5 Lessons Learned from ‘The Golden Era’ Fashion Bloggers


The Cut declared ‘the golden era of fashion blogging over‘ earlier this week, and while the article focuses solely the fashion blogger's impact on the ‘end all, be all' of fashion (front row at New York Fashion Week), there are a lot of smart lessons to be learned from the bloggers mentioned. BryanBoy, Tavi Gevinson, Leandra Medine, Tommy Ton, Scott Schuman and Susie Bubble are all referenced, and though the era in which they were able to disrupt the fashion industry while paving the way for fashion blogging, every one of them is still relevant and influential to this day. Most of them are even more successful than in the ‘golden era' of just a few years ago. What can we learn from them?

Stand for your passion

If you're here reading IFB articles, I'll bet you're serious about your blog. You've put a great deal of time, energy and maybe money into it, and you're proud of what you've done so far. Now, think of all the times someone's given you ‘that' look when you tell them you're a fashion blogger – or asked you “Why?” in a disdainful voice. Then imagine defending yourself 8-10 years ago, when many of these bloggers were just starting to make a name for themselves. If BryanBoy or Susie Bubble paid any mind to detractors, they might've succumbed to the naysay and stopped blogging a long time ago. As long as bloggers keep at their craft, there will always be people who don't understand why, how, or what it is we do. Most don't want to understand, but they'll do their part to bring you down anyway. Putting yourself out there via blogging is a very brave thing that can also leave you feeling vulnerable. No matter what, you should always be proud of the work and effort you're producing on it. These bloggers have!

Stay true to your brand

Every single one of the bloggers mentioned in that article has a distinct personal brand, and no matter where they are, who they're with or what they're blogging about, elements of their brand are always apparent. From their signature looks and catch phrases to the way they shoot photos, they're true to their brand, and that's why brands and readers alike are drawn to them. Sounds like an obvious point, but there are a lot of ways to stray off-brand, and that could lessen readers' trust (not to mention the time they might spend reading your blog regularly.) Not into taking outfit photos? Don't do them. Coupon or sale deals on a blog that's mostly about in-season couture pieces? Confusing and off-brand. Know who you are – and stick to that!

Know your voice

I've been told time and again that writing how I speak is the key to an authentic voice. From Leandra's quirkiness and Tavi's thoughtful perspective to BryanBoy and Scott Schuman's very raw, “keepin it real” nature, these bloggers know their blog's tone and voice – mostly because it's not that different from how they speak in real life. If you catch yourself sounding too ‘corporate', ‘professional' or reaching to sound funny or sarcastic, that's a good sign you're not blogging like yourself. This is something we as bloggers tend to overthink. Take a step back, roll your shoulders, breathe and rewrite until your writing sounds like you! This tip can easily be applied to the way your outfit photos or any other visuals are designed. If you're posing or dressed in a way that isn't you, there's a chance you'll look uncomfortable in your own skin in your photos as well.

Assemble a team

These bloggers reached a point in their blogging career where doing it all alone wasn't cutting it anymore. Hiring agents and assistants might be a bit excessive for most bloggers, but if you're making money from blogging, you will assemble a team sooner rather than later. You'll find something is just easier when you've got someone with expertise to help you. Accountants, photographers, contributors, web designers and lawyers are common experts bloggers will turn to for help. Beyond your logistical team, it's nice to have a support team as well – close confidants or other bloggers who don't just encourage you, but can help you brainstorm ideas, vet out half-baked ideas and ask the questions you're not thinking of.

Evolve smartly

If there's one common thread between each of the mentioned bloggers, it's that every one of them has parlayed their fledgling fashion blog into a full-grown business. Even if that's not your ultimate goal, evolving your blog over time is essential. That might be as simple as re-evaluating your posts every few weeks or months, to see what's been most popular with your readers – or most interesting for you to write. Or it might be exploring posts about other aspects in your life, as more of a lifestyle blogger. Maybe your personal style has changed and you'd like to see your photos shot in a different way. Whatever it is, be willing to evaluate and open to making changes as needed.

[Image credit: Guardian UK]

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9 Responses

  1. Staci

    Taking notes & activating what applies to me. I am a dedicated blogger and I want to set myself apart from the rest! Thanks for all of the great advice!


  2. Miche

    I think the part about not worrying about defending yourself or letting that discourage you is an incredible point. I’ve definitely felt weird when I talk to people who just don’t get it, but really, it shouldn’t matter at all, and I’m definitely not going to let it stop me from doing what I love
    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

  3. julia

    Great post Jess! I really like the angle you took, and way to get such a great, timely post up so fast! 🙂

  4. Zuma

    You are so right on! When I tell people that I am a lifestyle blogger, they almost never ask follow up questions. As soon as I tell them that I am also an attorney (my day job), their eyes light up and the conversation shifts… It doesn’t matter, though. They will catch up one day… I do what I love. Great post. Thank you!

  5. Quaintrelle Georgiana

    I sometimes think about whether the golden era of fashion bloggers is gone too. They are more established now for sure so brands know how to handle with them. And there are many of them now, so the brands cannot invite everyone to their shows or sponsor all of them. On the other hand, I think they still have a strong voice, they can be opinion leaders because they have many readers. It is not uncommont that a blog has more readers than a fashion magazine.
    I also think the variety of the themes bloggers are specializing in now is huge, which is great because they are able to address particular groups of people, people with the same interests and preferences. With these specialized bloggers it could be even simpler for the brands to collaborate with these bloggers because the target audience is more concentrated here.

  6. Anastasia

    Like any other brand, a fashion blogger ( and successful blogger is a brand like any other) should also have a strong DNA. Obviously, each of the bloggers mentioned in the article does have it! They have an authentic voice and during this time stayed true to it – I am sure it’s one of the ground reason why they turned so popular. And the fact that all they treat their blogs as a brand, is the other important reason of their success. But to copy their model is senseless – I personally agree that the golden era is over in that sense that it has changed, evolved. The standards have changed too. 10 years ago the standards – of the quality of the content and pictures for example – were much lower. Now to stand out in this ocean of blogs we have to produce something really professional and unique. And still, the chances to ever gain success of BBoy and to turn into a top blogger are little as we all know “the princess ache already been chosen long time ago”, and to realize is important. Well, the time will show.