In case you haven’t heard, bloggers are the latest trend in the fashion industry these days (or at least a new subject to talk about between Spring and Fall markets). Just couple of seasons ago myself and the Style Coalition were featured in the NY Observer article talking about the Pariah status of bloggers at NY fashion week, and look what happens to bloggers around the world just few month later – NYT, FT and pretty much every printed publication on this planet are talking about the ‘new’ phenomenon and the fashion houses fascinated by it. After reading some of them, the portrait of an average fashion blogger might seem like the uber cool combination of an edgy muse, camera obsessed narcissist and swag-driven shopaholic, not to mention the blogging-in-your-sexy-pajamas stereotype, which is still there (I heard it first hand from a known designer).
I’m suspecting that the spotlight particularly on beauty and fashion bloggers was recently brought by the FTC and their new regulations, announced first in April 2009. While it suspected bloggers misbehavior, it also acknowledged bloggers power and put them in the center of attention. What it failed to acknowledge is the fact that blogging has evolved, and for many of us it’s (finally!) turning into a real profitable business. And I’m not talking about swag and freebies, I’m talking about real dollars shifting into social media, and respectively blogs.
The business savvy among the bloggers are busy building their personal brands and advancing their online properties. Brands are finally seeing the potential in this new generation of influencers and want to use their voice, because their own corporate voice doesn’t cut it in the age of Twitter and Facebook. How do they do it? Via endorsement deals, blogger-curated collections, advertorial placements, video sponsorships, events and even direct media buys on their online properties. Suddenly bloggers are becoming the media powerhouses with multiple media channels, all completely monetizable.
I’m not sure why bloggers should feel uncomfortable earning their bread with their talents. The ability to live off of our passions (and yes, opinions!) is still considered to be the best we can hope for. So what is it that bothers people about bloggers turning their online success into material one?
According to the recent article by BlackBook mag, bloggers may have a tough time staying true to their opinions, swayed by ads on their pages. I guess questioning bloggers integrity will be, unlike sequins, always in fashion. Somehow these questions are usually raised by the journalists who are paid to write them…