Are Bloggers Over Fashion Week?

Over the last couple of seasons I’ve started to notice a trend: a lot of of the big bloggers are skipping out on fashion week. Chiara Ferragni isn’t strutting her street style, Kristina Bazan is posting brunch snapchats from LA, Julia Engel is on vacation in the Bahamas. I feel like New York Fashion Week used to be the difference between the big luxury bloggers and the mid-range small fish.

But now it feels like people are sort of over it? Can it be?

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Major bloggers like Chriselle Lim, Aimee Song, and Danielle Bernstein are all still hitting the shows (as well as style-famous editors like Shiona Turini and Elaine Welteroth) but it doesn’t feel like the same fanfare anymore. I feel like the shows used to be a status symbol – look I can get invited to Calvin Klein – and that bloggers attended regardless of if they worked with the brand. But with more and more influencers getting invited to shows and the collections being immediately posted onto social media, a lot of the bigger names seem to be opting out. They seem to be over it.

There’s been an interesting conversation happening around the Grammys (other than #GrammysSoWhite): are we just over big displays of what is “good” and “cool”? I think fashion shows are different because they aren’t attempting to definitively label other’s work, but they are known for leading the way of what will be cool next season and defining trends.

Does this work in the landscape of fashion bloggers and street style photographers? I think fewer and fewer people are looking to brands for inspiration and more are looking to see how their favorite social media star styles the pieces. In this moment of uber personal style how can brands keep up?

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I think two patterns have emerged the last few seasons:

  • Supermodels are making a comeback. Models are back in the public eye as celebrities in their own right – The Hadids, Kendall Jenner, Jasmine Tookes, etc. Designers are putting recognizable faces on the runway again to bring attention to the brand, but I also think to make people feel more connected to the clothes.
  • Brands are moving beyond models. A few designers have hired “friends” of the brand to act as models – J Crew did it this season, Mansur Gavriel has done it in the past. This definitely feels like an attempt to embrace style as an element of personality, that the clothes are enhanced by the individuality of the person wearing them.

With brands trying to address personal style, bloggers ignoring NYFW is really an amazing act of rebellion. For bloggers to say they don’t need the validation of the fashion industry just as that industry is realizing how much they need personal style bloggers shifts the power dynamic, especially after the industry was pretty resistant to the rise of influencers in the first place. Obviously this doesn’t peg to everyone, but it’s interesting that bloggers seem to be less and less involved in the mainstream fashion stuff as their own platforms become more powerful.

So what’s next? Personally, I don’t think blogging is going away any time soon and I think brands are going to have to find ways to better integrate influencer marketing into their strategy. In the meantime, you keep on brunching Kristina.

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Blog Roundup: Have a Romantic Weekend!

Hope you guys had a wonderful week! I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s already Friday! No Valentine’s plans for me, but I’m actually really looking forward to having a creative weekend: I’m taking a writing workshop, going to the movies, and making a dent in my newest library book.

Here are a few blog-related links and some blogger industry news that’s fascinated me this week. And of course, let me know if there’s anything I missed – I seriously love putting this post together! Enjoy and have a relaxing and joyful weekend!

1. Chiara Ferragni Returns to Harvard

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Chiara Ferragni, the international blogger/street style star/designer/entrepreneur is returning to Harvard with her team to once again lecture in the Luxury Marketing MBA program. From her snaps it sounds like they focused on the ways that new platforms and fan engagement affect luxury commerce and how they transformed The Blonde Salad from a personal fashion blog to a complete fashion empire. She was one of the first really successful bloggers and has her own case study published by Harvard Business School (in case anyone is looking to get me a very unorthodox Valentine’s Day gift 😂).

I would have loved to be in that lecture and seen how they laid out their business plan. I feel like so many bloggers try to hide the fact their blog is also a business and so they don’t share their strategy and policies. This has led to a lot of confusion in the highly-unregulated blogging industry over legality, finances, and transparency, so hopefully the TBS crew can start to open up that can of worms for the benefit of everyone.

2. ‘My Child is Transgender’ on Cup of Jo

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Joanna Goddard’s blog is seriously stepping up! In the last year she has really responded to readers’ call for more diversity and social justice-oriented content. She is doing an great job at writing more inclusive posts amongst her usual style and lifestyle posts. Her voice is so intimate and she lifts up stories that are meaningful and reflect the social justice orientated readership she’s cultivated. Obviously there’s always room to do more, but she’s responding far more than any other blogger I’ve seen and she does it all while remaining authentic to her brand.

I also loved this post featuring children’s books with characters of color and her response to the November election.

3. LIKEtoKNOW.it the App?!

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Okay so this is less of commentary and more of mystery because I legit can’t find anything about this upcoming app! For those who don’t know, LIKEtoKNOW.it is a monetization tool for bloggers where followers can like an image on Instagram and then an email of shopable links is sent to that follower for them to peruse and buy their favorite items.

LIKEtoKNOW.it and RewardStyle, which are run by the Venz Box titans, have completely altered the fashion blogging landscape by giving bloggers a way to monetize their looks and get commission from recommending products. They’re like my heroes so I’m always really excited when they literally do anything – but why can’t I find any info on this app?!

I’m interested to see what the app is because so many brands and bloggers are steering away from the app thing. They’re cumbersome on the backend and require a reader to open an entirely different activity to access content, putting up another barrier to user interaction – especially when content on Instagram would show up without even trying (although that new algorithm is still getting under people’s skin).

But then you have apps like Mary Orton’s Trove, which is another shopping-centric app where you can shop directly from blog posts. So maybe apps are becoming the personal shoppers of the future? It’s obviously too early to tell, but I definitely signed up for first access to the LIKEtoKNOW.it app – I’ll be sharing once I’m in!