It was only in 2007 when fashion blogging really took off. Not the most memorable time for fashion with its mini skirt/legging combinations or the double popped collar, or even the the low-rise jeans which could have been chic, but not in 2007. There’s a whole list of reasons why we try and avoid that era of fashion. However, it was a time where people felt the need to express their style and really show off what their wardrobes had to offer.
Let’s start with fashion influencers of the mid 2000’s. Well, first of all, they were called fashion bloggers then. After taking an unexplainable amount of time uploading your images onto a computer, you would then take to the keypad to explain to the world how your ensemble came to be, who was your inspiration, and what new ways you can wear your infinity scarf! Published and out in the world, the article would be read by your loyal following, and they would eagerly await for your guidance on the next outfit.
It was something you needed to be dedicated too, like everything today but just so much more intense. Fashion bloggers were serious and fashion houses began taking them seriously. Notably one of the most successful fashion bloggers of the time was Bryanboy. After his rising success he gained attention from designer, Marc Jacobs. In 2008, Jacobs released a bag, the BB bag which was named after Bryanboy. Was this the first sign of brand collaboration we saw from fashion bloggers? Regardless, it set Bryanboy off into the world of fashion and he sits currently with over 590k followers!
Moving now into the later part of the 2000’s when fashion bloggers became fashion influencers. With so many more platforms to express themselves on, Instagram is the one that really gave them the literal platform they needed. Fashion blogging became so much easier with simple posts and captions, fashion bloggers flocked to the media platform and began their new journeys as influencers.
We have departed from the detailed descriptions of Hollister jeans and lace camisoles to a clever caption which sits beneath the image. More often than not the influencer has tagged what they’re wearing for viewers to gain an insight into which fashion brands they should be investing in. Not only this, the tag will also gain the attention of the brand leading to more success for the influencer. Once the influencer has piqued a brands interest, the brand will continue to monitor them until they see they can make some opportunities for themselves.
In turn, it creates exposure for both the influencer and the brand. Overtime the relationship builds. A great example of this is Emma Chamberlain. She was approached by Louis Vuitton and slowly began incorporating their pieces into her posts. She then became an ambassador for the fashion house and now sits front row at their shows. Of course this gives Emma some major fashion points but how does this help fashion giant, Louis Vuitton? It’s all about exposure, through Emma they’re able to reach a much wider audience, and perhaps and audience, without her they couldn’t of tapped into.
But its not all high-end brands after the influencers. One of the biggest success stories to come from fashion influencing is InTheStyle. A Manchester based fast-fashion company who knew the power of the influencers and used that to their advantage. The company would approach influencers and create unique collections with them inspired by their personal style. Knowing the great lengths the followers would go to, trying to replicate their favourite influencers style. InTheStyle would provide them with the collections they needed. Creating sell out collections in almost every collaboration, it was completely successful and influencers like Lorna Luxe are thriving.
However, not everyone is after a brand collaboration. Starting as a fashion blogger, CSM graduate Sangiev Sriskumar started fashion blogging around 2011. Since then his online platform has grown to over 74k followers. A much smaller influencer than Emma Chamberlain at 12.4 million followers and even Lorna Luxe at 1.3 million but his impression on fashion is strong nonetheless. From his time in fashion blogging he has started a YouTube channel which attracts thousands of views per video. He discusses styling tips, his personal looks as well as showcasing his favourite pieces from new collections through the use of ‘haul’ videos. Overtime his loyal following has gravitated to his style and began replicating his looks. His response? Creating his own fashion line. Sangiev has had 2 collections to date and is currently working on the next drop. But how do we go from fashion blogging to creating your very own fashion label? It’s all about the audience, it’s apparently all you need now. If there’s an audience that’s interested in what you have to offer, offer it to them!
Where would fashion brands of today be without influencers? Influencers are proving to be major fashion players and can help fashion giants reach markets that were otherwise unattainable. They help instantly create buzz around a small start-up business, and even help create new fashion labels and they’re normally where we get most of our fashion inspiration. Sometimes giving us confidence and validity, whether its purchasing a major designer piece or from a brand we’ve never heard of. It seems now, more than ever that the relationship between brand and influencer is vital. The future of fashion is in the hands of the influencers!