Blogging is the modern phenomenon where people are sharing their lives digitally and for Fashion Bloggers, our topic this Month, they have become independent publishers in their own rights. Fashion bloggers have become a force to be reckoned in the fashion industry from landing major campaigns, collaborations with huge brands and of course landing the front row seats at Fashion Week. Over the past decade, some fashion bloggers have turned their blogs into multimillion-dollar business and become household names.
The voice of fashion bloggers has become an innate part of the industry with bloggers becoming industry influencers. Gone are the days when fashion magazines told us what to do. Now, the fashion bloggers collaborate with magazines, designer labels and retail brands to showcase their products, give fashion industry insight and cross-sell through their ever growing social media followers. With followers of up to 5 million on Instagram, it is no surprise that they are taking up front row seats at Fashion Weeks with designers at their beck and call.
Being a fashion blogger, like any job in the fashion industry, is a real job. This month, we delve into what it means, firstly, to be a fashion blogger and how to do it successfully. Becoming a household name takes work and so what exactly does it entail? From reaching greater audiences than ever before, how have Fashion Bloggers impacted both self-perception and the fashion industry? From the BAKE awards in Kenya celebrating bloggers nationally to hearing from our very own bloggers, we share their stories and a glimpse into the business of blogging.
Most fashion bloggers are writers, photographers, creative directors, stylists and consultants. Their blog is their focus and from there stems their commissions, advertising forming it into a long-term career. Highly acclaimed Fashion Blogger form Australia, Margaret Zhang, states, “for me it has never been about the numbers. It’s not about making a quick dollar. It’s not about getting as many followers as quickly as possible. If you have good, original content, you have engaged readers who actually care about you and not just what you are wearing. So I think its important to encourage conversation and thought rather than believing everything that they see. That is more important than the numbers. A lot of brands are starting to realize that too.”
Fashion designers are beginning to realize the importance of finding a fashion blogger that can provide original non-biased feedback of their collections and one to collaborate with as a marketing opportunity. From shooting brand campaigns, fashion bloggers can be simultaneously fashion editors, fashion stylists, fashion creative directors and that is what makes them stand out. Fashion bloggers have managed to take fashion trends and runway collections and simplify them for their audiences showing them how wearable they are. They have become an important avenue into the exclusive world of fashion. Question is, how do Kenyan Fashion Bloggers contribute to the fashion industry in Kenya?
Just like a brand, fashion bloggers need to have their own creative vibe and fashion perspective. Originality is key and finding ones voice, as a Fashion Blogger within that space is important. Social media is not going anywhere and with consumers looking to fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions; enter the realm of influencer marketing. Brands are pouring money into influencer marketing by collaborating with a fashion blogger. These involve a fully expensed paid trip to exotic locations to either showcase anything from clothes, hotels and even countries. Between plane tickets and hotel accommodations, these Instagram –worthy activities, these brands are getting more reach and market accessibility coming from a consumer.
Despite these luxurious trips, it still involves work for the fashion blogger. They are constantly scouting locations for photo-shoots for their Instagram pages, styling themselves depending on the event they will be going for all in an effort to capture and tell the story they want to tell. We take a look this month into the Ethics of blogging in this regard. Should consumers/readers be informed of paid features? Does non-disclosure affect authenticity of reviews?
Fashion bloggers are truly a breed of fashion commentators through both style and product reviews. They are acting as focal points for different consumers and different brands. One person may love blogger X and another may only follow blogger Y. Because of their varied personas, style influences and brand affiliates, consumers get a taste for fashion, travel and even food with it somehow feeling more real then when viewing it in glossy fashion magazines. Why do people keep going back to read their favorite blogs? We discuss these issues and more this month.
Stay tuned folks!
Author: Wanjiku N. M | Editor and Founder of TDS | Twitter: @WanjikuNM