The Rise of the Fashion Blogger

25th March 2017, by Alisha Davis

 

In previous years, fashion bloggers were unheard of. Bloggers in general, weren’t a group people we were particularly interested in. But in recent years, the blogging industry and those who belong to it have created a massive following. Blogging has evolved and with it; new terms have been coined… the words ‘vloggers’ and ‘insta-bloggers’ which highlights the fast development. Because of this, the fashion industry has adapted to use these new internet sensations to their advantage. Famous vlogger Zoella has built over 11 million followers since she started her vlogging career in 2009. This really showcases the massive impact bloggers can have on the fashion industry; big brands such as Asos are constantly collaborating with fashion bloggers because they are aware of the reach these people have.

It has been reported that 64% of social shoppers turn to message boards or blogs for inspiration before making a fashion related purchase decision (Source). If you were to look at this year’s fashion week compared to those in previous years, you won’t see just the typical celebrity presence such as Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevinge and Victoria Beckham, bloggers such as Kristin Knox from theclotheswhisperer.co.uk and Megan Ellaby from pagesbymegan.com can be seen sitting amongst them, witnessing the newest fashion trends from shows such as Mulberry and Topshop. With fashion and style bloggers catering to the everyday women who come in all shapes and sizes, it shows that the fashion industry are aware of how bloggers can reach a whole new demographic of women.

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When asked why people started blogs in the first place, many answered that they only wanted to create a relevant space which would allow them to be creative; depending on their passions and hobbies. Some created their blog to showcase their talents for prospective future employers. Speaking to Lauren Gibbins of www.laurenjgibbins.blogspot.com, which is a fashion and lifestyle blog that is also documenting her year abroad, she told me the reasons behind starting this blog.

“I decided to start a fashion and lifestyle blog as a way of showing future employers what I was capable of, writing-wise. It is very difficult to get into the fashion and journalism industries respectively and as I do not have any work experience in either sector, I knew I needed to do something to prove my interest. It is a creative outlet which allows me to express my thoughts and opinions very freely and build my personal brand whilst doing so,” she answered. Though Lauren has stated she has no specific goals for her blog, she stated a very specific ideal that many bloggers follow. “If you do it literally with the incentive of making it ‘big’ and earning loads of money, then you’re not going to be able to emulate the same passion and interest as those who really resonate with their readers, which is what leads to a growth in popularity anyway.”

Fashion and Beauty Monitor published a study which explored and analysed the scope and influence fashion bloggers have on big brands. One statistic shows that these brands believe content is more important than numbers, so even those bloggers who don’t have a massive number of followers; 72% believe relevancy is more important than reach. This idea reveals just how important bloggers and their voices have become in the fast and constant evolving fashion industry.

Many fashion bloggers give the same advice about starting up a blog and that is to do it to showcase a particular passion, find your niche. It seems that when bloggers write and create with this reasoning behind it, it resonates to the readers and effectively builds up an audience.  This form of expressing opinions has evolved the fashion landscape as more and more brands are using fashion bloggers to drive traffic to their website, to increase sales and by doing so, the brand itself. It becomes a circle; as audiences grow for the fashion blogger, big brands get involved which brings an even bigger audience to the blogger, and the circle continues.

But why have fashion bloggers become so popular in recent years? I spoke to Emma Palmer of the The Happy Journal. Though not a fashion blog, it does still feature lifestyle and beauty tips which can be included in fashion blogs. After starting her blog from advice obtained in university, Emma discovered something from this online platform: “After a few months I realised that I could use this platform to inspire others, so I decide to make it my mission to bring positivity with my blog.” When asked why she thinks blogging has become such a popular format for people to take part in she stated: “It is great advertising. If someone wants to check to see if they want to invest in a beauty product or visit a certain country for a trip, they can just search on the internet and you can bet that a blogger has written a review of that beauty product or a travel guide for that place. They put together outfits that you wouldn’t think of. Apart from a small minority who ruin it for everyone by just doing it for the money, it’s mainly advertising that you can trust. There have been products that I’ve bought because bloggers and vloggers have said they’re worth the investment.” It appears that the word of bloggers is crucial in their continued popularity, they manage to create inspiration, allow people to relate and even help in connecting like-minded individuals.

Public Desire, an online fast fashion retailer grew its business through social media platforms and using the reach of fashion bloggers. By urging their customers to showcase their latest purchases, it allows them to tap it in to a new source of advertising which enables them to push their products. With now over one million followers on Instagram and 85 thousand likes on Facebook, they owe a lot of their success to fashion bloggers. Tayyab Akhlaq, director of Public Desire, has said: “Social media really drives our company, without it our model wouldn’t work. We have a team of people working to find the latest trends and then we look to source those products as cheaply as we can.” The craze for fashion bloggers is only increasing, as a huge shift in consumer marketing can be seen, where big brands can use fashion bloggers to promote their brands to a larger target market. This shift enables more fashion bloggers and aspired fashion bloggers to get involved in this latest trend of advertising.

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Public Desire’s Instagram feed features content created by fans, bloggers and customers alike.

Lola from Lolitabonita, a food and lifestyle blog believes blogging has become so popular because: “With the internet ready and available anyone can sign up and create a domain of their own. Some just want to share their experiences, tips and passions. Some want to help and connect with others, whilst some just want a creative outlet. Though some do it for the fame in the hopes of following in people like Zoella’s footsteps, I believe some just want to have that creative space to express their passions.”

Fashion bloggers have become so popular because they are offering something different from the standard glossy magazine. They invite readers into their lives and showcase how fashion can work in real life, putting together outfits and reworking vintage pieces that are easily accessible for the everyday person. Lauren from GirlstoleLondon blogs about her style and her battle with breast cancer, combining the two with this article, which showcases the reach fashion bloggers really have. This is such a unique experience that really involves the reader with the bloggers lives as if they were old friends.

Maybe the massive success of fashion bloggers is not just about giving women purely fashion advice and how to’s. But it’s more about the permission women seem to be getting by being able to dress however they like. With a fashion blogger showcasing nearly every different style possible, whether it’s the plus size styling of Danielle Vanier or the retro styling’s of Sophia Rosemary, there is something for everyone. It appears that fashion blogging is beginning to convert attitudes from a fashion focal point to a more style oriented look, which is what readers seem to relate to more.

Fashion blogging has and will continue to rise in popularity, for how long it is uncertain. But for now, it is something popular brands have gotten on board with, in order to keep growing. It does seem that we are a point in the blogging world where only the strong brands that have something to say will continue on. But in the words of Andy Warhol, everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame but there is no reason why that can’t last a lifetime.

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