Hey all! I hope everyone’s having a fab Monday. Today I’m presenting you with something a little different… With the increasing number of members here in the blogosphere I thought it would be appropriate to focus my first university fashion report of 2016 around this career. Why do you care? Well, my teacher thought it was pretty bad-ass so I said to myself… anyone interested in pursuing this as an occupation might too… and here we are! I’ve tried to jazz it up for ya’ll but keep in mind that this isn’t your usual fashun article, it was an assignment so there is a lot of analytical language about to come. I couldn’t have created this without the help from four of my favourite online creators: Kate Nutting at Pretty Dresses in the Laundry, Anna Missen at Alabasta Doll, Kimbly Wright at Style Me Yesterday & last but not least Aicha Robertson at The Fashion Heist. I interviewed all these successful ladies for an in-depth insight into the world that is blogging.
Fashion Bloggers are always dressed to impress, armed with their iPhones and can be spotted at fashion shows, elite parties and shop openings. Over the years they have elucidated the once exclusive world of fashion (Rahman 2014). As they continue to do this their followings are burgeoning as is their influence on the fashion industry.
The basis of this enquiry was carried out using primary and secondary data.
Primary material includes:
- Four personal interviews conducted with professional fashion bloggers (site appendices)
- Observations being an amateur fashion blogger myself
Secondary research includes:
- Online interviews, articles and film
- Print books and journals
3.0 Findings and Discussion
3.1 What does Fashion Blogging encompass?
There are an array of Fashion blogs including: personal, street style, photo-sharing, reviews and recommendations, lifestyle and beauty (Bradford 2015, 202). It is considered an “idealised profession” yet contains copious amounts of logical and creative thinking, determination, patience and persistence dealing with a series of competing demands (Duffy 2015). These entrepreneurs are required to be on-trend – while remaining genuine, creative – while following metrics and satisfy both their audience and the brands who administrate their income (Duffy 2015). According to Julie Bradford the author of Fashion Journalism (2015) the appeal in creating a fashion blog is as follows: the freedom to comment, provide authentication behind their brand identity, allowing audiences to relate and become further influenced – which is where companies are involved and potential income is accumulated.
3.1.1 The Impact Fashion Blogging has within the Fashion Industry
Fashion blogging began as individual comments on style, but over the past decade there has been an increase in customers trusting online recommendations thus resulting in the economy financially support Fashion Bloggers’ content (Rahman 2014). In the mid-2000’s industry experts viewed the growth and inclusion of Fashion Bloggers as an incursion (Duffy 2015). The Independent published an article declaring fashion blogs have no credibility and similarly Vogue Italia editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani questioned whether bloggers were necessary. Today their presence is conventional and they’re recognised as powerful online influencers and have continual job proposals (Nutting 2016). Bloggers are now hired as ‘brand ambassadors’ and sent products from companies seeking coverage (Bradford 2015, 199). This development followed the establishment of Instagram in 2010 which gave bloggers more exposure and recognition (Wright 2016). Subsequently beginning designers rely on Fashion Bloggers in their success as the majority of youth turn to blogs ahead of print for inspiration and guidance regarding fashion and beauty (Bradford 2015, 200).
As the digital revolution is only beginning to severely impact the fashion industry there are many adaptations to come (Amed 2010). Currently Instagram is at the forefront of this practise but bloggers are beginning to include motion material within their brands and audiences are following their icons on platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat and Steller (Wright 2016).
3.1.2 Fashion Blogging in Regards to the Supply Chain
The supply chain refers to a “supply and demand network that characterises an industry from design through to manufacture, distribution and retailing; involving the sourcing and pricing of every stage” (Craik 2016). Fashion is one of the three most important global industries and is characterised by its long supply chain (Craik in Schramme 2013, 7). The stages are as followed: designing the sketches; which are converted into patterns; this information is transferred to manufacturing; at the same time the establishment of sales and marketing team occur; fashion trade shows, sales agents, fashion shows and showrooms become part of the business-to-business process; then a business-to-consumer marketing team is established which is where bloggers, PR agencies and media become involved; following this the collection is released to customers through various retail and “e-tail” channels (Schramme 2013, 28) (site Appendix A). Aicha Robertson the blogger behind The Fashion Heist believes the ‘role’ of bloggers is constantly evolving and changing in regards to the supply chain. Robertson states “Fashion Bloggers are now the trend forecasters,” working with brands behind the scenes, guiding collections and providing collaborations – not purely within the marketing sector (Robertson 2016).
4.1 Career Plan
Due to the minimal entry requirements into the field of Fashion Blogging as well as an allure of free products and event invites, legions of fashion enthusiasts are beginning to express their interest (Rahman 2014). The struggle to find stable work within creative industries is evident to all. Many Fashion Bloggers describe their career a “creative outlet” when in reality all their time and energy is invested and incentives are sacrificed. Establishing and maintaining a successful blog requires an immeasurable amount of thought and planning. After an in-depth analysis guidelines have been identified to guarantee a position amongst this global phenomenon.
4.1.1 Personal Branding and Analytics
American blogger and entrepreneur at Upfront Ventures Mark Suster describes personal branding as “the most important way to proactively control your career development and how the market perceives you.” Aaron Christian – editor of Individualism, a men’s style blog – agrees, explaining he’s branded his empire as ‘tongue-in-cheek’, approachable and passionate. Christian says, “Now brands come to us for our voice. Companies are approaching bloggers that have their own personal brand, value opinion and set audience that aligns with their own” (quoted in Bradford 2015, 201). Therefore to find success within fashion blogging it is evident that the analytics must be understood. These include: paying attention audience engagement; as well as what their audience wants – perhaps a collection or more film content (Site Appendix B).
(quoted in Astley 2014, 124). Blogger Gabi Fresh suggests, “If you’re starting a blog today, you have to start with Instagram. It’s the fastest way to build a brand following” (Blalock 2014).
4.1.2 The Niche and Dedication
To keep a blog relevant, technically sound and popular one must express their voice via this platform and not be concerned with negative opinions (White 2014). Shortly after creating Man Repeller Medine became eminent as most style blogs focussed on professionally photographed beautiful, expensive pieces, whereas Medine purposefully created the opposite (Astely 2014, 122). Similarly, Kimbly Wright – the Australian stylist behind Style Me Yesterday – states she began blogging due to the encouragement received from people who were seeking for ‘the girl next door’ whom they could relate too and view looks that are “affordable, on trend, sassy and classy” (Wright 2016). Therefore it is evident that while building a dedicated readership bloggers should always present high-quality content that is different – rather than following what is trending (Jane Aldridge in Astley 2014, 146). Importantly, aspirants must continue to adapt to technological and societal advancements, while staying true to yourself and not lose sight of your purpose (Missen 2016).
Amed, Imran. 2010. “What the Independent article didn’t tell us.” Accessed March 23, 2016. http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion-tech/fashion-2-0-what-the-independent-article-didnt-tell-us
Astley, Amy. 2014. The Teen Vogue Hand Book: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion. USA: Penguin Group.
Blalock, Meghan. 2014. “7 Secrets to becoming a successful fashion blogger.” Accessed March 22, 2016. http://www.whowhatwear.com.au/how-to-become-a-blogger/slide7
Bradford, Julie. 2015. Fashion Journalism. Oxon: Routledge.
Craik, Jennifer. 2016. “DFB502 Ragtrade: The Business of Fashion – Week 3 Lecture notes.” Accessed March 22, 2016. https://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_123578_1&content_id=_6269940_1
Duffy, Brooke E, Emily Hund. 2015. “The invisible labor of fahion blogging” Accessed March 22, 2016. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/09/fashion-blogging-labor-myths/405817/
Hewitt, Marianna. 2015. “Ask a blogger: how exactly do fashion bloggers make money?” Accessed March 23, 2016. http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a11902/how-do-fashion-bloggers-make-money/
McGrath, James. 2015. “The Business of Fashion Blogging” Ragtrader. Accessed March 21, 2016. http://www.ragtrader.com.au/news/the-business-of-fashion-blogging
Missen, Anna. 2016. Interviewed via email by Cheianna Wilson. www.alabastadoll.com
Nutting, Kate. 2016. Interviewed via email by Cheianna Wilson. www.prettydressesinthelaundry.com
Pomeranz, Phillippa W, Rebecca Buttrose. 2014. Fashion Bloggers. The Style Network. (Broadcast October 5, 2014). Television program.
Rahman, Abid. 2014. “Is the era of selfie-centred fashion blogging coming to an end?” South China Morning Post. Accessed March 22, 2016. http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-watches/article/1505079/era-selfie-centred-fashion-blogging-coming-end
Rinaldi, Francesca. 2010. “Social Media Fashion Monitor 2010.” Accessed March 22, 2016. http://www.lescahiersfm.com/en/social-media-fashion-monitor-2010-2/
Robertson, Aicha. 2016. Interviewed via email by Cheianna Wilson. www.thefashionheist.com
Schramme, Annick, Trui Moerkerke, Karinna Nobbs. 2013. Fashion Management. Belgium: Lannoo Campus Publishers.
White, Charlie, John Biggs. 2014. Bloggers Boot Camp: Learning how to build, write and run a successful blog. Accessed March 23, 2016. http://www.tandfebooks.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/doi/view/10.4324/9781317816195
Wright, Kimbly. 2016. Interviewed via email by Cheianna Wilson. www.stylemeyesterday.com
*Image sources are above also*
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