Fashion Bloggers: Democratizing Luxury


She is a young woman growing into adulthood by paving her own path in a big city. You can find her buried in fashion magazines or tweeting about the next big thing at any given moment. She and her girlfriends constantly swap designer duds to stay in style without breaking the bank.

Sound familiar? It’s no secret, a lot of us are what I call “luxury lusters.”  Lusting over high fashion, its craftsmanship, precision, and high quality. To our dismay, the price tag is usually enough to keep us from falling too deeply in love. While we work our way to the top end of the wealth spectrum, mass-premium brands like H&M and Target are doing something worth watching.  Designer collaborations that offer the luxury seeker a taste of brands many of us aspire to own.

The entire luxury industry has changed due to the ample choices we as consumers have. The influence of fashion communications online and in new media has pushed fashion houses and designers to create something for an audience with less purchasing power.

There’s an evolution of mixing luxury and street fashion – and bloggers can take credit for this phenomenon, we do it best!

We are more individualistic and daring than ever and have disrupted the high entry barrier that the luxury industry has guarded for centuries. This is a modern concept that may not have been accepted in the past with more traditional fashion. Back when these brands were launched in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries aristocracy reigned supreme. (I wear my invisible crown everyday, thank you very much!)

In order to resonate with an audience of bloggers and influencers, social media is an essential tool for luxury brands; collaborations allow them to change their tone of voice. They’re becoming accessible and relatable by offering us a taste of luxury and talking to us. Of course, designer collaborations have a high-perceived value (thanks to brand reputation) and are a seamless integration of bricks and clicks.

Last year, Versace for H&M went on sale at 8:00 a.m. and lines started forming at 4:30, and the Missoni for Target collection crashed Target’s entire website. Fashion bloggers can take some credit for these beautiful and frenzied designer collaborations. We’re democratizing luxury.

It’s only fitting to mark our calendars now, because February 10th is the launch date for Prabal Gurung for Target. The chicest of all department stores is going to have over eighty pieces of what looks to be a beautiful collection with strappy sandals and neon floral prints. It’s okay to fall in love.

By Nadia Babar, GlamorizedCliche

Do you think bloggers have helped to democratize the luxury fashion industry? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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11 Responses

  1. Neha

    Definitely agree! “Luxury Lusters” is the perfect term for the phenomenon.

    Love the post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Will Code For Clothes

    I love the line of how fashion bloggers are disrupting the exclusivity of high end fashion. One reason high end fashion is coveted, is because it’s hard to attain… so collaborations with affordable companies are nice ways to meet the average consumer in the middle.
    Loved this post. I absolutely think bloggers are helping democratize luxury. : )

  3. Sam

    I do think fashion bloggers around the world have proven that luxury fashion is not solely for the super rich. Lots of personal style bloggers own just a few designer pieces and show how you can mix those with clothes from affordable fashion chains. Designer collaborations to me however, don’t seem to be actually a good example of democratizing the luxury fashion industry. I really like those collaborations, but I think of them more of a way in which big fashion chains try to “high-fashionize” themselves instead of democratizing luxury fashion. Pieces from a Target collaboration don’t have the same quality and are not nearly as exclusive as the real deal, so in fact it’s just seemingly democratizing fashion. But then again, bloggers, social media and internet itself have definitely helped making luxury more accesible. Nowadays you don’t have to walk into a heavily guarded, impressive high-end store to be able to buy a nice designer piece. There’s dozens of webshops out there which have made it all a lot easier.

  4. sara

    While there’s definitely something to be said about the “seamless integration of bricks and clicks” (love that)…how does one explain the recent hot mess target got themselves into? Their holiday designer line flopped I believe…(correct me if I’m wrong). The anticipation of cops waiting outside every Target just to hold back crowds was met with crickets chirping. Is it because they didn’t know their customers well enough so simply missed the price mark? Or did their faith in democratizing fashion prove to be a tad self-righteous?

  5. Sia

    Great article! I’m looking forward to Target’s new line! We do reign supreme!!

  6. Caroline St. Francis

    Bloggers have definitely brought designers to the every day girl or guy. When you see your favorite bloggers wearing DVF or Kate Spade in their posts it instantly makes those brands ‘lust’ worthy to a mass audience! However, bloggers should definitely be given credit for showing people that you don’t need to be able to afford expensive brands and designers because you can look stylish while wearing pieces from Target, H&M, Gap, etc.

  7. Anne Touraine

    Very interesting article! Thanks.
    Luxury implies the idea of dream and of something unique and rare. Therefore the idea of democratizing luxury sounds like a total illusion to me. Luxury brands will lose their soul and image by trying to reach a larger target. Many luxury brands have worked on a second and most affordable line of products to differentiate their customers. Yet, even with these “sub-brands” there is always a risk to damage the core image…
    All the best,
    Anne Touraine (Playing with Scarves)

    • Nicole Sallie Franklin, Esq.

      I’m a huge supporter of quality “affordable fashion” and overall, I think the collaborations are a good compromise: high-end brands reach a wider audience, and fashionistas own a piece of “the dream.” However, I think Anne Touraine brings up a great point. Unfortunately, at the core of luxury branding is exclusivity, and the more these brands court the masses, the less likely they’ll be seen as exclusive or high-end. I wish the core element of luxury was inclusiveness!

  8. Lily P.

    Of course I agree and I think all bloggers do!
    Fashion must be equal for all,whether rich or poor,it’s something we have to share,we should express our feelings,ideas,thoughts inside the fashion world!
    Designers must realise the needs of the consumers and be able to correspond to them as well.