It’s “like going to a strip club looking for romance. Sure, it’s all kind of in the same ballpark, but it’s not even close to the real thing” said Alessandra Codinha, vouge.com fashion editor, when asked about bloggers’ personal styles.
Many other fashion editors have shared similar statements, as they call “war” on bloggers. Are the queen bees of print getting nervous of a digital takeover of their kingdoms?
Let’s take a look at how bloggers have become leading influencers and revolutionaries of the fashion industry…
Many girls, myself included, have dreamed about holding a career in the fashion industry, especially after growing up watching movies and TV shows such as The Hills and The Devil Wears Prada. The glamorous life of attending fashion weeks, jet setting to fabulous locations for photoshoots, and being surrounded by the season’s latest designs once seemed unattainable unless you were an editor of a leading publication; however, digital media has changed that conception with the emergence of blogging. As the use of digital media has evolved, fashion bloggers have become some of the most influential people in the industry.
Personal blogs have many appealing features, such as easy publication and digital photography, that make it palpable for anyone to share their personal style without being the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue or upheaving their life to New York City. There are so many websites, such as this one that I am publishing on, that allow for free creation of personal websites with easy editing features. One thing that makes blogging a successful platform is the creation of and vehicle for communication. Bloggers have the opportunity to not only establish relationships with brands and with their readers, but also establish a direct connection between the brands and the readers. Different social media mediums also allow for these conversations to continue and spread beyond the confines of the blog’s URL. “Bloglovin” especially has become a popular site that allows bloggers and the general public to interact with and follow their choice of blogs all in one place.
Now if you are thinking “Wow this sounds so easy. I’m going to be the next Chiara Ferragni!” – I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but it is not that simple. If you are looking to simply share your personal style and network with a small community of people who share the same style, you can do so with minimal work. If you are looking to be on first name basis with Karl Lagerfeld and be the face of brands such as L’Oreal, a great deal of time, money, effort, and even some setbacks, must come first. The first step is getting readers to connect with your “personal brand” through gaining a large following and holding influence over their buying decisions.
Why are brands choosing these ordinary people behind screens to be the face of their products? Successful bloggers bring in a large readership and following, mainly through Instagram accounts. In recent years, many brands have been labeled as going through an “identity crisis” and have turned to bloggers as their solution. The thought process behind brands collaborating with bloggers, according to Tomaso Trussardi, is that the blogger is “telling the brand’s story in a manner which is relevant to our audience – or to reach a new audience.” To brands, these people are more relatable than celebrities and are a “younger and fresher” way to communicate rather than corporate advertising which can seem dull. Blogging is unique in the sense that the blogger, at least authentic ones, will choose whether the collaborations are something that go along with his or her personal brand, despite the pay that might come with the job. (Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What reported making between $5,000 and $15,000 per Instagram post).
So how is the fashion industry changing through bloggers? Brands are reporting that their sales have been going up through Instagram engagement. Photographers are waiting outside Fashion Week shows to snap the perfect street style shots of bloggers, while letting editors pass by. Brands are allowing greater expenditure in their marketing budgets for blogs and less for editorial advertising. Consumers are looking to Instagram to see the latest trends, rather than picking up the latest edition of Marie Claire. Bloggers, such as Aimee Song, are becoming the most coveted career. Move over, Anna Wintour.
Will this last? Many people are skeptical about how long the craze of fashion blogging will last, but with the invention of new technologies and social media platforms, the career will only continue to grow. I personally think the newest trend will involve video blogging on platforms such as YouTube and Snapchat.
For more information on the emergence of fashion blogging and how to start your own, check out this episode in Alexa Chung’s series The Future of Fashion.