I think when weighing in on the value that bloggers lend to the fashion industry, it's good to extrapolate the gist of what's going on, and really think about what we are doing and its effects — which can translate to readers and retailers.
Who are we influencing and how are we doing it? Looking at the bigger picture, how do we fit in and by and large, what is our role?
Taken with the notion of “do bloggers live the trends or set the trends” as the starting point for this conversation, I spoke with a few well-respected professionals — a blogger, a brand's social media coordinator, and a PR firm's head of digital, to garner some great insight and perspective on the subject from different vantage points. See below what they had to say, and please share your thoughts in the comments:
Jordan Reid, Blogger, Ramshackle Glam
“While magazines are definitely the ones plucking the trends from runways, celebrities, etc., and labeling them as such (“Hottest Trends For Fall!”), I'd say it's the bloggers who are doing more of the influencing in terms of how these trends actually translate into the real world (which is what translates to sales), simply because they're picking and choosing the ones that work in life as opposed to on the runway and then making them accessible. If a “trend” can be quantified by the extent to which it actually enters the mainstream and drives sales, I'd say it's definitely the online community that has the biggest hand in creating them…
In my case, honestly, it's much more about incorporating trends into my site in a way that makes sense in “real life” – or at least in my real life…
I just pick and choose the pieces – and the trends – that fit my style and my lifestyle, and those are the ones I share with my readers.”
Jenni Adishian, Social Media Coordinator, Paige Denim
“Fashion bloggers and street style show us how to take a trend and interpret it into our own individual style. With working with so many fashion influencers, I love seeing the range and versatility a pair of our jeans can possess by seeing how two different bloggers accessorize it. For example, our famed Edgemont Ultra Skinny with double zippers is at first glance perfect for an edgy, rock and roll style, but I have seen bloggers work it into their more classic style seamlessly and it has a totally different vibe.
The styling trends they (bloggers) create are why I feel working with them is so valuable.”
Tanya Brown, Senior Account Manager, Digital Division, Bollare Communications
“While trends certainly have lifespans that cross press platforms – digital and otherwise, I believe the readers of blogs as well as the fashion community appreciates the fashion blog for its unique perspective on interpreting trends to real life. For example, we've partnered the fashion shopping resource and iPad app StyleWhile with bloggers in the community, such as Could I Have That, Style Me Grasie, and Kendi Everyday, to showcase how to utilize the app for creating on-trend ensembles via retailers such as Saks. As the bloggers put their personal spin on unique ensembles, it creates an approachability and accessibility to the app and the trends it's showcasing…
While we recommend a multi-layered press plan including online editorial and print publications, the immediate traction from brand mentions within the blogger community is always especially valuable for our brand partners.”
What do you believe: do bloggers create the trends, or do they bring the trends to life?
[Image credit: Style Lovely]