You know that funny feeling you get when something new catches your eye…and then you’re suddenly seeing it everywhere you look? Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, as it’s officially called, usually refers to words or facts, but it’s totally applicable to fashion, too. And it’s also the perfect way to describe how we feel about discovering that super-cute handbag on Instagram only to have it splashed across our entire feed for the next two weeks.
Before I knew who Susan Alexandra was, I knew I wanted one of her whimsical beaded handbags. Our first encounter was through a photo of a blogger whose name I can no longer remember but who was wearing simple jeans, a white tee and carrying a rainbow-hued bag in a totally nonchalant manor. The bag immediately struck a chord with me not just because of the vibrant attention-grabbing hues, but for the nostalgia factor as well. I assumed the bag was vintage and moved on. But we kept running into one another. As I kept scrolling, there was a photo of Susan herself with maybe 15 bags lined up and down her arms, then came the street-style photos from various fashion weeks.
The final straw came when one of my favorite Instagram follows, Babba Canales, posted a photo of a bright patchwork style elegantly propped next to a cup of espresso and a delicious pastry. It was official: I no longer simply wanted to know where these bags were from, who was designing them and how I could get my hands on one of my very own; I needed to know.
Surely this scenario plays out daily, so to see whether our current favorite IG discoveries were the work of algorithms or truly the next big thing, we reached out to Social Studies, a social media marketing agency that tracks and analyzes social content to see whose Instagram popularity is for real and the reasons why. The results: A list of five fashionable brands you’ve likely already seen but should learn the names of ASAP—before they become sold-out sensations. Get ready to go on a following spree (and probably a shopping spree, too).