Italian fashion surpasses jewelry in the Middle East and North Africa

mena italian fashion


Six months of continuous online listening, following, analyzing and interpreting how web users from the MENA region (Middle East North Africa) commented on Italian fashion’s most important products and trends. Focusing on Luxury and the  “Made in Italy” staple, where the important collections remain at the same level of the most expensive jewelry. Objects of praise and various reactions, these products’ dynamics had to be analyzed. The first conclusion was that the discussion around Italian fashion was larger than the one around jewelry (Graphic 1).


Fig 1 – Comparison between discussion about fashion vs. jewelry 1/10/2015 – 1/3/2016 (English, French and Arabic)


In the five months that were taken in account, Italian fashion generated more than 30K messages and 500K interactions. Reaching almost 290k unique users. On the other hand, discussions about jewelry didn’t achieve the same dimensions generating 2k messages, 25k interactions,and reaching just over 20k unique users. The discussions taken in account were in Italian, English and Arab language.


 Fig 2. Middle East and North Africa Post distribution and interactions in web and social channels from October 2015 to March 2016

Fashion is made to be instagramed

Even if the numbers between categories are very different, Instagram’s visual language remains the most important for both.
Even if we broaden the analysis spectrum, we can still see that for both categories the used social media channels remain the same, Twitter and Facebook are the most used after the photography platform, but both cover less than 20% of total participation. In the most shared images we can see the user’s look, their new acquisitions and events.


Fig. 3 Confronto dei volumi delle citazioni tra moda italiana e alcune aziende, 1/10/2015 – 1/3/2016 (lingua inglese inglese, francese, araba)

Fig. 3 Discussion about Italian fashion vs various companies. From October 2015 to March 2016.


Chanel on the high, D&G on sight

What are the most attractive brands on the web? The most talked about in the Middle East and North Africa? Broadening the spectrum to include non Italian brands, it was found that the top five isn’t really surprising (Fig.3). Chanel is the number 1 brand in the region, generating three times more discussions than Gucci, the top italian brand in the ranking; and four times more discussions than Armani (third one in the ranking, coming before Dior and Prada). From October 2015 to last march, the discussions around italian fashion were mostly held on Twitter and Instagram, which makes Facebook surprisingly absent in the research. Also absent was Dolce and Gabanna, a privileged brand amongst the young markets, that doesn’t use Social Media.

The next set of data confirms how curious D&G’s choice is, if it is a choice at all. In the geographic distribution showing the presence of italian brands in the market, it’s evident that Social Media conversations with customers are essential (Fig. 4) Amongst the most important italian ifluencers we find Armani, Gucci and Prada.


Fig. 4 Geolocalizzazione delle principali conversazioni social sulla moda italiana, 1/10/2015 – 1/3/2016 (lingua inglese inglese, francese, araba)

Fig. 4 Geo localized distribution of posts and interactions regarding the subject of italian fashion in the period of october 2015 to march 2016


Dubai, italian fashion passionates


distribuzione geografica moda italiana

Fig. 5 Geo localized distribution in the period of october 2015 to march 2016

The analysis of geographical distribution where most of the discussions around the subject happen, show how the Arab Emirates play a huge part, with 41,3% of the discussions. It’s important to remember that this data is not final (regarding the social media users that were included in the study). In this sense, in the Emirates, great part of the content is concentrated in Dubai, where the “hottest” areas are: The Palm Jumeirah (see Fig.5 An example of a message), Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach. Lower on the ranking, Turkey and Lebanon, with 14 and 11,9 percent each. In the fourth place we find Iraq, ranking over countries with more stable economic situations.


Fig. 6 Geo-localizzazione di messaggi e interazioni sulla moda italiana con un post di esempio, Dubai, periodo ottobre 2015 - marzo 2016

Fig. 6 Geo localized distribution of posts and interactions regarding the subject of italian fashion in the period of october 2015 to march 2016 in Dubai, and a sample message.


The last surprise comes from the demographic analysis (Fig 6.). If the 87% of the produced content in the age range of 18 to 34 could be predicted, there was a surprising 48 percent of men involved in the conversation.


Fig. 6 Composizione demografica delle conversazioni sulla moda italiana, ottobre 2015 - marzo 2016 (i dati demografici su genere ed età sono relativi ai soli canali social in cui vengono dichiarati)

Fig. 6 Demographic distribution of posts and interactions regarding the subject of italian fashion in the period of october 2015 to march 2016 (data related to sex and age are relative to the platforms they’re taken from).


Overseed by Vincenzo Mulè e Zohra Rhomani

Zhora Rhomani

She lives in Meknés, Morocco. An analyst specializing in communication and in-depth product marketing in the Arab world. She has a degree in English Language and Literature and is currently a Middle and High School teacher. Zohra is also a French and Arabic translator, as well as an editor and travel writer for Moroccan and French publications. She collaborates with several European companies as a Social Media Analyst, with a focus on cultural themes and marketing. Languages: Arabic, English, French.