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.