The blogosphere has literally grown exponentially in the last few years. People are finding ways to stay far more connected to their interests than ever before, and bloggers in all fields are finding a voice and an audience. For fashion bloggers, this voice has connected customer and designer and given everyone the chance to discover or promote the next great look.
“I think it’s very important. If you look back 10 years ago, bloggers weren’t taken very seriously,” says Mary Bays, Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising & Marketing instructor at The Art Institute of New York City. “Now some [blogs] are almost like newspapers.”
Dutch bloggers Amin Eftegarie and Maarten van Damme from men’s fashion blog Trashness.com agree that in some instances, fashion blogs are supplanting the “old guard” of the industry.
“Just like in any other field, the ‘masses’ of people are now overruling the old leaders on the internet,” Trashness says. “In this day and age, people are listening much more to the little guy rather than the big kings. The youth isn’t visiting GQ.com; they are visiting Thesartorialist.com or Trashness. Nobody goes to Oprah Winfrey’s site for lifestyle info. They’re going to Tim Ferriss’ blog. And the blogosphere has been a major help in creating buzz for new up-and-coming designers. There are a lot of new designers out there and it’s pretty hard for them to get covered by the magazines, but the blogs are often more than happy to spread the word about them. And let’s face it, at the end of the day you’re only going to be interested in 20% of the pages in a magazine. Visit a blog covering a specific niche, and you’re going to be interested in 100% of the content.”
Bays believes that pretty soon we could all be getting our fashion fixes from blogs as opposed to other, more traditional outlets.
“I think it will get to the point when people will check the blogs before they go to newspapers,” Bays says.
Fashion Blogs Connecting Customers and Designers
With fashion customers and connoisseurs going to blogs for new looks and fashion news, designers are getting the word out by creating blogs of their own.
“Most designers have their own blogs now because it’s an easy way to advertise and talk to the people about their work,” Bays says. “And you get direct feedback from the customers.”
Through this interaction with their customers, designers understand what the customers want and what they as designers need to do to keep them in their clothes.
“Designers today have to understand that they have to be creative and commercial,” Bays says.
But its not just designers joining the conversation in the blogosphere; trend-reporting, trendsetting, and just plain out-there fashion bloggers are gaining a voice that takes instances of high fashion on the street during the morning commute, and has it in RSS feeds by the lunch hour.
“Fashion bloggers have much more freedom to send a message to the world than magazines do,” Trashness says. “As a blogger, you don’t have to think about anything; you don’t have to discuss anything with your boss, art director, or copywriter; you can blog instantly. And secondly, the blogosphere provides a stage for new, emerging brands and designers.”
Bays agrees and believes that with this power of spontaneity and instantaneousness bloggers, particularly street fashion photographer bloggers, are able to influence both customers and designers with shots of real fashion in the real world.
“I think it’s amazing,” Bays says. “Because it keeps designers and customers abreast of what’s coming.”
Trashness thinks that this newfound power is forcing traditional media to copy the work done on the street by this new generation of pavement-pounding bloggers.
“Street-style bloggers are much more in touch with reality,” Trashness says. “I’m not sure, but I feel the bloggers are much faster in picking up the latest trends… maybe I’m exaggerating, but I feel like magazines are now copying bloggers instead of the other way around.”
Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery for Fashion Blogs
With all of this new and innovative content being posted, reposted, liked, tweeted, and retweeted, fans with full a RSS feed or lots of friends or followers may see a lot of the same things pop up across the spectrum. And while this can be annoying at times, it can also show readers the direction that the industry experts are taking the fashion industry.
“I would always like to see more original material, but when something is reposted several times, you can see that there is something important going on in the industry,” Bays says.
Trashness agrees that while there is a lot of reused material, there is a ton of great original content if you know where to look.
“No doubt about it that there are a lot of blogs recycling from original posters,” Trashness says. “But there are so many different people out there blogging original stuff that it’s becoming hard to overlook. The Sartorialist really kicked off a huge wave of new photographers/street-style bloggers. There are a whole lot of small blogs out there posting amazing stuff, but not getting proper amounts of credit out there because there are now simply so many of them doing it. Les Freres for example; he’s relatively new, hip, and very underrated. If you know where to look, you will find original bloggers everywhere.”
Fashion Blog Recommendations
Bays recommends fashion blog The Emperor’s Old Clothes.
Trashness recommends fashion blogs Swagger 360, Dapper Lou, and Les Freres.