If I had to estimate, 75% of my Instagram feed consists of runway models, my fav designers/magazines, street style photographers, Sex and the City quotes, and fashion bloggers.
My Instagram timeline is the oasis of my social media. I wake up knowing that I will find an outfit I love or new fashion campaign. I adore Romee Strijd’s and Taylor Hill’s OOTD’s. But I am most excited to discover a new fashion blogger that inspires my style. A few of my favorites are Caroline Daur, Leandra Cohen, Negin Mirsalehi, Olivia Culpo, Amber Fillerup and Nicole Warne.
There is such a talent in creating the perfect outfit and voice while standing out in an oversaturated industry. All of the bloggers I mentioned above have these skills and immense success, but most if not all of the clothes they feature are from luxury designers. I love admiring their Instagram photos, but my chances of integrating their exact looks into my wardrobe is slim to none unless I find a low-price lookalike.
What is gained, what is lost?
But I can’t help but wonder (SATC reference anyone??)…in a time where the noise of the industry is so loud, do bloggers have to ditch the relatability factor for high-priced designer digs and a lavish lifestyle? Is this the only way to gain significant blogging success and become a true digital influencer?
I know that I don’t have to copy every piece of a blogger’s look. I love being inspired and trying to find my own version of the piece. But if I really love an outfit, it disappoints me to find every article of clothing and accessories is $500 and over. These exuberant prices lead me to have less of a personal engagement with the blogger, and more of a case of the blogger envies.
My biggest case of blogger envies has to be with Chiara Ferragni. Chiara is a heavyweight in influencer marketing, with 8.5 million followers on Instagram, 14 million page views to her website a month, a major shoe collection, and has graced over 55 magazine covers. She is, hands down, the most successful fashion blogger in the world right now.
Ok reader, obviously I know that with this success she will be wearing the crème de la crème. During this past Paris fashion week, Chiara simultaneously advertised Maserati while wearing Dior in her Instagram posts. It was beautiful, but just a lot for me to handle. Her posts did not want to make me go out and buy a Maserati (even if I could afford one), they just made me want to…unfollow. And so I did. Fashion bloggers are supposed to be inspirations, yet I felt less connected with her and her brand than ever.
Then I began missing Chiara and her over-the-top outfits. Her medieval-esque red velvet cap outfit from PFW Day 1. The really nice Maserati. So I followed back again. Why? Because Chirara’s style of luxury influencer marketing is exactly what draws her more followers. She uses her talent of curating beautiful fashion as an art form rather than a “like to know it” opportunity. Those that can afford her top-designer looks will purchase them, those than cannot, can still feel a little like Chiara with her lower-priced shoe collection (It’s not Forever 21 lower-prices though, be wary). She is not just a great fashion blogger, or a great digital influencer, but a great businesswoman.
So In All….
To answer my “Carrie-Bradshaw” question from earlier….no, I don’t think you have to go high-fashion to be highly successful. Each fashion blogger has their own unique personality and sense of style – it is up to them to choose what brands they choose to market. Having expensive clothes isn’t going to gain you followers if it isn’t genuine to you brand. Take it from Chiara, who makes $8 million a year off fashion blogging so she knows what she’s talking about:
“It has to feel natural and transparent. For me, selection is everything, it has to be something that my followers will be happy to know about. I can’t lose my credibility – you can’t put a price on that.”
What do you think?