A tried-and-tested method of sorts, but when I typed ‘famous’ into Google, the predictive results function threw ‘famous fashion blogs’ at me as its first choice. Rather apt, considering today’s rant discussion revolves around the high rolling profile world of fashion blogger and major brand collaborations.
Once considered desperately dressed-for-attention offshoots of serious magazine editors, fashion bloggers are now an all-important cog in the fashion machine. The slightest mention of a particular brand or product on a popular blog can cause insane levels of traffic to be driven to said blog, not to mention the hike in sales some retailers benefit from (point in case: Astley Clarke in China).
Recent popular brand-blogger collaborations have seen the likes of Emily Johnston of Fashion Foie Gras team up with Coach, and Elin Kling became the first blogger in the world to collaborate with HM; more recently, partnering up with Nelly and Guess by Marciano to design more collections.
Serial snapper and other half of The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman, Garance Doré, landed a design deal with Kate Spade, whilst Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller – focusing on fashion that, well, repels men – recently teamed up with Dannijo on a jewellery collection. But no blogger-brand team discussion would be complete without referring to quasi-blogger/ street style celebrity Anna Dello Russo’s collaboration with HM. The editor-at-large of Vogue Nippon’s ostentatious displays of accessory affection has street style bloggers and photographers falling over their DSLRs to snap up her every Fashion Month move.
But it was whilst perusing the Gala Gonzalez for Mango collection online, a few days ago, that I was struck with a question: Does the name of a blogger splashed all over a favourite high end/high street brand collection put you off buying into it?
Let’s not get mixed up with celebrity-brand and designer-brand collaborations; both are renowned entities, and the latter already has an army of loyal collection buyers, but bloggers are self-made sartorial stars who have to work hard to prove their fashion credibility when putting a collection out there.
Although some of the creatures of these rather lucrative collaborations would easily find their way into my wardrobe, I do wonder if buying into the aesthetic and taste of a blogger’s style is akin to ‘copying’ their style, solely based on the fact that you regularly visit their blog.
Don’t get me wrong; blogs were made to lose hours to cyber-admiration at the gelling of an outfit so perfect, you’d think the person wearing it probably woke up looking so polished. But just as designer-brand collaborations often mask our understanding of what and whose vision we are buying into, blogger-brand partnerships could lead to the same.
There’s no denying the mutually-beneficial financial facet of a successful brand-blogger duo, especially when both subjects fall into the ‘mega’ category – Norwegian super-blogger Hanneli Mustaparta as Calvin Klein’s brand ambassador is an example that serves well here. But, let’s look at blogging in its most organic form; an outlet for stylish individuals to share their daily doings, purchases and preferences. It wasn’t about bagging the biggest deal or tuning an innocent blog into a dollar/pound raking business, but a bit about self expression, and maybe a little bit more about the effects of a serious shopping habit.
But when I see a brand I’ve shopped with for years creating space to give way to the aesthetic of a blogger I may not resonate with, it can be a little unsettling – especially if jewellery of a male-repellent nature, an all black, Alt-esque uniform and architecture-defying heel forms are on offer. And on a more sinister note; could future blogs pop up on the premise that they’ll turn into designer-luring money hubs, instead of being about a genuinely interested readership?
Bloggers, although semi-celebrities in the fashion world and often with a superior understanding of style are mere mortals – a little like you and me, I suppose. Whether collaborations come from a genuine interest in, and love for the brand involved, we’ll never know, but every blogger worth their work knows a big-buck deal when they see one. The clarity of these unions may never be evident, but we can only hope that buying into the hype of the name behind them isn’t the only thing driving us to building a credible wardrobe.
Do you find a blogger’s name on a brand you regard highly off-putting? Share your thoughts below.