Who are social media influencers for luxury fashion consumption of the Chinese Gen Z? Categorisation and empirical examination

Yan Sun, Rachel Wang, Dongmei Cao, Rouyi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
4401 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Social media influencers (SMIs) play an increasingly important role in influencing youth and their shopping behaviours in digital marketing. Research has examined various but fragmented SMIs, which cause inconsistency in empirical results. This research seeks to categorise the most popular SMIs in luxury fashion and examine their distinctive effects on Gen Z consumption in China. Design/methodology/approach: The authors categorise SMIs into four groups based on two dimensions, i.e. network interactivity vs social connectedness. Drawing on the social network theory, the authors develop the research model. A sample of 400 survey data is collected and analysed using the PLS-SEM technique. Findings: The empirical results suggest that among the four popular SMIs groups, the effects of celebrities, opinion leaders and friends and peers on luxury fashion consumption of Gen Z are statistically significant while that of advertisers are insignificant; that friends and peers have the most substantial effect among the others. Originality/value: The study contributes to understanding SMIs and consumer behaviour in digital emerging markets. By categorising SMIs, this study reconciles inconsistencies in the concept. This study contributes to a better understanding of SMIs and their roles in the digital marketing of luxury fashion consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-621
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Issue number4
Early online date23 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Social Media Influencer
  • Network interactivity
  • Luxury fashion
  • Social connectedness
  • Guanxi
  • Social networks theory
  • Social media influencer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Business and International Management


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