Personal style bloggers have been around for awhile, and fashion brands and designers have recognized the benefit of forming partnerships with this new guard of influencers. Despite the fact that in the past some balked at fashion bloggers like Tavi Gevinson and BryanBoy sitting front row at New York Fashion Week, you would now be hard-pressed to find a fashion brand that does not recognize the power of the blogger as a tastemaker.
Lucky magazine made huge waves this month by placing personal style bloggers Chiara Ferragni, Nicole Warne and Zanita Whittington on the magazine’s February 2015 cover. The accompanying feature highlights the successes these women have achieved, and celebrates their celebrity status and popular brands.
“I think over the past two years we’ve really seen magazines focus on cover stars with huge online followings to generate additional PR and interest in each issue. And it’s not just on covers, we’re seeing that in marketing and advertising too,” Lauren Indvik, editor in chief of Fashionista said. “The top bloggers have proven they have influence and selling power. They are entrepreneurs, they had to work hard to get where they are, so it’s good to see that recognized.”
Ferragni, Warne and Washington have gotten to the top by not only being tastemakers, but by being savvy entrepreneurs with the ability to create and foster a strong, recognizable brand. With huge online followings from consumers looking for styling and shopping tips, brands have a lot to gain by partnering up with them. These aren’t just style bloggers, these are multi-million dollar businesses.
For bloggers, building a strong personal brand is very lucrative, and diversifying is just plain smart. These women have worked on projects from launching e-commerce, fashion brands, modeling, and multiple high end collaborations. And as experts in shopping for and curating the best styles, a partnership with the most recognized fashion and beauty shopping publication makes a lot of sense.
Eva Chen, editor in chief of Lucky, is in tune with creating a strong digital brand and knows what these women can bring online. She chose Ferragni, Warne and Whittington for both their style and business savviness. The Blonde Salad (Ferragni), Gary Pepper Girl (Warne), and Zanita (Whittington)have built strong personal brands that have a huge online following. In her Editor’s Letter, Chen notes “Collectively, their Instagram following is about four million—larger than the population of Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island combined.”
And that’s Instagram alone. Social media is a very connected and visual culture which allows consumers to identify with a brand that matches their taste. If the brand is strong and the face is identifiable, consumers will follow.
“Chiara from The Blonde Salad probably has some of the highest numbers (traffic and social wise) of any fashion blogger out there. So when Lucky runs this cover, she of course will post about it,”Jena Gambaccini of Chi City Fashion said. “I’m sure Lucky will get a few more Instagram followers along the way!”
Indvik added, “Eva has been really supportive of style bloggers, and very savvy with social media.”
With the sheer volume of followers these women have, it’s not surprising that publications are among the brands jumping on board with these women.
Not only have these top bloggers become experts in branding themselves, but have the ability to get a huge number of eyes on their content and projects.
Conversely, the publicity gained from being recognized by a major US publication can help the bloggers reach an audience that isn’t based online. For the bloggers, this means more recognizability and influence for their brand both in partnerships and independently.
Gambaccini, explains that part of the allure of a personal style blogger is a sense of attainability and relatability that is not always present with a celebrity.
“Celebrities seem unattainable, no matter who they are,” she said. “If you see a celebrity in something, you want it but if you see a blogger in something, you can actually have it.”
Top photo courtesy of Lucky Magazine
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