IFB Poll: Are Bloggers Celebrities or Publishers?

As fashion and personal style bloggers, we are part of a very unique (and we like to think very special) movement in the evolution of fashion media. We wear many hats, have an extremely varied array of marketable skills and talents, and at any time may qualify as one or all of the following:

  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Photographer
  • Stylist
  • On-air personality
  • Brand ambassador
  • Consultant

As a whole, we represent and incredible shift in the way the fashion world (and beyond) thinks about marketing, publishing and how the two work together. A look at the front row (or standing room area, or sidewalk outside the venue…) of any of last week's NYFW shows illustrates the perceived importance and value of bloggers to brands as a way to amplify the buzz around their shows and potentially garner coverage.

Within the fashion media world, some successful, popular style bloggers have practically become household names. Bloggers at all levels are getting the opportunity to work with brands, host events, style lookbooks and more. There seems to be no limit to the different ways bloggers can leverage their personalities and their skills into lucrative or exposure-driven projects.

As that exposure broadens, as a blogger's influence grows, their value to brands increases, as does the blogger's compensation potential. At some point, can a blogger's notoriety as a spokesperson, model, stylist, etc., eclipse the site that started it all?

The landscape of style blogging is changing rapidly, and there's really no right or wrong way to treat your blog (and the exposure it brings you). Perhaps it's your stepping stone to a career as an on-air personality or a celebrity stylist. Maybe it's a supplement to your resume in hopes of becoming an editor at Teen Vogue. Maybe it's how you'll pay off your student loans. It could be all of those things at once.

We're each creating an identity for ourselves, and there's really no concrete definition of what a blogger is, and what a blogger is not.  That's why we want to know what you think.

We want to know if you think a blogger's primary role more akin to a celebrity or a publisher. Or is it something else? Cast your vote below and add your thoughts in the comments!

[poll id=”17″]

 

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23 Responses

  1. Fajr

    I tend to think that most bloggers are publishers, first and foremost. Now if a blogger’s platform and profile raises to the status of celebrity than that is great. But the heart of blogging is publishing and lending a voice to the unknown. Fame is a byproduct of that, good and bad.

    Reply
  2. Rachelle Porsenna

    I just started my blog but I’ve been following a gazillions of them for years now. I think that only the blogger can decide the direction he or she wants to go. Some bloggers work in the fashion industry so it would really benefit them to have that exposure that could surely be beneficial to their career. Others are pursuing other things that are not related to fashion at all, like Kristina from Pretty Shiny Sparkly she’s a doctor. As far as I’m concerned I don’t really define myself as a stylist, photographer or anything just because I don’t think that my skills are good enough to have these titles. I’m just a fashion enthusiast! and a passionate consumer of anything fashion related.
    Rachelle
    http://pinksole.com/

    Reply
  3. Kym

    Hmm … this is a very interesting post to ponder. I think for sure that some bloggers are “celebrities”, but first and foremost they are publishers – it just so happens that what they write and post onto their blog summons the notoriety and publicity from certain media networks that turns them into celebs.

    Reply
  4. Linda

    I think it depends on the blog. Many sites which are technically “blogs” are run more akin to a magazine (like Refinery 29) and are definitely publishers. But personal style blogs fall more into the realm of celebrity.

    Reply
  5. Belated Bloomer

    Basically, I think bloggers are publishers. When they do get the attentions of key people in the industry and the masses, then they get elevated to celebrity status. But at the root of it all, the blogger is a publisher and the blog is the platform.

    http://thebelatedbloomer.blogspot.com

    Reply
  6. Donna

    For the most part I think bloggers are authors and publishers. Some are also photographers, stylists, entrepreneurs and/or brand ambassadors. And a very few are celebrities. Some are only celebrities within the fashion world. As big as Leandra from Man Repeller has become, if I asked my brother, who works in film and television, if he knew who she was, I’m sure the answer would be “no”. Other bloggers, like Keiko Lynn, have become huge brand ambassadors, but that doesn’t mean that a fashionista who is loyal to Chanel and Dior would know who she is.
    But I agree, it will be very interesting to see how fashion blogging (and other types of blogging) evolve in the next few years. I’ve got my fingers crossed that great new things will happen!
    http://www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

    Reply
  7. Kylie

    Bloggers are definitely not celebrities in the UK. If I ask anyone who is not a blogger or works directly in the fashion industry if they know e.g Susie Bubble Or Rumi Fashion Toast . Or name a Fashion/style blogger, they have no idea who they are. They might sort of recognise a face, but not sure where from. I would say publishers or industry known.

    Reply
  8. Noah Dingley

    The job of a blogger is to bring the masses a unique perspective on the topic written about, that they may or may not get from the mainstream media. Think of it like an on-line magazine or newspaper from an independent standpoint. As ‘Fajr’ above says, it’s journalism first and if after the heart is poured out, the content has been delivered, it is then up to the reader to elevate or not the blogger to the ‘status’ of celebrity. It’s a bi-product, BUT not a job.

    Reply
  9. Alice McGenniss-Destro

    While publishing is ‘what’ a blogger does- to those in tune with the fashion industry (from editors, right down to avid fashion fans) there seems to be a growing perception of the blogger as a celebrity. As retailers and fashion brands continue to collaborate with bloggers it’s only natural that through this exposure their ‘celebrity’ status will increase too.

    http://www.catwalkofwords.com

    Reply
  10. Rachel

    I think it can go both ways, some bloggers have become celebrities (to me) as if, if I were to see them on the streets I would freak out. Probably because I’m a blog nerd. BUT, each blogger is also a publisher…they’ve become famous for the unique pictures and writing. So, to me, I think both.

    http://www.glitzyblues.com

    Reply
  11. Barbara

    Some bloggers (like me) have a job in another industry which may or may not relate to what they blog about. More often than not though fashion bloggers work in the fashion industry one way or the other. For a blogger’s celebrity status to go way higher than the site that started it I would say that blogger has lost focus because like it or not, reference will always be made to that site and so help you God if that site’s potential does not rise as yours does.
    So the best thing to always think of yourself as a publisher and let the site be the star (of cos indirectly you will be the star too).
    http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  12. Erika Batista

    I like to think of my self as a stylist to an extent. I’ve been fashion blogging for almost a year now and I’ve received a lot of requests for style ideas and I’ve even done some personal shopping. In my opinion, in today’s world a fashion blogger can branched out to many many options. For me, my dream is to have my own accessories store. My business, my brand. For now, I am focusing on building my audience and getting a nice loyal fan base. I truly love what I do, so in the writing aspect, I can consider myself and author, I consider myself a stylist and most of all a passionate Latina Fashion Blogger.
    There are many bloggers I follow that are truly receiving a celebrity status… I love it. So to me, we are a little of everything.
    http://www.lolabluethecloset.com
    http://www.facebook.com/lolabluethecloset

    Reply
  13. SDS

    The blogger is a publisher, first and foremost. Without proper, artful publishing a blog can not thrive. Without proper, artful words, the photos will only be photos. Publishing is the intertwining of all the facets in an artistic fashion. Publishing is the job. If you are successful, a measure of celebrity applies.

    Reply
  14. WorkOfStyle

    I voted for publisher but I think bloggers’ status is very unclear. I voted very quickly but the more I think about it, the more I realize that they’re celebrities too. A celebrity is just someone who is known for their work. We tend to see only actresses or singers are celebrities but the fact is that many bloggers have people following their blog and liking them for what they post there so they are celebrities. If they weren’t, why would people come to meet them when they’re hosting stores’ parties or things like this?!

    Reply
  15. Melody Lesser

    I think the question of celebrity depends on the type of blog you’re talking about. For personal blogs, where the blogger highlights his or her own style, complete with self portraits, then yes, they are more likely to become celebrities. In these cases, the product is actually the blogger while the vehicle is the blog. For those who conduct their blogs as a magazine, as opposed to a vehicle to highlight one’s personal style, the fourth wall is very real – and is not too often crossed, making attaining celebrity status much more difficult. (And may not be the blogger’s goal.) That is not to say that the latter blogger isn’t or can’t become known. It’s just more difficult because the “product” is the blog, not the blogger.

    Reply
  16. Alexandra

    Bloggers—all bloggers—are writers and micro-publishers; some are photographers if they take their own photos, some are editors (or they should be) if they use content submitted by their readers. They certainly are not celebrities, a term that is used too frequently. True celebrity status is granted to the individual by her/his fans and the public at large, one does not just wake up one morning and declare themself a celebrity. Celebrity status transcends the field the celeb was created in. Brad Pitt is a celebrity, known by people who may not follow his career at all; BryanBoy may be popular within the digital fashion bubble but beyond that tis Bryan who? Is BryanBoy a celebrity?… no, nor is any other fashion blogger. I hate to say it but Perez Hilton may be the exception that makes the rule; in North America at least he has been granted celebrity status—C-list at best.

    Reply
  17. Katy

    Celebrities? What a joke. Not even close! How egotistical and delusional can you get to think you are a celebrity just because you open a blogger account.

    Reply
  18. Laura Hueto Puig

    I replied ‘A mix of both’, first because there’s always going to be a bit of both (nothing’s ever either black or white), especially when we talk about really successful blogs. But also because I believe it depends on the person: some bloggers are usually behind the lens, others pose in front of it. It depends. Scott Schuman is more of a publisher in my eyes, because he’s separated from his content, even though there is a small percentage of the celebrity in him because of everything he’s achieved (and that’s maybe why I almost had a heart attack when I saw him a couple of weeks ago during LFW). Rumi Neely on the other hand, like Carolina Engman or Andy Torres, have different blogs in which their content revolves around their outfits and their personal style, in which case spotting them would very much equal seeing a celebrity. Susie Lau would be in the middle because she does a little bit of both. But in short, I think the most important thing to bear in mind when trying to define the blogger’s role in the industry is that maybe our biggest aim is just to be able to join in the conversation. A few years ago it seemed that only well-established magazines and publications, and well-known designers and fashion houses could have a share in that conversation, but thanks to the world of blogging, nowadays almost anyone can have their own little parcel in the cyberworld where they can showcase and share their ideas, their views, their opinions, their comments, and their thoughts on the path fashion is taking under our eyes. I don’t think it matters in what way we want to be seen by the industry leaders, as long as what we’re saying or writing is heard.

    Reply
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