If you're privy to international newspapers you would have noticed the sudden mass of press surrounding the subject of social media's new place in the fashion world. Amy Odell of Buzzfeed posted an article three months ago titled Fashion Bloggers make Tons of Money from Brands. So What? The article explores the new wave of advertising being used not only by fashion brands, but by lifestyle and technology brands as well. Consumer buying patterns have proven that billboards, print ads and TV commercials are no longer the way to connect with people. The amount of time we spend on social media is growing at an alarming pace, so If you want to get people to buy your stuff, then shove it on a blogger.
It's no secret that many bloggers in the universe (myself not included) actually make a living (and some a very comfortable living) from blogging. Money is made not only via ad banners placed on their sites, but by endorsement deals, special appearances and modelling gigs. The funny thing with these modern terms of making money is that often they can be hard to spot.
Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast undertakes a tonne of "paid-to-wear" deals.
Many of the fashion bloggers we admire the style of are no longer the independent and eclectic dressers we began following them for. Bloggers are now paid money (often tens of thousands of dollars) to feature and wear a designer's garment in their post. Not only that, they're being paid to get street snapped at events wearing the pieces. And it's not as if street style photographers are necessarily in on it either. The bloggers don't have to tell the paps that they're being paid. Our favourite street style photography blogs - deemed editorial content - are quickly becoming advertorial before our eyes.
As Amy from Buzzfeed says, these bloggers could have been paid by Prada to attend this event. Bryan Boy, Rumi Neely, Susie Bubble and Diane Pernet. Image source Yatzer.com
Many critics out there are labelling fashion bloggers mere "puppets", but others argue they're doing just as many celebrities do. Endorsement is not a new thing, brands have been using celebrities' faces for cosmetics and luxury goods ads for years. Now it's just the bloggers' turn.
As you can imagine, there are varying degrees of endorsements, and varying degrees on what we deem tasteful or not. The argument is that these "tastemakers" (bloggers) who we have learnt to trust (and whose every word we hang on) are losing their honesty under the influence of money. How de we know if The Glamourai's hair styling secrets are indeed a secret or just paid placement by O&M, Tresemme and Moroccan Oil? Do you see the dilemma?
Bryan Boy's haul of 'Fashion Week packing', with Absolut vodka, Canon, and numerous other obvious brands.
It's food for thought, right? In a world dominated by social media and celebrity culture, how much is too much? Are we losing the honesty? Or are bloggers entitled to make a buck like everyone else?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.