How Mango Became the High-Street Label of 2017

Spanish high street brand Mango has arguably been in Zara’s shadow over the years, however, in almost no time at all it has done a total 180 and become one of the most talked-about affordable labels in fashion circles.

“Over the last few seasons Mango has elevated itself to become one of the strongest on the high street,” says journalist Pandora Sykes. “It is super Céline inspired—it plays heavily on the deconstructed construction and it all works well together. When everyone was going mad during show season for Celine’s pink flares, Mango debuted an excellent pair via various influencers—and they too sold out.”

A dive into Instagram’s data confirms that the high street name is indeed becoming as important in high fashion circles as it is within the competition in its price bracket. “Mango is still associated to Zara in general on Instagram,” Launchmetrics tells Who What Wear UK. "But when we look at the Committed campaign [Mango's sustainable line], Mango is also associated to ASOS, Acne Studios and Céline. This Instagram campaign really changed the position of the brand.”

Soraya Bakhtiar wears one of Mango’s most memorable pieces from this year: the yellow maxi gown.

Mango is now adept as responding to what’s trending in higher echelons of design, being fast to produce its own take on the trends gaining traction on Instagram. This year they created the kind of lilac knits and polka-dot wrap dresses that wouldn’t seem out of place at, say, Ganni. Then there were the exagerrated lines and exposed stitching that many of the hottest young designers have been experimenting with or the Balenciaga-inspired satin mules that enable you to dress like the street style set on a budget. Product is always king in this business, but the real key to Mango’s success is that online influencers and industry veterans alike are giving these affordable pieces credibility—and as a result, long waiting lists.

“I think their influencer marketing has been unusually beneficial, not just from an outsider point of view ( seeing girls like Camille Charrière, Giorgia Tordini, Pernille Teisbaek and Joanna Halpin in mood-lit Mango) but from an insider, industry point of view too,” adds Sykes. At fashion week ,“Oh this? It’s from Mango,” was heard said again and again by editors, buyers and influencers. Florrie from And Finally wore a pair of £50 checked Mango trousers in Paris, Soraya Bahktiar styled the yellow printed gown over in Milan and in London, Lucy Williams chose a pair of leather trousers to hit the show circuit.

Nuria Val wears the contrast jumper—the best-selling Mango item on Who What Wear UK this year.

At Who What Wear UK, we often report on the pieces that are gaining traction on social media, and we could easily write about a new trending Mango item every single week. This is all thanks to the store’s powerful group of influencers, called the Mango Girls, who preview upcoming drops on their Instagram accounts. By working with the same roster of girls for the entire year, these are partnerships that feel genuine and more engaging. During a time where consumers’ skepticism can easily sniff out a random, paid-for, one-off placement, this tactic is authentic and longer lasting.

The success of the #MangoGirls hashtag is down to a smart selection strategy, but this group is more far-reaching and diverse than you might realise. Our editorial team weren’t too proud to admit that they had not heard of many of the influencers in the list of the 20 most engaging Mango Girls. It included bloggers based in Manila, Istanbul, Singapore, as well as traditional fashion capitals like New York, London and Paris. Tehran was the fifth most influential location for Mango on Instagram this year, which was thanks to 21 posts by Tehran-born influencer Sahar Khamseh.

Camille Charriere wearing her white Mango boots.

The most engaging influencer in this set, according to Launchmetrics, is Russian DJ Daria Malygina who posted 22 pictures with the #MangoGirls hashtag in 2017, with an engagement total (e.g., likes and comments) of 219,699. These super bloggers are joined by many credible fashion names, such as Farfetch’s Yasmin Sewell and Rouje designer Jeanne Damas.

According to Launchmetrics, the most engaging Instagram post of the year was the image of Diletta Bonaiuti wearing a classic double-breasted black blazer. The best-selling Mango products on Who What Wear UK this year have all been trend-led, Instagram-approved pieces, such as the £30 contrast knit jumper and polka-dot wrap dress.

Florrie from And Finally wearing her £50 checked trousers to Paris Fashion Week.

As mentioned earlier, in March, Mango debuted its first sustainable collection, using environmentally-friendly fabrics and responsible dyes. The second drop was released earlier this season, but the first season’s earthy tones, slouchy silhouettes and natural linens were a particular hit on Instagram. Launchmetrics tells us that the #MangoCommitted hashtag had an engagement total of 450,377. One dress in particular really stood out amongst the many posts—a white linen midi dress with black buttons and puffy sleeves, a silhouette and fabrication that you wouldn’t usually see at this price point. This Committed collection, along with the Premium Collection (which is modelled by Sam Rollinson), has truly elevated Mango’s offering, creating pieces that are to be treasured, rather than thrown away at the end of the season.

Lucy Williams wearing the white linen dress from the Committed Collection.

Keep scrolling to shop our edit of the best Mango pieces to buy right now.