Skip to main content

COVID-19 Outbreak and Fashion Communication Strategies on Instagram: A Content Analysis

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12781)


The COVID-19 outbreak took place end of 2019 in Wuhan city in China, and since then, it has spread across the world. The virus has not only impacted the health of millions of citizens, since, in such a globalized and interconnected system, it has also impacted on human being’s daily life and activities. In this context, the volatility of the global economy has led many companies to modify and readapt their communication and marketing strategies and the fashion sector has not been exempted from these changes aimed at further engaging customers and at encouraging sales on e-commerce platforms.

The present paper aims to provide an overview of the communication strategies on Instagram by fashion companies during an exogenous crisis, such as the first Covid19 wave, in a period that goes from January until end of May 2020.

The research seeks to determine if and when the selected companies reacted on their Instagram accounts to the first wave of the pandemic, and which were the contents and the topics proposed across the considered period.

The goal of the research is to present the state of the art of digital fashion contents offered during a period of crisis such as a global pandemic, where many fashion companies have decided to change their marketing and communication strategies to rebalance their usual conversational Instagram “tone of voice” with the needs and feelings of their stakeholders. It also aims to set the ground for further academic discussions on issues related to human computer interaction limits and potentials, when it comes to establishing alternative communication and marketing strategies during crises, such as the Covid19.


  • Covid19
  • Digital fashion
  • Fashion companies
  • Fashion communication
  • Instagram

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-78227-6_25
  • Chapter length: 16 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-78227-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1.


  1. Archived: WHO Timeline - COVID-19.—covid-19

  2. COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update.

  3. Fernandes, N.: Economic Effects of Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) on the World Economy: IESE Business School Working Paper No. WP-1240-E (2020). Available at SSRN: or

  4. IMF Warns Coronavirus Will Hurt Global Economy ‘Way Worse’ Than 2008 Financial Crisis.

  5. The State of Fashion 2020.

  6. Brydges, T., Hanlon, M.: Garment worker rights and the fashion industry’s response to COVID-19. Dialogues Hum. Geogr. 10, 195–198 (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. “Coronavirus” - Google Trends.

  8. Six Tips For Using Social Media To Grow Your Business During The Pandemic.

  9. Refocus Your Social Media Efforts During The Pandemic.

  10. Dwivedi, Y.K., et al.: Setting the future of digital and social media marketing research: perspectives and research propositions. Int. J. Inf. Manag. 102168 (2020).

  11. Van House, N.A.: Feminist HCI meets facebook: Performativity and social networking sites. Interact. Comput. 23, 422–429 (2011).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  12. Du Preez, M.: Blogging and other social media: exploiting the technology and protecting the enterprise. By Alex Newson with Deryck Houghton and Justin Patten. Farnham: Gower Publishing, 2010. 184 pp. £60.00 hard cover ISBN 9780566087899. Aust. Libr. J. 60, 260–261 (2011).

  13. McCarthy, J.: Bridging the gaps between HCI and social media. Interactions 18, 15–18 (2011).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  14. Killian, G., McManus, K.: A marketing communications approach for the digital era: managerial guidelines for social media integration. Bus. Horiz. 58, 539–549 (2015).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Number of social network users worldwide from 2017 to 2025.

  16. Bellavista, P., Foschini, L., Ghiselli, N.: Analysis of growth strategies in social media: the instagram use case. In: 2019 IEEE 24th International Workshop on Computer Aided Modeling and Design of Communication Links and Networks (CAMAD), pp. 1–7. IEEE, Limassol, Cyprus (2019).

  17. Barcelos, R.H., Dantas, D.C., Sénécal, S.: Watch your tone: how a brand’s tone of voice on social media influences consumer responses. J. Interact. Mark. 41, 60–80 (2018).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  18. Mandelli, A., Cantoni, L.: Social media impact on corporate reputation: proposing a new methodological approach. 61–74 (2010).

  19. Ramsay, M.: Social media etiquette: a guide and checklist to the benefits and perils of social marketing. J. Database Mark. Cust. Strategy Manag. 17, 257–261 (2010).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  20. Vignal Lambret, C., Barki, E.: Social media crisis management: Aligning corporate response strategies with stakeholders’ emotions online. J. Contingencies Crisis Manag. 26, 295–305 (2018).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  21. Dubrovski, D.: Peculiarities of managing a company in crisis. Total Qual. Manag. Bus. Excell. 15, 1199–1207 (2004).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  22. Sádaba, T., SanMiguel, P., Gargoles, P.: Communication crisis in fashion: from the rana plaza tragedy to the bravo Tekstil factory crisis. In: Kalbaska, N., Sádaba, T., Cominelli, F., Cantoni, L. (eds.) Fashion Communication in the Digital Age, pp. 259–275. Springer International Publishing, Cham (2019).

  23. Courting controversy: from H&M’s ‘coolest monkey’ to Gucci’s blackface jumper.

  24. Fashion’s digital transformation: Now or never.

  25. Koosha Z., Farahbakhsh, R., Crespi, N., Tyson, G.: A First Instagram Dataset on COVID-19 (2020).

  26. Acuti, D., Mazzoli, V., Donvito, R., Chan, P.: An instagram content analysis for city branding in London and Florence. J. Glob. Fash. Mark. 9, 185–204 (2018).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  27. Global social networks ranked by number of users 2020.

  28. Kusumasondjaja, S.: Exploring the role of visual aesthetics and presentation modality in luxury fashion brand communication on Instagram. J. Fash. Mark. Manag. Int. J. 24, 15–31 (2019).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  29. Apparel 50 2020 Ranking.

  30. Lazer, D., Kennedy, R., King, G., Vespignani, A.: The parable of google flu: traps in big data analysis. Science 343, 1203–1205 (2014).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  31. When Google got flu wrong US outbreak foxes a leading web-based method for tracking seasonal flu.

  32. Noris, A., Nobile, T., Kalbaska, N., Cantoni, L.: Digital fashion: a systematic literature review. A perspective on marketing and communication. J. Glob. Fash. Mark. (2020).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alice Noris .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Noris, A., Cantoni, L. (2021). COVID-19 Outbreak and Fashion Communication Strategies on Instagram: A Content Analysis. In: Soares, M.M., Rosenzweig, E., Marcus, A. (eds) Design, User Experience, and Usability: Design for Contemporary Technological Environments. HCII 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12781. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-78226-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-78227-6

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)