From Zero to Fashion Blogger

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To say that pop culture has no influence on fashion whatsoever would be a complete lie. Pop culture has shaped fashion, and still does to this day. Pop culture focuses on the media, specifically television, movies, music, and celebrity gossip. Fashion goes hand in hand with pop culture, since what a celebrity is wearing matters just as much as the celebrity themselves. An example would be Jay-Z’s song “Tom Ford” off his most recent album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, which actually increased the sales of Tom Ford products. People who may not know of the designer brand probably went to their trusted search engine and figured that wearing Tom Ford meant that you were of status. If Jay-Z raps about it, it must be important, right? Magazines and fashion blogs always talk about celebrity outfits, whether that outfit is a simple day-to-day look or one worn to an Oscar after-party. On those same reviews of the outfits, you can often find “Get The Look” articles where the authors tell you how to dress like your favorite celebrity for cheaper. So whether or not you agree that pop culture has any authority over what fashion is, one thing is for sure and that is the fact that celebrities control the media. And aren’t these celebrities the same ones that you look to for style advice?

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Fashion has always been something that I’ve been interested in, well as long as I can remember being my own individual that is. My high school had a pretty strict dress code. You had to wear shirts with collars, you couldn’t wear t-shirts with graphics on them, your jeans had to be nice (no rips), and shorts had to be knee length. So I believe I really started getting into fashion and dressing well when I had to be creative with my outfits for school.  I would peruse the Internet to find photos of the different style icons I had to see what they were wearing and how I could pull that off at school.  The same was for how I wanted to cut my hair. I would print out photos of different hairstyles and bring them to my salon, yet for some reason they could never get it right. Also in high school, I was starting to get involved with photography, and I found my passion in portraiture and styling my subjects. I admired the work of famous photographers that was constantly in fashion magazines and on television, inspiring me to take after them. My work was well recognized on campus and as I graduated and entered the “real world,” well a part of it, I decided it was time to step up my game. Enter my fashion blog.

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Fashion bloggers are huge in the industry and world of pop culture.  Although you may not hear much about bloggers in your favorite media outlets, the fact that you and I talk about them makes them worthy of attention. They are style icons to people who are sick and tired of just looking at photos of their favorite celebrities, especially considering celebrities rarely style themselves. Fashion bloggers are always up to date with current trends and have more creative and unique looks than other “icons.” There are plenty of successful bloggers, and some of the perks of having a successful blog include being gifted free clothing, getting invited to New York Fashion Week shows, and just having an awesome life since their job is, well, to talk about themselves.  Having this control and receiving these perks makes wanting to be a fashion blogger a fad in itself. Pop culture is all about attention, and the more views, likes, reblogs, and followers you receive can easily make it seem that you’ve gained this sense of fame.

It’s crazy to think how influential bloggers can be in our day and age and how involved with the media they have become. It used to be about what kind of clothes a company is designing, but now it’s turned into who’s wearing what you’re designing, and in Jay-Z’s case, who you’re rapping about. From interning with a few clothing companies myself, I have learned what goes on from the inside and from their marketing standpoint. One task I had as an intern was to research influential U.S. bloggers regionally. From there I had to make sure that these bloggers were attainable, meaning that they didn’t have too big of a following, but also not too small (pop culture’s influence, right?). I had to make sure that their style was in line with the company and that I could actually see them wearing any pieces we would gift them. Which brings me to my next point, gifting. Clothing companies gift free clothing to influential bloggers since it acts as free publicity. It’s a win-win considering that a blogger gets free, usually high-end clothing, and companies get a shout out, and as I have talked about, you’re no one until you’re talked about. Shout outs usually attract a certain type of public and audience the company normally wouldn’t reach through the blogger, which in turn drives sales.  These bloggers have become the icons of the industry, and their authority is much stronger now than it has been in the past. When I was doing research for my company, I saw many of the same bloggers we were trying to reach advertising a new line of products by Old Navy. This made me realize that even companies that have been around for a while, like Old Navy, are starting to follow the current trend of advertising through new media. These bloggers beckon companies to offer them items for simply taking photos and typing a few sentences, and it works.

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Fashion bloggers have become self-made celebrities, considering that each blog begins with them. They go on WordPress or Blogger and simply create an account and right away they can start posting. Regardless of if their outfit is good or not, that first post is all that it takes to feel famous. You’re out there, somewhere in the Internet, just waiting to be noticed. Once you post something, anyone and everyone has access to it. It is vital to be cautious with what you post, especially when you do have a growing audience, and if your desire is to be well renowned in the industry. A bigger audience means more exposure, but more exposure also means that there is a very hot spotlight on you. As fast as I can gain credibility, I can lose it just as quickly. Once a company sponsors you, you become a brand ambassador and a direct reflection of them so there is no room for mistake. These are just precautionary thoughts, but very imperative to keep in mind when posting on any form of new media. Regardless of a sponsorship, on social media you are your own brand and your public image should be consistently upheld, similar to those in the spotlight of pop culture. Blog or not, I want to maintain that image, especially with the growth of my blog.

Many people now recognize me on Chapman’s campus as someone who has a fashion blog, which is a great way to start networking and begin those connections.  My intention is to have it know that I have a budding interest in this field and that I know what I’m doing. I want to stand apart from the rest of my competition and I believe I can do so by consistently blogging and writing. Being recognized by my peers is definitely a start and I am already looking forward to continuing my blog throughout this year and hopefully reaching a much larger audience. I hope to someday achieve this sense of influence over the industry and I believe that refining my talent and tapping into my interests through my blog is one way to accomplish that.  Sure, it would be nice to be the topic of pop culture, especially if I am self-made, but this is the exact type of reaction this industry beckons. It tells you that being famous is as easy as 1-2-3, but this “fame” is not all that it’s cracked out to be. As I have already talked about, pop culture and “celebrity” isn’t always a good thing. This in turn has made me realize just how powerful new media is and how it’s impact is much more intense and prevalent in our current society than ever before.

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