February 17, 2010

The Role of the Blogger

     Designer John Galliano and Blogger Tavi Gevinson via: Style Rookie

As previously mentioned in our earlier blog post, bloggers have a new role and greater influence in fashion than ever before. As everyone relies on the Internet nowadays for the latest information, the influence of blogs is something that cannot be ignored. Not only is it a source of information or inspiration, blogs are also the new type of portfolio in the fashion industry. It can lead to sponsorships, deals, collaborations, and jobs in marketing, fashion and media. Naomi Nevitt, a new media consultant, states that there are so many different types of blogs. And "it's about designers seeing how important this is, and the ability to circulate this information so quickly is really important." Looking toward the future, she predicts "personal style blogs filling the role of the traditional stylist. Just in the way a [public relations] company will lend out an item to shoot to a magazine, it's that way for a personal style blog showing how this item can exist in people's wardrobes."

                            Designer Marc Jacobs via: Vogue Espana

A few years ago, it would have sounded ridiculous for a blogger to be a designer's muse, inspire a new It bag, or be invited to sit front row of a fashion show. But it is now apparent that we are living in a new era where relatively anyone with a computer and Internet access can have a voice in fashion. And more recently, it is clear that not only do bloggers have a voice, but they have somehow managed to take the lead.

The power pyramid has shifted and designers are paying more attention to what bloggers are saying. Attracting hundreds of thousands of hits per month, these bloggers influence a wider audience. Calling them key influencers, a spokeswoman from Tory Burch states, "we hope that through their sites, they'll introduce Tory Burch to a whole new set of customers... Blogs and Web sites invite a dialogue with readers and customers that is invaluable to us." Fashion designer Norma Kamali also noted that "there is no elite in anything anymore."Calling them leaders, she says she appreciates the way they interpret what she does and publicly share it with others.

Jane Aldridge at Crillon Ball via: Sea of Shoes 

Bloggers play a multi-dimensional role; they are the new celebrities, editors, critics, stylists, muses, etc... The list can go on and on. 13-year-old Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie is now a correspondent for Pop Magazine and has reportedly been approached about a reality TV show and a book. 17-year-old blogger of Sea of Shoes, Jane Aldridge, designed a capsule collection for Urban Outfitters and was invited by Vogue to attend the Paris Crillon Ball in a Chanel Haute Couture gown. And London-based 25-year-old Susie Lau of Susie Bubble is now an editor at Dazed & Confused.

With all of this attention given to bloggers, there has been an uproar the last few weeks of bloggers versus editors. 13-year-old Tavi Gevinson, blogger of Style Rookie, wrote her stance, and Business of Fashion made a great point. And for the most part, bloggers are not trying to take over anyone's position or step on anyone's toes. As Business of Fashion states, instead of an unconstructive us versus them mentality, journalists and editors should engage genuine dialogues with bloggers "about the state of the industry and the ways in which social media can make fashion a more participative industry."

As information is available to everybody instantly, the pace of fashion has moved much more quickly than before. Today, most fashion brands and retailers have some form of blogger outreach. Whether these companies are giving bloggers new products, inside scoops, inviting them to special events or fashion shows, those who are smart enough know that they cannot ignore this new blogosphere. Journalists, stylists, and editors may feel attacked by the power of bloggers. But that does not need to be the case.  Perhaps many people who have been in the fashion industry for a long period are not yet comfortable with this idea, but it is only to their disadvantage to not accept the changing times. 

Information moves quickly, and people are reacting quickly. As information becomes more widely available and fashion becomes more transparent, we stand in a midst of a revolution. It's clear that blogging is not just a trend, and we look forward to how this will evolve and change the fashion industry.

Source: WWD

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