Is Fashion Blogging Cliquey or a Community?

Have you guys noticed that bloggers tend to hang out in small groups? I suppose it makes sense, blogging is usually a one-man-show, and having other blogger friends to help take photos or collaborate with can make things easier. But on the other hand, (and I may get in trouble for saying this), does it ever feel… well, cliquey?

Does it ever seem like bloggers represented by the same agency are all friends, or perhaps bloggers who live in the same city, or even bloggers who write a certain way (personal style vs. celebrity fashion, etc.)? How about bloggers who have similar traffic or work with the same brands? If you are invited to the same blogging events because of your traffic and the way you brand yourself, are you more likely to become friends by default?

Could this all just be a natural progression? Or do blogger cliques form in a “highschool” type of way?

What do you think? Does the fashion blogging industry feel cliquey or like a community?

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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37 Responses

  1. Victoria

    I suppose it’s a bit of both; bloggers who write about similar things are sometimes better friends. Also, the more ‘famous’ or ‘popular’ bloggers, who attend the same events, Fashion Shows and Blog Awards become friends as they see eachother all the time. However, I don’t see why a more popular blogger would not ‘hang out’ with a blog that received less traffic.
    http://www.mybougeotte.com

    Reply
  2. shortystoriesgal

    I think the community can be – especially in certain niches. I follow a lot of fashion bloggers in my city, and have found that if you don’t blog about certain topics, you aren’t necessarily considered “with it” and are excluded from certain events. And just because you are a PR company fave, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are one among fellow bloggers or a media darling. Trust me, I’ve even considered officially INTRODUCING myself to mainstream media, despite having been blogging for a few years. I don’t know if it’s because my “main” blog (www.delectablychic.com) isn’t really a fashion blog-fashion blog or because my other site is petite-focused or what, but I have yet to be featured as a fave of them (it’s NOT because I’m Asian. I’ve seen other Asian bloggers featured. In fact, a lot of big Toronto bloggers ARE of Asian descent). I’m hoping that my new site, The DelectablyChic! Closet (http://thecloset.delectablychic.com) will help…

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  3. Heather Fonseca

    I’ve definitely noticed groups of friends on the web. I think it’s normal. I have some LA blogger friends who I know in real life, and then a number of other friends who live and blog all over the world. What I have noticed is that certain bloggers are just nicer people who are easier to connect with, and other bloggers are pretty much impossible to get any kind of response from.

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  4. lucyashley13

    I think being a blogger is very competitive and where people are in similar circles with similar people it is a lot easier for them to form a clique within their blogs. Although I personally think building up your own blog with new people (even if it takes longer) gives you much more satisfaction?

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  5. Rachel

    In England, especially in London this is 100% the case, which is nice I have a group I sort of fit in with, but when I’m at an event where I am the only one invited not from a certain clique? I really wish it was not the case. However, I’m kind of hoping it is like that in Los Angeles, and I find a group I gel with, as it will mean I quickly make friends in a city where I know no one; which is what I did when I moved to London in the first place!

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  6. Ashley GaGa

    The blogging community in DC, CapFabb, is rather large. And with all the events that spring up over the months, it’s easy to meet other bloggers and get to know the face behind the computer screen. Of course people will pair off according to similarities and other common factors. Especially since there are over 500 members! But I don’t think anyone means any harm when doing so. No one is purposefully trying to neglect or ostracize someone. And if anyone ever feels neglected, all they have to do is speak up. Soon enough, a truck load of friends will come running in stiletto’s! LOL!

    DC is a great place to be a fashion blogger. And CapFabb definitely helps to facilitate a family like community. I wish all other cities were like this.

    Ashley GaGa
    http://www.AshleyGaGa.com

    Reply
  7. Michelle Jones

    I actually wrote a post a while back about how blogging was like high school, so I would agree that it is cliquey. That said, Had it not ben for blogging I wouldnt have met some really amazing women who have become close friends. I think it’s only natural for people to gravitate towards others with similar interests and blogging only helps facilitate those friendships.

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  8. Emily Jenny

    I think it is a little bit of both. With major bloggers I think it is definitely cliquey, most won’t even acknowledge you as a blogger because they believe they are so much better than you and already have their blogger buddies set. I am from a blogger community in LA, Two Point Oh LA and that is much more of a community base. We all help eachother out and get fair treatment with events, brand collabos, etc.

    http://www.stilettobeats.com

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  9. Erin

    I actually have two blogs. A personal style blog that I started in February and a running blog I’ve had for several years. I’ve been to several meetups as part of my running blog and everyone has been incredibly friendly. The one event I went to as part of my style blog? The “big name” style bloggers who were supposed to be the event hosts grouped together and basically ignored everyone else. It really left a bad taste in my mouth. I’d like to see a lot more networking and reaching out from the people who have “made it” as opposed to just reading about it later.

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  10. Frugal Flirty N Fab!

    I find the blogging community to be very cliquey and because of it I sometimes call myself the invisible blogger. I live in South Florida and I have to say I’m hardly ever invited to any Fashion blogging events and when I do attend events there’s a major seperation between the bloggers and what I like to call the “Cool Kids” . I just try to use it as fuel to be the best I can be.

    Frugal Flirty N Fab!

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    • MJ

      I’m in South Florida too and I went to one big blogger event a year or so ago and it was super cliquey! And it’s bad enough that there aren’t that many events down here to begin with! I find that meeting up with bloggers in my area on our own is much more friendlier and fun to do.

      Reply
  11. gossip girl

    I have noticed that some bloggers seem to hang out in small groups but I don’t have a problem with it, in fact I’m all for it. I think a group of people with a common cause/passion getting together to collaborate or share ideas is only going to benefit the rest of us and each of them individually as well.

    Collaboration gives birth to creativity.

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  12. Arash Mazinani

    I didn’t think it was until I read this article and the different examples made me a think a little. In a way I can kind of see it to a certain degree. Maybe those that are like that don’t really realise ?

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  13. Jing

    I attended a conferrence recently on blogging and women. Though it wasn’t a fashion specific, there were definitely lots of cliches within it, as many had attended the conferrence before. I felt the newbies (first time attenders, like me) were left to roam and find other newbies.

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  14. Jing

    I attended a conferrence recently on blogging and women. Though it wasn’t a fashion specific, there were definitely lots of cliches within it, as many had attended the conferrence before. I felt the newbies (first time attenders, like me) were left to roam and find other newbies.

    Reply
    • Audrey

      I had a similar experience recently when I attend a fashion and beauty expo. I learnt that you need to have a thick skin, be confident and introduce yourself to those already in the know. Be yourself and make your presence felt. You don’t have to fit in with their niche to know that you belong. You have something unique and you should guard it.

      Reply
  15. Chelsea C.

    I think that the blog world really WANTS to see itself as open, sharing, and accepting. But the bottom line is that cliques form in every social situation, and blogging (even though we’re isolated a bit by technology) is very social. I think that popular bloggers feel comfortable with other popular bloggers because they don’t want their stock to plummet. I think it also feels like some sort of protection, to associate only with people of your status. It’s pretty unfortunate, and I think it’s a topic that’s becoming more prevalent and recognizable. I do also have a feeling, though, that once more people start openly addressing it, those cliques might feel a little pressure to chill out a bit.

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  16. Audrey

    I’ve had a difficult time interacting with bloggers from my country. I’m beginning to think of it like trying to get into a clique. As bloggers we have to be careful not to be close-minded and we should welcome different people. Blogging is hard (but enjoyable) and we need to support each other.

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  17. Natasha aka SNOWBLACKBLOG

    I think to a certain extent it is true. The popular bloggers from the same “agency” will hang together because I am sure their niche or even agent puts them at similar events, etc. I’ve heard stories of so-and-so being a diva, which I hope is not the case because people look up to big name bloggers and expect a friendly attitude, not some Kimye personality. That being said, besides cliques, I think people like the PR brands, etc will focus more attention on a popular blog because they bring in a bigger readership than someone with less hits. And at fashion shows or events, people are only interested in you if you have a huge readership, irregardless of the quality of your blog, which is rather sad. The fashion industry is full of cliques anyway, we don’t need another variety cropping up.

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  18. Ais

    I think it depends entirely on where you live. As a “new” blogger it’s also on us to be bold and introduce ourselves, and our blog, to folks who are established. The ball is in their court at that point, if they prefer a clique over a community, it really is their loss. Just my two cents of course.

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  19. Yasmeen

    In any community there are going to be smaller groups of friends that feel they can relate to one another. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. The fashion blogging community isn’t small by any measure which means it’s impossible for everyone to feel “included” in every every event, seminar, hotel review etc. It just won’t happen. Fashion blogging is global so if you live on Earth, I don’t see why you would feel like an outsider.

    What I’m seeing as subtext in this argument is the idea that top bloggers are often seen together at fancy events with an air of exclusivity. If that’s what you’re arguing, then sure I agree. That does happen. I could write a dissertation on the idea of exclusivity and it’s implications in any setting but that would probably take me months….Point is, if they don’t seem like your kind of peeps, don’t worry about it. If you really regard fashion blogging as a form of personal expression, then find bloggers that have similar tastes and ideas. The bonds will come naturally. Then you’ll be in a clique too! Irony.

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  20. ihea

    YES, it’s very cliquey. There are so many bloggers who won’t give me the time of day. But I also have to remind myself that I’m not based in New York and they don’t actually know me. It’s weird living so far away. But I have learned to surround myself with only those who are willing to make friends, and not get caught up in the few who are less than willing. Shrug.

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  21. Dana

    I think it is a bit of both. Bloggers form a community by helping each other grow. They are like friends with the similar interests so I guess it’s kind of natural that they form a group. The only pitfall here is that they might start writing about the same subjects a bit too often so that there’s not much unique content left.

    Also to outsiders or so-called “newbies” amongst bloggers it often feels like those groups of blogger-friends are a clique that is hard to get into. I’ve already encountered this problem during events where I do not know a lot of bloggers.

    So I think a good question here is: “How do you set your blog apart from the already existing ones whilst trying to become a part of their blogging community?”

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  22. Isobel

    Ive not been blogging long, but ive met some really nice people since ive started doing it. I find that I meet more people who I have common interests with through my blog than I do in everyday life which is great. You do get some people who think that what they’re posting is a lot better than anything else, but your going to encounter people like this throughout life anyway, so I dont feel its an issue.

    http://seesusiebean.blogspot.co.uk/

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  23. justine

    I was just thinking about this. One of the appeals of fashion bloggers to me a few years ago was their total independence, their fringe appeal – even The Sartorialist was actually a street-style photographer. Today he is very much a “fashion world street-style” photographer.

    The fact that many bloggers hang out in cliques in NYC &etc. is cool to me – sure, make new friends, share your interests. After all, no one frowns on an artistic community; that kind of community inspires people to do higher quality work, whether in photos, writing, or illustration. And sometimes they are exclusive because of the nature of the work they are doing. Or the quality. Some people just do stuff better than others.

    But it’s the commercial clique that worries me. It’s the commercial clique that dumbs down the content of the individual and makes it all about a brand, a label, to buy, buy and buy more of. Now, this may be the purpose of the fashion industry. But fashion blogging to me, I’d like to think (and I may represent a very small portion of the population) is not about commercialism or “where can I buy this” but about sharing what unique individuals call “style”. A lot of bloggers are successful at balancing both aspects. But once blogging becomes a business of ‘buy and sell’ – not ‘show and inspire’ – that’s when you get the sticky social entanglements: who’s your brand? who supports you? how many hits? … it’s a social and financial game then, and it is a natural progression, but I think it’s a shame.

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  24. phiphisblog

    i am new to blogging but have found the community to be very generous and welcoming. although i’ve read about events and cliques forming, i have (luckily or not) not been to these events yet to witness the behaviours that i’ve read here.

    i’ve been fortunate to have met some really fantastic and inspiring people through blogging, and hope this continues!!

    phiphisblog.com

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  25. Kelly

    Yes, I think fashion blogging is cliquey, but I disagree with the reasons most commenters are giving for big bloggers snubbing small bloggers.

    I’m sure there are plenty of diva attitudes in fashion blogging, it is after all, an extension of the fashion industry which is full of colorful characters. But it’s also become a “what can you do for me?” culture, especially with the explosion of bloggers in the last few years.

    When I started blogging in 2008, comment sections were full of helpful and meaningful tidbits from other bloggers, and my best blogger-friend relationships were made during this time. Now a days, I see comment sections full of self promotion, link-baiting and ass-kissing. I receive emails/tweets/etc. from bloggers just starting out, begging for features, link backs, re-tweets, hook ups, and asking for detailed information on how to get readers and make money. I used to respond and take the time to give these bloggers advice, but after hours waisted on helping these girls who then turned around and never talked to me again, or never even thanked me for my help, I felt used.

    Now I eye these approaches suspiciously and assume a newbie blogger reaching out to me is looking for something from me instead of genuinely wanting to befriend me. It’s a terrible way to think, but like most things in life, a few bad eggs can easily ruin the whole lot.

    And the kicker is….my blog is tiny! If I get this, imagine what the big bloggers are filtering through their inboxes.

    We’re quick to call a blogger a bitch if she didn’t fawn all over us when we met her at a blog conference. But maybe there were 200 girls who approached her before you, each with a twinkle in their eye excited about the prospect of being seen with her, having a photo taken with her, fantasizing about having her fall in love with their blog, adding them to her blogroll, and racking in the bazillions of readers that they’ll get by being associated with her.

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  26. Marianne

    The fact that you guys deleted a lot of the comments posted here tells you right there how clickey it is. We can’t even have a different opinion or have an honest conversation.

    Reply
    • Amanda Boyce

      Hi Marianne,

      We have never deleted comments here on IFB. Due to the influx of comments left, our moderation process can take longer than normal but we always post the comments that aren’t spammy.

      Reply
  27. Maureen Manuel

    They’re becoming HS Cliquey and if you look at their blogs they almost have similar content and even the looks are kind of similar. Having said that, it can be both negative and positive effect on their readers. Positive because it gives a bit more impact and gives the reader a sense of urgency of following or hearing about what they have to say. Negative because it’s becoming more boring and some of them have lost their identity. It’s like Chinese Dolls, once you’ve seen one, you have seen them all.
    maureenmanuel.tumblr.com

    Reply
  28. Natalie Ast

    I see that a lot of fashion bloggers hang out together… especially the personal style type. While I think it’s great that blogging has opened up communities (some of my personal friends I met in Europe were met through my blog and Lookbook.nu), I wish that there would be more collaboration between these style bloggers. Yes, they might create diffusion lines for stores like Mango, but it would be so awesome to see them taking photos together or styling each other. I feel like partnerships are so professional!

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  29. Tammy

    So are we just going to ignore the whole racial dimension here? Is this IFB’s way of “kind of” hinting at it without having the courage to actually address it head on? If there’s one thing fashion bloggers turn a blind mascara-gooped eye towards, it’s racism in the fashion industry. And no, having lots of popular East Asian bloggers does NOT suffice as diversity. You either have to be white (preferably blond) or Asian. If you’re a spectacularly gorgeous and skinny person of any other race, they might let you in, but don’t hold your breath. That’s where I see the most harmful cliquey-ness, not in seeing bloggers of a certain caliber hang out together. That’s going to happen no matter the industry, and is probably partly a publicity stunt anyway. It’s probably even written into their blogger publicity contracts!

    Reply
    • Little Black Book

      Tammy what you’re saying is absurd. There are plenty of non caucasian and non asian bloggers out there! And many normal sized bloggers who have found success. Of course being skinny is a bonus, because everything will look great on you.

      I’m not your conventional blogger per se, I have purple hair, I’m of mixed race and I’m not skinny. I may not be well known over the globe, but I have my own niche and my own strong readership. Never say never? (beiber wrecked that saying for me haha)

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  30. Little Black Book

    It definitely is cliquey, though its very natural for bloggers in the same city or same country to become friends and work with the same PR agencies. It definitely feels like Mean Girls at times and sometimes it upsets me quite a bit but rather than feeling jealous towards any blogger for their success, I take their success as motivation for myself to move forward and harder.

    I’ve been blogging since 2008 and since then have worked really hard on my blog – this year in particularly I’ve been able to really focus on my blog as a business and brand. I can safe to say that although there are many bloggers who have been blogging longer than I have (4 years) like Susie Bubble etc, I can understand some apprehension and lack of enthusiasm for the constant advice giving and almost ‘mentor’ relationship since many of the new bloggers (not all) but so many I’ve come across start their blogs solely for “fame”, “free stuff” and “money”.

    It probably is also the fact that with everything in life, there has to be an elite or hierarchy. And with all things especially in today’s day and age, nothing lasts forever and definitely not on the internet. So I guess the blogger cliques that are forming is just a way for them to try and maintain their status?

    It is midnight right now, so I might just be blabbing….. haha just my two cents 🙂

    Reply