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How Color Impacts Fashion Brands' Instagram Engagement

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Do images from fashion brands that feature certain colors tend to garner more engagement on Instagram?

Corra examined more than 200,000 images posted to Instagram by 200 popular fashion brands. The researchers ran the images through Google's Cloud Vision API to identify key features, then grouped the results by engagement and fashion vertical.

Instagram images from footwear and swimwear brands that contain a significant amount of black tend to garner above-average engagement, the analysis found.

Images that include quite a bit of black also do well for activewear brands—topped only by images that include a significant amount of pink.

In the casualwear vertical, Instagram posts that feature purple tend to spark above-average engagement.


Instagram posts featuring green garner below-average engagement across all fashion categories.

About the research: The report was based on data from 200,000 images posted to Instagram by 200 popular fashion brands.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Cherry McCarthy Tue Feb 13, 2018 via web

    It makes sense that black would be a popular choice for swimwear and activewear. This is where people feel more vulnerable and would tend to want to hide imperfections. I wonder about the other types of clothing though. I find it interesting to see purple. To me, its not as eye-catching as red, which I would think would drive engagement.

  • by Nicola Yap Wed Feb 14, 2018 via web

    This analysis on color theory and Instagram engagement in the fashion niche is fascinating! I'd love to see the statistics after deeper analysis. What are the biggest demographics of the highest engagers? What is the ratio of male to female Instagram users and how does that play a role in the preferred color or aesthetic? This is so interesting!

  • by Ashton Stradling Fri Feb 16, 2018 via web

    It's true, color matters. Fast food companies, like McDonald's, use the colors red and yellow, and it works. I believe that each color relates to a certain emotion.

  • by Nicola Yap Tue Feb 20, 2018 via web

    Revisiting this post because I had a revelation. I'm wondering if IG themes or aesthetics play a role into the color trends. PLUS, seasons. Was this experiment done over the course of a year? I feel like a lot of fashion IG accounts have embraced the black/gray aesthetic on their feed, which may have influenced the data.

  • by Chris Weatherall Fri Feb 23, 2018 via web

    Yes seems like this would need to be a 12 month thing!

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