition, the platform has actually largely participated in the opening of brands toward more inclusivity, thanks to talents who have emerged and found a safe space to express themselves. I think that inclusivity should be at the heart of what they do nowadays. A good example is @EstherManas, who offers a large range of sizing adapted to many morphologies.
We are now living in a hybrid world, online and offline. Now, after the pandemic, we are more connected than ever. In terms of format, the metaverse aims to simplify these exchanges by optimising the experience of the physical world. We encourage brands to start thinking about their presence on the metaverse in order to build their virtual identity. These new ways of brand expression are starting to be possible thanks to the different tools offered by Meta on its platforms.
How have these past years shaped the way you explore fashion through social media and the virtual world?
Since its creation, Instagram has largely contributed to democratising the fashion industry, creating a direct link between brands and consumers. Thanks to the platform for instance, everyone can have a place on the front row of the most prestigious shows. This is especially true since the pandemic, where many brands have turned to these platforms and formats such as Reels and Live to maintain the link with members of their community. By giving exclusive access backstage on social media, for instance, brands have been able to develop unique bonds with their community and a sense of belonging.
How do you, personally, explore what’s new and exciting in fashion?
In my personal as in my professional life, finding interesting personalities on Instagram is central. I look for newness and new visions all the time. Today, I think that anyone can easily find people who inspire them on the platform. Instagram allows me to find emerging designers thanks to Reels and the Explore tab. I deeply think that the platform has allowed numerous creators and designers to find a global showcase for their work. Independent designers are so valuable to the platform as they have a very engaged audience that have followed their journey from the start and more and more of them are using the platform to share their values and foster meaningful conversations. As a tech and social media company, I think it’s more important than ever for us to support them in their work and their commitments.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.