Teen Vogue was quick to embrace social media and focus on building a strong relationship with the blogging community. This February, Teen Vogue will host the first-ever Blogger Lounge at the fashion tradeshow WWDMAGIC, featuring 30 emerging and celebrity fashion bloggers participating in a number of interactive events, which you can follow through WWDMAGIC’s Tumblr blog. Teen Vogue also aims to leverage this platform for the promotion of its latest personal style blogger network Fashion Click.
We interviewed the Vice President and Publisher of Teen Vogue Sabine Feldmann, to find out more about the WWDMAGIC – Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge and the launch of Teen Vogue’s personal style blogger network Fashion Click.
What were your criteria for the selection of the 30 bloggers that participate to the Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge?
Teen Vogue has a long-standing relationship with many bloggers and has been featuring “real-girls” since its inception. Every month in our Snapshot feature, the magazine showcases a real girl chosen for her amazing style. The feature was so popular that once content went digital, it started as a weekly and now has expanded to a daily style blog called Snapshot [reader of the day] on Teenvogue.com.
For the lounge, we looked for bloggers that we have great relationships with. And who, like our Snapshot picks, have amazing individual style and a wealth of knowledge on fashion. We discovered Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes) in 2008 before her blog took off – she was a Snapshot blog girl! Jane knows how to mix and match vintage with designer pieces and isn’t afraid to take risks. She’s a fashion original whose style creativity has gained her a large following. Erica Domesek (PS I Made This) is the queen of DIY. Her simple how-tos show readers how to make runway-inspired looks out of everyday items – super-creative and fashion obsessed. Colby Jordan (Minnie Muse) has amazing insider-access to the biggest names in fashion, making her new video blog one-to-watch.
Can you tell us more about the activities around Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge?
The Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge was dreamed up to be an interactive focal point of the upcoming MAGIC show; providing a space for Fashion lovers to aggregate, speak with brands, and provide content on their experiences at the show. The activities at the lounge will range from interactive blogger panels; where they will talk on what inspired them, how they have developed their craft, how they forecast trends and how to build a career in the highly competitive blogging space; to Blogger Style-off competitions, where the bloggers will style themselves with apparel and accessories found at MAGIC and judges will vote on who wears it best. The space will also allow for content uploading, device charging, daily giveaways and a place where everyone can pick up a free copy of their favorite fashion must-read, Teen Vogue!
How will you incorporate the feedback of the attendees that are at the WWDMagic and the attendees that follow the event online?
As a youth brand we aim for forward momentum in the digital space. Knowing what resonates with our brand fans allows us to develop innovative ways to deliver the content they crave from Teen Vogue.
How do you see social media, online creators and influencers shape up major fashion events like this one in the future?
This trend is bringing us closer to the Democratization of Fashion, by breaking down the barriers of exclusivity. User-generated content is no longer a gimmick, but a business—word of mouth has always been key for brands and marketers, and online social platforms have expanded the influence of one voice to hundreds of thousands. On the flip side, as an expert in the space Teen Vogue helps guide the conversation by providing a lens and filter for the expanding set of online content. With Fashion Click, we are credentialing fashion bloggers from around the globe under the halo of Teen Vogue, creating a daily-click hub for our readers.
What objectives do you set with the personal style blogger network Fashion Click?
Bloggers we accept for the Fashion Click are just like the girls we feature in Teen Vogue – fashion obsessed, trendsetters who are on the forefront of style.
Do you plan to leverage your blogger network further to bring your readers together off line, with events like Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge?
Yes, we have already been doing this with Teen Vogue signature events like Fashion University where half of the attendees already have their own blogs. For the past two years we have incorporated blogger panels that have included many of the influential voices in the space like Jane and Judy Aldridge, Phil Oh, Hanneli Mustaparta, Ercia Domesek, Julia Frakes, and Lauren McGrath. We are planning on carrying the blogger lounge through many of our upcoming events like the Teen Vogue Haute Spot. Many brands are approaching us already to help them move into this space as Teen Vogue is already doing it so successfully.
What has been the greatest challenge for Teen Vogue in embracing digital and social media?
Digital platforms and social media are constantly moving mediums. To leverage them successfully, a brand needs to fully commit with content and platform strategies to engage consumers. With social media there’s a challenge in being able to grow as fast as the sphere itself, but embracing it has not been a challenge. We already have over 1MM fans/followers on the combined platforms of Facebook and Twitter, and growing rapidly.
Many brands have reached out to bloggers too, to help them produce branded content, how will magazines manage to continue standing out with their content?
It’s still the editorial content that provides the backbone and maintains the high level of journalistic integrity of Teen Vogue. Most of our editors are already immersed in social media contributing and authoring their own blogs and curating followings through twitter. They are already well established in this era of one-on-one communication with our readers.
Bringing in outside bloggers only enhances what we do as a brand. We function as a filter for broader content. And ultimately we see the arena as a complement to our print and digital brands, not as competition to it. That’s exactly what Fashion Click does – it enhances the digital experience and provides our blogger network with a Teen Vogue seal of approval, establishing them as a trusted voice in a very crowded space.