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Fashion blogs are blogs that cover the fashion industry, clothing, and personal style.
Their importance has grown with the years as now they are even considered an influence in the fashion system. But there are many aspects to be considered and reflect about especially from the Communication point of view.
Fashion blogs are a relatively new phenomenon, starting to gain fame and importance around 4 years ago, there is no detailed published data of their history yet. Fashion blogs first appeared in the blogosphere prior to 2002. Both the number of fashion blogs and the number of media mentions of fashion blogs has grown considerably since then. In 2006, the commercial success and growing profile of few fashion bloggers such as Scott Schuman, Tavi Gavinson or Susie Bubble, have been the two main themes in coverage in the fashion press, as some bloggers were invited to fashion shows, offered jobs in major fashion magazines and get the sponsorship of some fashion brands. But what’s really their importance in the fashion scene? As we all know in fashion one day you are “in” and the next day you can be “out”, so are fashion bloggers going to fade or last? Fashion blogs own unique street style freshness, a strong personal point of view from their authors, but as this is strength it can also become a weakness, as their point of view can be very subjective, can lack of solid arguments and perspective and most of all, if exceeding the formula they can become tiring to their own followers as this point of view is not updated or is strongly influenced by brands.
Fashion blogs are considered visual diaries, as their content is mainly images of clothes, shows, and stores. In fact its very difficult to find a fashion blog with a well written content, mainly because fashion blogs usually are about sharing looks or haunting trends, fashion bloggers mainly are young people with a strong fashion sense, yet not widely developed writing skills. In my opinion this is a key factor that
! (!distinguishes them from a publication or fashion magazine, it’s not a lack of creativity but a lack of a journalism and/or professional ability to present their ideas through a blog.
There is also another point to take in to consideration, why are some fashion bloggers re-known or recognized by the masses? Why have they become famous outside the blogosphere? The answer is as simple as saying that the ones who made them known was the press, especially fashion magazines or newspapers. What would happen if the press gave them no space? Will they still be important and survive on their own? In case they do, for how long?
In some cases, the fashion blogger can be even considered now a carreer (an idea born mainly by Hollywood movies, and few success stories), as their creators get profits by the number of visits or clicks on their site or ads, might also be sponsored by brands, publications, etc. This mainly happens in the United States and is now starting to be active in Europe, but not yet developed worldwide.
Many brands for example Coach use blogs as a new type of “product placement”, the main reason its because it’s an almost cero investment opportunity to advertise their products. In many cases, people with a passion for fashion consider that a blog will be their golden key that will open the door to enter the fashion industry, specially fashion magazines, but if this was the case why even bother going to University if everyone can have a blog account? A blog can be a tool that can help you present your work, and as it is online it can be reached and looked by millions of people, but in very strange and few cases it will magically help you to get a job in any fashion house or publication.
According to Woman’s Wear Daily fashion blogs first appeared in the blogosphere around 2002 and at least one fashion blogger was invited to New York Fashion Week as early as September 2003.
In 2004, the first accessories blog, Manolo’s Shoe Blog, was launched. While it has been stated that Manolo’s Shoe Blog was the first fashion blog (according to various fashion magazines) Manolo himself disputes this. He says he read a number of fashion blogs in 2003, and these inspired him to start blogging. But yet, he is considered the first professional Blogger. According to an article published in 2006 on WWD, Manolo’s Shoe Blog is currently the most profitable fashion blog, “rumored to be earning around $700,000 a year”. Manolo has confirmed he earns a six-figure salary. But as I was doing the research for the thesis I could only found a few more success profit stories as Manolo’s, which actually makes me think that its almost impossible to consider profitable to blog.
But in any case fashion blogging is a new and trendy tool that has to be understood and used properly in order to take the most advantage of them.