Bloggers are the latest strategy fashion brands are using to promote their products – and one need look no further than the multiple collaborations some brands have orchestrated with bloggers for proof that this is true.
That’s why Coach, the American leather goods and accessories company, reached out to Danny Chung, a 24-year-old social media strategist who writes about personal style and the fashion industry on his blog the modman.
“We are in a time where there’s so much competition among brands that are vying for consumers’ attention, especially when it comes to digital and social”
Chung said, explaining that brands such as Coach works with bloggers is largely because they want to tap into the audience and be exposed to a new consumer base.
A fashion blog can cover many things such as specific items of clothing and accessories, trends in various apparel markets (haute couture, prêt-à-porter, etc.), celebrity fashion choices and street fashion trends. They cover fashion at all levels from the biggest names to the smallest indie designers.
Fashion is a multi-billion-dollar industry that has considerable impact on the way ordinary people clothe and present themselves. As fashion is trend-driven and fashion blogs provide a new way to follow these trends, it is likely that they will have a considerable long-term influence on the industry.
The blogoshpere has indeed opened up many doors for the fashion industry, one of which is allowing the ordinary people to partake in the ‘elite’ fashion world. In 2007, the Pulitzer Prize wing fashion writer and former blogger Robin Givhan claimed that fashion blogs had democratized the fashion industry.
Givhan had also wrote in Harpers Bazaar “The rise of the fashion blogger has evolved from an aristocratic business dominated by omnipotent disigners into a democratic one in which everyone has access to stylistic clothes…the average people, too often estranged from fashion, is not taking ownership of it”.
A similar statement was said by Constance White, the style director for E-bay and former fashion journalist, saying that the impact of the fashion blogoshpere is allowing the whole population to take ownership of the fashion world.
Over the past several months, brands big and small have increasingly reached out to bloggers, hoping gain a competitive edge over the competition. And their collaborative efforts are everywhere. The jewelry company DanniJo in August unveiled a line of baubles co-designed by the popular style blogger Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller. Macy’s launched a clothing concept early this year called Bar III, curated with the help of Elizabeth Spiridakis, who writes Feels Like White Lightning; Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, who write the men’s style blog Street Etiquette; Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast; and Jane Aldridge, who writes about footwear and fashion at Sea of Shoes.
Even Kmart is in on the blogger game. Its recent ad campaign features the fashion model Christina Caradona, writer of the blog Trop Rouge, jumping around a bedroom clad in the retailer’s private label clothing. The tagline on the ad reads “Money Can’t Buy Style.”
But outside of these highly visible sponsorships and collaborations, it’s not strange to see bloggers working with fashion brands in smaller ways. Sometimes a temporary partnership goes no further than hosting a party, as the 15-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson did for Miu Miu during Fashion’s Night Out in September. Sometimes it can mean styling a few photographs and posting them online, the way Unabashedly Prep’s F.E. Castleberry did for Ralph Lauren’s Rugby line this summer. And on occasion, digital promotion can be as easy as mentioning a brand’s name or product in a tweet or a Facebook post, something fashion-obsessed bloggers do nearly every day.
Unlike fashion-focused magazines and television shows, fashion blogs are able to be updated more frequently, keeping up to date with the with new and up-and-coming fashion trends.Not only are fashion blogs easier to access, many fashion blog readers (interviewed in Swedish fashion management study) stated that fashion blogs are far more personable and are more ‘up to date’ on both local and foreign trends. These fashion blog readers had also stated that fashion blogs had shared new trends to a much great extent than other fashion mediums.
Many of these fashion blogs also serve as a free source of advertisement to both designers and fashion retail stores. These free advertisements have had a heavy influence on fashion designers of various standings, helping to give a name to small up-and-coming designers as well as bringing high-end designers back to life. While the majority of the independent bloggers do not get paid to mention or critique designers’ products, many of the top fashion bloggers are said to have received free samples of the designer pieces that they have mentioned in their blogs.
No matter what the level of interaction, one thing is clear: As far as fashion brands are concerned, bloggers are in.
- Justin Fenner, 10/11/2011: “How Bloggers’ Influence Can Benefit Fashion Brands”. Retrieved 12/12/2011 fom: http://apparel.edgl.com/case-studies/How-Bloggers–Influence-Can-Benefit-Fashion-Brands76168
- Meen, 4/10/2011: “Best and Worst of Fashion Bloggers” Rtreived 12/12/2011 from: http://fashionbestandworst.blogspot.com/
- YM Ousley 15/97/ 2011: “Fashion Magazines or Fashion Bloggers: Who’s More Influential Online?”. Retrieved 10/12/2011 from: http://www.signature9.com/fashion/fashion-magazines-or-fashion-bloggers-whos-more-influential-online
- Evonne Gambrell, 27/07/2010: “Key Players”. Retrieved 13/12/2011 from: http://www.teenvogue.com/industry/2009/02/teen-fashion-bloggers?currentPage=1
- BoF Team, 9/o6/2011: “How Are Bloggers Changing Fashion?” Retrieved 13/12/2011 from: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2011/06/quotable-how-are-bloggers-changing-fashion.html