There’s no doubt that fashion blogger’s are shaking things up in the fashion industry. Spring 2010 marked the first year that fashion bloggers were invited and welcomed openly by designers to sit on the front row of major fashion shows. Bryan Grey-Yambo, better known as “BryanBoy” was seen sitting just two seats away from the all-powerful Anna Wintour, Editor of American Vogue at the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2010 collection (pictured below).
Their presence has produced a mixed reaction within the international fashion industry. To editors, fashion blogger’s presence is a painful reminder of the changing times and the democratising power of the Internet. One could say that the Internet has opened up doors for everyone to be a critic. But to fashion bloggers, like myself, it’s a blessing, and a chance to be heard. Nevertheless, the fashion blogger’s presence is another example of fashion’s modern evolution. Fashion has always relied on operating under exclusivity. And to be more specific, the trickledown effect – meaning the fashion elite (high-end designers, luxury brands, wealthy style icons, etc.) set the trends that would eventually “trickle down” to the masses in the form of lower end goods, which often result in the fashion elite no longer finding those trends desirable. Fast-forward, and the fashion industry, much like the society that surrounds it, has changed drastically.
These changes can be seen in a few isolated developments including The Style Network, Fashion TV, and shows like Project Runway, and the Rachel Zoe Project. The emergence of fashion bloggers is next in the biggest series of changes. Until recently, only fashion editors held the key to publication influence. Month after month, consumers purchase magazines and sift through trend lists and styled spreads that have all been selected by powerful editors and top stylists. But fashion bloggers have been offering an alternative. That alternate is essentially what the public wants. Fashion bloggers are not necessarily stylists or aspiring designers or even models. I have a BA Degree in Fashion Design, but essentially I’m just like the next person. I have an opinion, and I just happen to love everything that is fashion. These are qualities that appeal to the down-to-earth nature that consumers want to achieve.
Naturally this creates a situation. On one hand, you have the use of fashion bloggers on the front row, which creates a larger market and more exposure for designers, and sometimes that exposure is reciprocated, like Marc Jacob’s BB Ostrich bag in honour of Bryan Boy. This relationship between designers and bloggers was once exclusive to only the fashion elite. Not so anymore. Like some situations, this one ends with a posing question: Should the fashion industry continue to open up-be even more accessible to the public, or should the industry try to retain some air of exclusivity? Change is inevitable for the fashion industry. Being an industry that revolves around change, innovation, and reinvention, it does have a hard time dealing with changes within its own infrastructure.