For anyone who’s highly tuned in to the fashion world—its ins, outs, and occasional subtweets—you’re probably already well versed on the recent tensions between publications and bloggers. And particularly, during this fashion month.
But for us, a publication that loves the unique and individual perspectives bloggers bring to the table, there’s a bigger conversation that comes to mind: What is the true role of bloggers in the fashion industry today? Thankfully that’s exactly the topic that so many of our favorite personalities have weighed in on this past week.
In the most practical terms, bloggers’ work “provides content for websites … provides a large platform for brands to display their most recent collections,” Danielle Bernstein posted on Instagram. However, in a larger sense, “We’re the face of our own brands,” Aimee Song put it simply, echoing a sentiment that seems to be felt across her peers. “We had to pave our own way for the opportunities to do something we love and inspire people along the way.”
We had to pave our own way for the opportunities to do something we love and inspire people along the way.
Cara Santana made a case for blogger entrepreneurship, as well, when she said that it’s women like herself who’ve “created a voice for themselves, who have revitalized an industry, who have integrated themselves as a necessity to a world that craves innovation, and to young female entrepreneurs who took what they loved and created a space for themselves and a business that didn’t exist.” And we agree.
When we look at the last few years alone, we’ve seen bloggers land on the cover of major international magazines (Chiara Ferragni, Nicole Warne), create full-fledged fashion lines (Rumi Neely's Are You Am I), and even become a part of their own Harvard Business School case study (Ferragni again, but hey, it deserves a mention). There are also self-made industry experts like Susanna Lau, who’s known for her thoughtful, highly intelligent, quirky view on the industry within her personal blog and also as an editor, and a slew more who've earned major success through their hustle—both main and side.
[Bloggers' work] provides a large platform for brands to display their most recent collections.
Of course, this fashion month is far from the first time so many bloggers have spoken out about their place within the fashion industry. In fact, the question’s come up often. As one Fashionista article pointed out this week, current major street style photographers, such as Scott Schuman and Phil Oh, were once considered bloggers as well. And yet today their work is recognized as a fully realized business, and their presence has become a staple of every fashion month event. So why is the same regard not given to so many fashion bloggers who’ve earned their industry cred and created an equally successful business out of their personal brands?
There’s not necessarily a straightforward answer or a pretty Gucci bow we can tie around this conversation. But rather, we’ll say this: Come this time next fashion month, we're looking forward to hearing more about how bloggers bring value to the industry in which they were once outsiders, and less about why they’re attending to begin with.
What role do you think bloggers play in the fashion industry today? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.