You don’t have to be Paris Hilton or Anna Wintour to have a say in the fashion world anymore. Nowadays, “regular” people from all over the world are becoming the biggest voices in fashion, and it all starts with a fashion blog.
With hoards of Twitter followers, Facebook likes and tons of traffic, fashion bloggers are fast becoming fashion influencers — a title, in the past, that was only given to celebrities. Even top designers and major labels are buying into this, requesting fashion bloggers to be at the front row of Fashion Week and other star studded events.
This movement is creating a new breed of entrepreneur; where a simple love of fashion can be flipped over into a business. Savvy bloggers are changing the way brands reach customers forever, while defining trends for readers that were once only swayed by the big fashion magazines.
Thanks in part to the power of social media, blogging has transformed from a personal hobby into a valuable asset for brands. Companies such as Mod Cloth, h&m, Birchbox and American Apparel are all starting to bypass the traditional press, talking directly with personal style, beauty and fashion bloggers.
For brands, this means tons of exposure for a small price. Connecting with bloggers gives companies a new chance to reach highly targeted, passionate readers. Sometimes, money isn’t even involved. Instead, casual bloggers are known to simply take free clothes and products.
While talking about her fashion line, designer Norma Kamali states:
“We love what bloggers are doing to change the structure of how fashion reaches the consumer. They are truly pioneers of the fashion world, and it’s a pleasure to watch the evolution of that change.”
The ways fashion reaches consumers has changed over the past few years, and even larger companies such as Kmart have noticed for their latest campaigns. T.J. Maxx even hired fashion blogger Lindsey Calla of Saucy Glossie to be a “Maxxinista” in their commercial, where she gives style tips based on her blog. Modcloth, which got its start by tapping into this new breed of fashion influencer, is spending time recognizing bloggers with its Blogger of the Moment. Levi’s joins this list as well, having enlisted a handful of bloggers for its latest campaign.
With all this attention from brands, it’s no surprise that some bloggers are quitting their day jobs and making a living from branding themselves.
Blogger Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller has made an empire out of her site. She’s teamed up with fashion lines such as Gryphon and Dannijo to help create collections and timeless pieces based on her fashion sense. She’s is invited to Fashion Week events all over the world, she’s modeled for Saks, she’s been interviewed by top fashion magazines, she once strutted down the runway for Rebecca Minkoff and she’s just recently signed a book deal. Keep in mind, this is all due to the popularity of her blog that was started a mere two years ago.
Medine isn’t the only blogger to cash-in on success in recent years. Style blogger Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere started her blog as a personal project; a creative outlet and a place to catalog items and ideas that inspired her, making food and style the two main themes of her blog. Since then, Ms. Schuman has turned Cupcakes and Cashmere into her sole source of income. She also has a book based on her blog, set to be released in August of this year.
Age doesn’t have anything to do with all this success, either. Tavi Gevinson started her blog The Style Rookie at the ripe young age of 13. Now 15, Tavi has quite a brag-able resume: Fashion Week invites, style muse for designers, a cover appearance on Pop magazine, features in Teen Vogue, the inspiration for Target’s Rodarte collection, almost 57,000 Twitter followers and her own Wikipedia page — all because a quirky 13 year old decided to document her style online for all to see. Young Tavi is now a valuable asset for all fashion related brands. If she wears it, many young girls are bound to run out and buy it.
Along with her popular style blog, this young entrepreneur is now the Editor-in-Chief of her very own magazine titled Rookie Mag. This online magazine is geared to teens with daily updates by numerous writers with topics from fashion to tech. Rookie Mag has almost 13,000 Twitter followers making Tavi a double threat.
Why does this matter?
Fashion has always been led by the few: The top brands, a handful of celebrities and a couple publications. Now, with genuine voices popping up all over the Web, our entire flow of information is changing.
Fashion bloggers prove you don’t need to be an actress or singer to become famous or have a voice, but it’s important to remember that it’s not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot to satisfy the fashion world, and it’s not meant for everyone. Not only do you have to have a unique style and voice, you need to have what it takes to keep up among stiff competition.
There’s a fine line between the bloggers that document their day and the bloggers that truly want to create something out of hard work and vision. By starting a fashion blog you are, in a way, starting your own business that requires a lot of responsibility as your monthly viewers rise.
No matter what, the different ways fashion blogging as a scene evolves over the next few years will have a massive impact on the industry. Fashion blogging has created a new era of influencers, and its impact is only just beginning.