Will The Blogger Making $10K Outside NYFW Please Stand Up?
By: Jennine Jacob

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Last week, the New York Times published an article about how bloggers were paid to wear clothes to Fashion Week so they can get shot by street style photographers, “Popular bloggers and other so-called influencers can earn $2,000 to $10,000 for a single appearance in their wares.” For those in the blogging business this news came as a shock,  Yuli Ziv tweeted, “I want to see a copy of the $10K check a brand paid to a blogger for a single appearance in their wares during #NYFW. ” For others on the brand side, this may not have been so shocking. On Facebook, Dina Fierro, HL Group’s  Managing Director, Social Media commented on IFB’s Facebook Page: “I can confirm that it does indeed happen, though I find it an unfortunate use of marketing dollars.” When contacted to elaborate and or confirm Fierro declined to comment.

So, does this really happen? If a blogger did get paid money, it would have to be a blogger who has a very good chance of getting photographed or had a great reach, and the photograph being republished. Leandra Medine, wrote of the article on Manrepeller, “It was a smart read: interesting, informative and conceivably true.” No one doubts that it’s a practice that’s conceivable, but someone has yet to admit to being a part of it.

“I honestly have never been paid to wear clothes for fashion week” ~Nicole Warne, Gary Pepper

The Times highlighted a few bloggers in the article without directly saying any of them were paid to wear clothes to fashion week. Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper, who has been shot on the likes of Street Peeper, and Bazaar, was mentioned in the original NYT article about wearing gifted clothes, a common practice in the blogging industry. “I honestly have never been paid to wear clothes for fashion week or on my blog for that matter. I think a blogs survival relies heavily on the trust you have with your readers.” Says Nicole in response to the article. She went on to say that no one identified themselves from the New York Times during fashion week when asking about her clothing.

If it’s not the individual bloggers listed in the article, are the blogger agencies brokering these deals? Keiko Groves a blogger represented by DBA, tweeted, “It was this part that made my head spin: ‘…popular bloggers…can earn $2k to $10k for an appearance in their wares.’ WHAT.” Karen Robinovitz, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of DBA was quoted in the original article “We all know that there are celebrity endorsement deals…On some level this is a piece of the same thing.”  When contacted by IFB to clarify her thoughts on the article, Robinovitz elaborated, “Often times, the brands will then offer product to talent who may wind up wearing during Fashion Week where they may be shot by street style photographers but the agreement did not include a clause that explicitly said, ‘wear during Fashion Week to be shot by street style bloggers.’”

In a post on Socialyte today, Daniel Saynt wrote, “Has street style lots it’s integrity? Who knows? All I know is that if there are hundreds of people fighting to get your picture, you’re no longer just a blogger, you’re a celebrity, and celebrities deserve to get paid. I can’t control that being outside of fashion week is a total shitshow, I can just try to figure out ways to hone it in and make money in the process.” It’s not clear if the desire to make money equates with action, or Socialyte is indeed brokering the deals where bloggers are being paid for wearing clothes to be shot by street style photographers, as Saynt continued, “We’ve never been the type to just pay someone to wear something.”

“Often times, the brands will then offer product to talent who may wind up wearing during Fashion Week where they may be shot by street style photographers but the agreement did not include a clause that explicitly said, ‘wear during Fashion Week to be shot by street style bloggers.’” ~Karen Robinovitz, Digital Brand Architects

Last but certainly not least, the photographers themselves. They are the ones who photograph, edit and publish what goes on their blogs. It seems strange that the bloggers and the brands would have a financial relationship without the crucial component (the street style photographer) in the know. Phil Oh of Street Peeper, who was quoted in the original NYT article elaborated on his observations about this alleged phenomenon, “I’ve only heard second-hand that certain people were either asking to be paid, or have been paid in the past to wear certain brands.  So I really don’t know what’s true.  I think its far less widespread than the article made it out to be.  But I also think people are trying to create a market for this sort of service, and I’m a bit concerned what sort of long-term effects it’ll have on our lil’ industry.”

Getting paid to wear clothes to is not a crime, though not disclosing the financial relationship is a violation of the FTC Guidelines, if a blogger publishes on their websites. Ultimately, it’s not the fact that it happened that causes the questioning, it’s the fact it’s being publicized as a common occurrence, yet no one is able to officially confirm just who is doing it. The New York Times would have had a thoughtful story if it were to actually highlight a campaign where a blogger and a brand collaborated to create street style-esque, or a story where a brand and blogger were found to hide this relationship, but unfortunately, neither was actually accomplished, because we’re still not sure anything actually happened.

Ultimately, everyone we asked from the original NYT article has not been financially compensated or involved in a blogger-gets-shot-by-street-style-photograper deal. Did it really happen?

 

Comments

  1. Avatar of Alexandra
    Alexandra says:

    I didn’t see the original article – I am first hearing of this now – and honestly I’m very shocked. $10,000 to be in a street style photo wearing your clothes? Maybe a gifted $10,000 dress – but a paycheck? I can’t imagine.

    However: let’s think of some celebrities that are also now “bloggers”…. Olivia Palermo, Anna Dello Russo, Coco Rocha, etc. These are just examples – but it is possible that these are the type of bloggers the article was referring to. They would be more likely to pick up such a figure… no?

    Just a thought?

    Alexandra

  2. Avatar of KOOS
    KOOS says:

    If I was a blogger making $10,000 to wear clothes outside of Fashion Week, I wouldn’t tell anyone either. LOL. Seriously, should we expect bloggers to divulge their personal, financial information? That’s asking a lot.

  3. Avatar of Jennine Jacob

    Hi there, If you are blogging in the United States, you are required by the FTC Guidelines to disclose financial relationships and endorsements on your blog, at the risk of being fined. We’re not asking that the blogger disclose what amount they were paid, we’re just asking that if there was a financial transaction that it be disclosed, as per the FTC Guidelines.

    • Avatar of
      snowblackblog says:

      Interesting. I think there is something similar as well in Sweden. I don’t know about the UK where I live, but I would love to find out.

      In regards to this article, I find it rather sad that brands will pay a blogger that much just to wear their brand during Fashion Week. I feel like some bloggers are selling out. There is not a tweet or instagram these days that doesn’t go along the lines of “Today I’m wearing this @soandso dress to lunch”. Ok yes, I would love to know who that dress is by, but really when every other word is a mention @ some brand, it becomes obvious they are just a clothes horse and not wearing something for the love of just wearing it.

    • Elle says:

      I’m late to the conversation, but what if the blogger who was paid never posts the pictures on their own blog/site? Are they still supposed to disclose if they are not promoting the pictures (that were taken by the street photogs) on their own sites?

      If the pictures are for street style blogs and features on fashion media sites that are not connected to the blogger, whose responsibility is it disclose? The brand? the photographer? The blogger? All three?

  4. Avatar of KOOS
    KOOS says:

    Thanks Jennine. I’m all for following the rules. The way the post was written, it seemed as though we were asking bloggers to do a lot more than that and actually “stand up” and say, “Hi, I’m ______, and I made $10,000 during NYFW.” Good to know that wasn’t the purpose of this article!

  5. Avatar of Patrinia
    Patrinia says:

    ’m not here to ask could we follow eachother. I wanted to say hi and ask you to visit my blog. Of course I’ll return the favour. I don’t like how people here ’trade followers’ because in my opinion, it ruins the original idea of followers. They should be people who like and would love to visit your blog again and again. Still, seems like nowdays people hope to get a big amount of readers and forget what blogging is about. So if you really like my blog, please follow it. I’m not sending this message to get one reader more. I’m just spreading my blog and hoping that someone, who’d like it, hasn’t discovered it yet.

    Patricia,

    http://www.coco-mocco.blogspot.com

  6. Avatar of Look Fabulous For Less
    Megan says:

    I have to work 4 months at my day job to make £10K, so to wear an item for the same amount for 1 day at a Fashion Week sounds like a golden ticket to me… I’d do it. Hell, that would be a deposit on a house and possibly a nice holiday.

  7. Avatar of Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    I don’t find this shocking at all, it’s smart advertising on the side of the brand. We all know what happens when a celebrity is photographed wearing a garment. If Kim Kardashian can make 10′s of thousands just to send a tweet, and celebrities get paid to show up at fashion shows and clubs, I’m not surprised that someone influential gets paid to wear clothes.
    http://oohlaluxe.net

  8. Avatar of ...love Maegan

    I love this article…. and I 100% agree with the blogger guidelines, etc. But here’s my question: Why is it that when celebrities get paid to go to events & make appearances, get free dresses and borrowed jewels, they don’t have to disclose any of what we {as bloggers} have to? They never have to say who/where/how much they were paid to attend and the rest of the world just assumes they “want” to show up at parties when really, they are paid very well to be there. So why do bloggers, who really, if they are in the public eye as much as some celebrities, have to disclose and celebs do not? I think if a brand wishes to spend their advertising dollars on a blogger or a celebrity, they’ll go with whomever is going to give them the best ROI, right?

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      Hi there Maegan,

      Celebrities do have to disclose as per FTC Guidelines:
      The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.
      http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm

      But ultimately, this post was questioning the New York Times suggesting that bloggers are paid to wear clothes to Fashion Week for the purpose of getting shot by street style photographers. I’m questioning if that really happens, since most everyone in that article has either not been paid, or cannot give a clear example of this happening.

      I just think it’s bad for the community to make up events to drum up new business tactics. If it’s happening, great, then talk about it.

  9. Avatar of Manuela
    Manuela says:

    I agree with Jennine, this post was more about the fact of being paid such amounts as a blogger when wearing a brand at a famous event, not the requirement of disclosing incomes :)

    On the other hand, in any rumor there is a grain of truth! So, I think that this is not a false news, and I don’t find as revolting, either, the idea of being well paid as a blogger. If you WORKED your way up to a high number of readers, this is your merit, work, time and energy, so you should be reworded for it, and how much, is sort as work secret, as any work place has one! :)

    Also, I am not against announcing a working collaboration between a brand a blogger. But, a financial situation is sort of personal affair, so I don’t get way people expect someone to disclose her/his financial situation/incomes publicly? This story sounds a bit like the La Fontain’s fable with the fox & the grapes, but is a good publicity for the bloggers and raise their future value, so keep on spreading it :)

    Summarized, I think that if the news is true, it should be a good work incentive for any blogger, not an envy source! Whereas the public, they should acknowledge that blogging is not an easy job, so should be reworded somehow, and if they use the bloggers’ ideas/ inspiration, they should be OK with this too:)

    xo
    http://thesexyshoes.blogspot.ca/

  10. Avatar of Onianwah
    Barbara says:

    Very interesting post. I do doubt though that there is such an awareness of the blogging community over here to the point where a fashion blogger will be paid to wear clothes.

  11. Johanna says:

    Hi!
    Interesting article. But of course bloggers get paid to wear things.

    I am actually quite sure that Olivia Palermo got paid for wearing a top from Esprit during London Fashion week. Since I get emails from Esprits PR firm I saw that they where really pushing for the fact that she had worn it.

    I don’t know but to me Olivia Palermo doesn’t seem like the person who would wear something from Esprit to the mulberry show. And Esprit really seems like the kind of brand who would pay money for something like this. I don’t think the high end brands would.

    But if bloggers would tell everything they get for free or get paid for they would loose all credibility. For me it is always about the clothes. I would never wear or write about something based on how much money they gave me. To me that is just wrong and if a blog is based on that it is no longer a blog it is just commercial.

  12. Tommy says:

    This is our comment of the problem,also something about chinese fashion bloggers.
    http://www.nofashion.cn/?p=2473

  13. I am both blogger and journalism major. Regarding bloggers getting paid to wear clothing, I see it as a no foul, no harm situation, provided disclosures are made. It is another form of advertising and bloggers have to eat too. As far as the New York Times article, good journalism is providing the truth and keeping people honest. However, truths must be furnished with facts. I have not read the article, but based on this post, it seems like there was no source. None that could be attributed or quoted as saying these deals take place. Tsk, tsk. Shame on NYT for lack of transparency in a write up about transparency.

  14. Avatar of Lydia
    Lydia says:

    I think that this is true, because when I look at the clothes the bloggers are wearing sometimes, I simply cannot conclude how they manage to afford everything, because every piece is different, and they were designer brands on a daily basis! Obviously, no one is willing to own up, but I think if you frequent a blogger regularly, you might be able to tell…

    ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com

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