Recently, I caught an article on Refinery 29, proclaiming the decline of fashion blogs. In short, the article explained that high-end brands are moving away from typical blogger collaborations and choosing to work with taste-makers, influencers and celebrities on micro-blogging platforms like Instagram. This shift was heralded by a serious influx of fashion bloggers all “in it for the freebies.”
While I can agree with some points made in the article, as a dedicated fashion blogger and writer in general, I couldn’t disagree with it more. While high-end brands like Gucci are no longer handing out Disco Bags like Ed Mirvish on Thanksgiving, I think this is a good shift in the industry, and allows bloggers to stay down-to-earth and promote affordable or unique view points in fashion.
Fashion magazines were the previous bubble to so-called “burst.” Brands handed out (and still do) designer samples that filled the fashion closets of glossy magazines. While many stylists brought in their vintage or custom made pieces into editorials, so many items were essentially gifted from brands. This made the editorials feel luxe and elitist, completely out of touch with the financial crisis in the late aughts. This downturn in magazines coincided with the rise of the fashion blogger, where regular people were looking to other regular people for fashion inspiration. They wanted to know how to wear an H&M dress to a desk job, or find ways to style a Target skirt into an outfit that looks like it came off the mannequin at Nordstrom.
As these bloggers gained notoriety, the brands took notice and started gifting profusely… and continue today. If the fashion blogger bubble is about to burst, thanks to no more lucrative collaborations with Burberry, then I say good. I’d be happy to see fashion blogs go back to their more humble roots.
Throughout the course of my own personal journey blogging, I’ve wasted money on poorly-made mall store finds, but I’ve also invested in a few amazing pieces. This blog started from a love of both writing and sharing what I’m wearing that day. I’d love to see bloggers actually re-wearing pieces again, and not just getting lost in their Instagram feeds.
While the article chastised bloggers for hawking maxi pads, I’d dare you to find a print magazine without a similar ad for feminine hygiene. In the end, it all comes down to paying the bills. If a lifestyle company is willing to pay for a sponsored post, readers may have to swallow it a bit in order to continue enjoying free, independently-produced content. For me, as long as the authenticity stays alive, blogging is not dead just yet, and we shouldn’t measure success by the status of brand collaborations… whether that’s designer handbags or maxi pads.
Main image via Pinterest.
Such a great post – I couldn’t agree more! I think there are still many true style bloggers not in it for the ‘free gifts’ and I do think, in general, the platform will be better served by everybody getting a bit less flooded with the same free products being sent to all the same bloggers.
Lee | LegalLee Blonde