Whether you follow fashion or not, it was hard to miss the social media buzz around Milan Fashion Week (MFW) this month. Media publishers, entertainment companies, celebrities, fashion bloggers and influencers were tweeting updates, snapchatting the catwalks and instagramming street styles.
It’s no surprise that fashion bloggers and influencers were a catalyst for the social media conversation, sharing live updates from the week. What is noteworthy however is that the presence of social media influencers and bloggers uncovered the animosity felt by senior staff at US Vogue. On the final Sunday, Vogue published a recap article of ‘The Week That Was’ which carried a discussion between the magazine’s senior staff analysing the major events and trends of the week.
Throughout the article there was a heavy amount of criticism towards the bloggers and influencers. Sally Singer, Vogue’s creative director gave a message to the influencers, writing ‘Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style.’ Nicole Phelps, director of the magazine’s runway app, added that “It’s not just sad for the women who preen for the cameras in borrowed clothes, it’s distressing, as well, to watch so many brands participate”.
While Vogue voiced its worry about the death of style, the fashion bloggers of course had something to say in response, with Shea Marie biting back to say that “You are exactly the type of people that have given the fashion world the cold, unwelcoming and ruthless reputation it has had in the past. Thankfully those times are changing … I would think an institution such as Vogue would respect young entrepreneurs instead of belittling them.”
While The Telegraph revealed social media influencers can charge up to £58,000 for one Instagram post, London fashion blogger Susie Bubble also highlighted that editors and stylists are ‘not beholden to brands in one way or another, getting salaries at publications…’.
It’s clear that these bloggers and influencers have cultivated a powerful position in the fashion industry. Using compelling analytics to prove value through clicks and conversions and ultimately, brands are investing in them doing so.
The value of these influencers shouldn’t be underestimated nor should the effort that they put into what is now considered a day job and career. YouTuber Hank Green recently highlighted on Medium that being an ‘Internet Creator’ is now a normal day job. Green also describes how difficult it is to get to a position where you’re making a steady income from creating content.
In his blog post, Green announces the launch of his non-profit Internet Creators Guild identifying that ‘There is no system for protecting creators, many of whom have no experience in any industry, let alone the notoriously cut-throat entertainment industry.’
The industry is becoming more populated and savvy, there’s no denying that social media influencers are widening the reach and changing the game of not only the fashion industry but multiple other sectors as well. Nowadays, being an internet creator is just a normal day job.