The Emily in Paris effect: why clothes from the hit Netflix show have sold out

Melissa Twigg
·4-min read
Emily in Paris - Netflix
Emily in Paris - Netflix

Given Emily Cooper’s ubiquitous berets, hot pink bucket hats and penchant for miniskirts and platform heels, it is no surprise that the clothes from Netflix show Emily in Paris have had French fashionistas up in arms. But while users on Twitter and Instagram have panned her polka dot crop tops and camouflage skirts, feedback from another platform has been overwhelmingly positive. 

According to fashion search engine Lyst - which analyses shopping data from around the world - demand for many of Emily’s most ‘daring’ sartorial choices have grown exponentially this month, with searches for some of the brands she wears up by over 200 percent since the show aired.

Styled by Patricia Field, the same costume designer who oversaw the fashion on Sex & the City, the series centres around a twenty-something American played by Lily Collins who becomes a social media guru at a Paris-based marketing agency.

Emily in Paris - Netflix
Emily in Paris - Netflix

Emily may teach them a thing or two about Instagram but she breaks every French fashion rule going. She wears white stiletto ankle boots; furry crop tops; checks, polka dots and florals at once, and an endless succession of berets and neckerchiefs. But clearly shoppers can’t get enough of it. 

Searches for bucket hats - Emily is rarely seen bare-headed - increased by 342 percent since the show was released at the beginning of the month, and the terms “beret hats” and “berets” collectively rose 41 percent on Lyst, compared to in September.

Even the outfits designed to make you cringe are flying off the shelves. On her first day in Paris, Emily walks into a slick marketing firm in a snakeskin mini skirt and an Alice & Olivia shirt printed with images of the Eiffel Tower, carrying a pink handbag. Her French colleagues are horrified - “You have no mystery. You’re very, very obvious,” says her boss Sylvie who is in chic white Roland Mouret - but women the world over were clearly captivated.

Emily in Paris - Netflix
Emily in Paris - Netflix

The light pink Aldo Handful bag she is holding in that scene sold out before the show even aired, while other Aldo-branded handbags experienced a 64 percent increase in sales in the week after it was released. The snakeskin Ronny Kobo mini skirt she is wearing in that same episode also saw a 22 percent increase in interest and the Eiffel Tower shirt sold out in hours - numbers even the chicest French style stars could only dream of. 

Emily loves an accessory and watching the show made me wish she had heard the old Coco Chanel adage about taking one thing off before you leave the house - although in her case, that could be increased to about three of four. 

But others had the opposite reaction - in one episode she wears a Marc Jacobs’ Jelly Snapshot Camera Bag in hot pink that grew in popularity by 92 percent over the last two weeks. It is a similar story for Kate Spade’s Nicola bag in pink teddy, which immediately sold out, and caused a 34 percent rise in overall online demand for Kate Spade. Emily dreams of becoming an influencer on the show, but even her character would be impressed with results like these. 

Emily in Paris - Netflix
Emily in Paris - Netflix

My favourite outfit she wears is a yellow and black top and skirt from Ganni which prompted demand for skirts from the Copenhagen brand to skyrocket by a whopping 289 per cent the week after the show was released. Likewise, a hot pink denim mini skirt by Chiara Ferragni sold out and led to a 60 percent increase in searches for the Italian influencer’s fashion collection.

In a year where fashion sales are down and the public is stuck at home watching more television than ever, this explosion in interest in the clothes from one fun, frothy show should make the industry sit up and take notice. The ‘Emily effect’ will fade over the next few weeks as hype around the show dies down - but the relationship between streaming services and fashion brands is clearly only in its infancy.

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