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Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Democratisation Of Fashion.

The Blog-Effect.



This is Imogen. She runs a fashion based blog called eightlondon.
http://www.eightlondon.blogspot.com/

I had the pleasure of meeting her outside the House of Holland show during the recent London Fashion Week.

Like many of us, she was there in her capacity as the new breed of internet-savvy individuals that have come to be known as bloggers.

This has been on my mind for a while and thanks to the world wide web, the opportunities are endless for the people to voice their opinions on fashion.
If you have something to say about fashion, guess what, now you can.

For a long time there has been a peking order in the fashion world comprised of financial backers, designers, stylists, press and buyers which made it a Minocracy, for lack of a better word.
We, the general public have had to eat what this minority fed us.

Everyone - including those not interested in fashion - is well aware of the avanlanche of the fashion blogs that is decscending upon the fashion world like the snow in the alps.

There are those fashion establishments that have been caught off guard and those that saw it coming and embraced them that are now beginning to reap the benefits.

Fashion is a business, no different than selling car tyres only difference is fashion deals with human emotion.
'I don't design clothes, I design dreams.' Ralph Lauren.

Fashion brands have come to realise that in order to sell more of their products and retain brand integrity at the same time, they've had to implement a number of strategies including exploiting the new media phenomena such as twitter, facebook and blogs.

Fashion consumption is steadily moving from the traditoinal magazine-bricks and mortar model to live streaming and instant online ordering the likes of which was seen at the recent Burberry show in London.

Blogs are playing such a crucial role in this new model that the individuals behind the most popular ones have been moved from the nose-bleed seats at the back to now sharing the much coveted front row seats with fashion royalty.

Bryan Boy (bryanboy.com), Tavi Gevinson (Style Rookie), Garance Doré (garancedore.fr), Tommy Ton (jakandjil.com), Susie Bubble (Style Bubble), Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) to name but a few are some of the individuals behind the most popular blogs that are now front row status at the runway shows during different fashion weeks from New York to Paris to London to Milan.
They even get backstage access before the shows and get an audience with the designers.

It has been reported that at one point, Tavi - the pint sized - 13 year old American blogger behind Style Rookie had a following of 4 million which astounded even the most hardened of fashion editors.

Because these individuals have such a big audience, fashion brands give them exclusive access to their collections like they would normally to a traditional financial backer, editor, stylist or major buyer.
This is because some collections will sell out instantly if a certain blogger gives it the thumbs up.

In some cases, it so happens that these individuals are just ordinary consumers with an extraordinary knowledge about the fashion industry and have worked out a way of presenting their fashion point of view through blogs that a multitude of people happen to follow and agree with.

Take for example, Tommy Ton - the Canadian blogger behind footwear based blog jak and jil has such a big following that he now gets special requests by the traditional fashion media to shoot their back stage action ( Louis Vuitton to name one) and the recent collabo he had with mens' magazine GQ to shoot street-style during the menswear shows in Milan, january this year.
This expands these brands' appeal to a wider audience that they would normally wouldn't have if it was just traditional paper based fashion media.

The emergence of fashion bloggers has left many of the old guard red faced at the shows when they have to share the front row which I must say is quite a scene.

The people have spoken through these individuals and more are coming up to take the crown which leaves the game wide open where everbody's got their own thing currency chasing and hoping that one day they hit that majic number of 10,000 followers and hit the big time, me included.

4 comments:

The Photodiarist said...

I love this new fashion democracy!

Robyn said...

Really interesting post! I wrote a similar article on my blog, ChiChiSaysRobyn.blogspot.com, kind of summing up the major arguments in the supposed "blogger v. editor" war. You hit the nail on the head here, though. All of the negative publicity (Tavi's hat, etc.) is really just a sideshow to the real issue at hand: media is changing; marketing is changing; and this "brave new world" is an exciting one to be a part of!

~Robyn
ChiChiSaysRobyn.blogspot.com

EIGHT LONDON said...

Sorry I look so grumpy! I seriously needed sleep at this point!

Really like this post, Old guard v. New guard haha. There's been a bit of a blogger backlog though this season (did you know over 30% of accredited press were bloggers?) It might not be the same come september.

Carly said...

As they say 'times are a changin' and i think it's so exciting to be part of it. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion but i don't think bloggers should be raving about collections that they've been paid to promote, unless they genuinely do love the collection, then they're just like well known publications and i don't think blogs should be like that.

www.dressedupdown.blogspot.com

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