New York, London, Paris and Milan have felt the weight of many a Saint Laurent shoe on their cobblestone streets in recent days with the fashion set descending upon them for the autumn/winter shows. And while fashion has always been rather exclusionary, with only select media privy to a front-row seat, for the past few years they have had to shuffle along to make room for fashion bloggers: those pesky self-made "influencers" that traditional media has had a hard time accepting.
See, the power has shifted.
The public's love affair with fashion is still there, but they've turned their attention to where they have freedom of choice: the internet and social media. And instead of being obsessed with what's on the catwalk, while it's still amazing and quite obviously superior in the creative stakes, they're actually much more interested in what bloggers are wearing. On the street. Outside the venue. Nowhere near the front row.
Indeed, pop out of the shows and you'll find the paparazzi have set up their own runway. It's generally a street scene so the end result looks like a blogger has just been "snapped" on their way to a show, but actually, they have walked this street runway over and over, in front of about 50 photographers, all taking shots for various media and websites. If you're not a fashion blogger, you avoid walking through the street runway because gawd, it would be super embarrassing if nobody took a picture.
Bloggers like Australia's own Nicole Warne of @garypeppergirl – who has worked with the likes of Lanvin and Balenciaga and appeared on the covers of Elle Australia, and US magazines Lucky and Nylon – and international girls like Chiara Ferragni of @theblondesalad who has a whopping 4.5 million followers on Instagram (to put it in perspective, Dannii Minogue has 229,000 followers, Delta Goodrem has 267,000, even Heidi Klum has only 1.9 million followers and she has her own syndicated, successful television show), turn up to fashion shows to watch, but actually end up being the stars. Models? Designer clothes? Pfft. It's all secondary to what the bloggers are wearing.
More importantly, it seems that the people have spoken and they alone dictate where the power lies by putting their money where their swipes/clicks/likes go.
"The power has most definitely shifted," says a spokesperson for a successful Australian fashion label*, "we had a skirt of ours featured on the fashion pages of a magazine* and we got three calls. Then we had a dress go on Sara Donaldson's blog, Harper and Harley. It sold out in days."
While at Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week earlier this year, shows which years ago, would have been held up to wait for celebrities to arrive, were actually put on hold for important bloggers to make their entrance.
And perhaps even more telling is how much publications will pay for "money shots" of fashion bloggers.
"While red carpet images are stunning and beautifully framed," says Kasey Drayton, Entertainment Specialist, Getty Images Australia, "it's often the ones taken on the street that are the most popular and most wanted by both the media and the public and this is reflected in the fees charged for them, especially if they are exclusive."
*Names have been withheld to protect privacy.
[By Nedahl Stelio] [Read More] [Image from injackiesshoes.com]