Article by Pilleriin Leet
Images courtesy of HelloFashionStuff.com
Fashion is such a huge part of the 21st century and it’s getting more and more extravagant with every passing year. It’s no wonder that elements of today’s life, like music and art, add to the world of fashion in some level.
So how did it all began?
Imagine 1905, the streets of London, an amateur photographer named Edward Linley Sambourne picks up an after hours hobby taking pictures of stylish and well dressed women, most of the time without their own concession. What started with a one mans hobby quickly turned into a book, specifically an Japanese book named „Take Ivy“, published in 1965, which was exploring all about the Ivy League style. The book got so much recognition, that it was re-printed and published again in 2010. As time passes, the technology changes and Bill Cunningham becomes the first street style photography legend by capturing the street style of New York City.
After the foundation of street style was established, the photography started to shift more towards the extravagant and the shocking. The more unique and different – the better. And that’s exactly how Harajuku style in Tokyo got so successful and made an impact all over the world in 1997. 2004, the birth of „Look Book“ – a column for New York magazine that specializes and celebrates the street style from around the world. In 2005 the first street style blog was born.
What started with photographing people turned into a duel between the professional photographers and amateur photographers fighting for the best street style shots mostly taken in front of the show areas of Fashion Week. All this has triggered the next movement – fashion blogging. Every fashionista wise enough knows to be around Fashion Week. That’s where it all begins! The photographing of your outfit, the networking, the potential fame. 1990, the abandoned warehouse, the fashion show, all those people in their weirdest outfits gathering for the line of the show. You hear whispers „Look what is she wearing?!“, „This is outrageous!“, well keep those comments coming, because we like it. What used to be weird back then is the „IT“ thing of today. Gathering to the areas of Fashion week just to get even one picture taken by a street style photographer is a vital moment. We all dress to impress for that occasion, even if we won’t be able to see the shows, the commotion in front of the well guarded fashion tents is enough on its own. As long as your outfit stands out and you can hear the screams: „What are you wearing?“, „Do you have a blog?“, „Where can we find you?!“. It used to be difficult for photographers to capture a picture of a well dressed show attendant, but today it has become easier than ever. Show ponies are lusting over photographers and are willing to pose and be admired by others.
For showcasing your personal style and capturing your everyday outfits, OOTD (outfit of the day) as they call it now, fashionistas started creating their own space (blogs) on the internet to showcase their beloved world to the rest of the world. The bigger following you grow the more „famous“ and desired you will be. At one point you were dreaming of getting that ONE shot by a photographer in front of the show tent, that will get you some publicity, the next moment you are sitting on the front row of the show you tried to get in for years. And now that you are sitting there, on a chair with your name on it, and a goody bag with products in it that you were not able to afford in the past, taking notes and reporting live to your followers on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and dedicating a whole blog post to this event, you have finally made it. Or have you? Well it is safe to say if you have followers and you are invited to a show by your favorite designer you have done something right. Next step – growing from a fashion blogger to a influencer – that’s a huge thing. People actually care what you have to say.
Personal style bloggers sometimes get bad reputation because people see them as dumb good looking girls seeking for attention by showing their outfit pictures to the world taken by their „personal photographers“ a.k.a. their boyfriends. But what starts as a simple fashion blog can become a lot more than just that. You will be an influencer to people and a business woman or man at the same time.
As soon as you have made something of yourself, you will be approached by companies who want to collaborate with you. Now, it will be up to you if the company approaching you is the one you want to work with. Is this company worthy of your time? Does it represent you? Always stay true to yourself and only work with companies that are the best fit with you and your style and blog. Your followers will notice if you are not passionate. When you are smart enough you can start building your own brand. This can turn into a whole new business, either a clothing brand, beauty or being your own publisher. The key is to know what is your strong suit and go with it. Don’t forget to promote yourself on social media between all that craziness! Social media is the key to everything. There are even statuses such as „Instagram famous“ and they don’t just come out of nowhere. If you are your own boss and in this case, a fashion blogger, it takes skills to promote and make publicity. Today it is becoming easier and easier to do so with networking and using various social media accounts. But on the downside it is also harder to stand out between all the other fame pursuers.
Nowadays if you open a fashion magazine you don’t just see celebrities, models, designers and articles. You see the „real people“ – the bloggers. Fashion bloggers have become the new celebrities and they are taking over the fashion industry. The magazine companies have a hard time getting their magazines out there, when readers can find everything from the internet provided by their favorite fashion blogger for free. That might be also the reason magazines have been including more and more bloggers to their feed and articles to pick their brains and show more of the real world perspective to the readers other than just direct fashion influence.
The best example of how to transform from a fashion blogger to fashion celebrity, is by far, hands down – Chiara Ferragni. The 28 year old Chiara from Italy has worked with numerous leading designers, has her own multi-million dollar shoe brand and a extremely successful blog: The Blonde Salad. She published a book and is a spokesmodel to Guess. And that is not all. She also made it to the cover of Vogue as the first fashion blogger ever. And yes, that’s not her only magazine cover. She was also selected to the list of Forbes 2015 most successful people under 30 and is a subject of study at Harvard Business School. Chiara has a whole blogging team who travels around the world with her and she keeps building the new fashion empire that anyone can be jealous of.
So anyone out there who considers of tipping her or his toe to the fashion world be warned – it’s a cruel world out there. It comes with a territory and lots of work and luck to get noticed. But then again, it applies to anything you want to do. Just believe in yourself and do what you do best, the people will eventually follow.