Why do Fashion Bloggers Blog?
When thinking about the rise of the fashion blogger to really understand what it is to be a fashion blogger, we need to consider first what is a blog? And I don’t just mean in a literal sense. I’m wishing to explore truly what fashion blogs have come to mean and represent to us right now, in the present. Secondly we need to consider, what does a fashion blog produce, how to we assign value to a blog and thirdly why the dramatic rise in the immense popularity of fashion blogs in the last three years.
A fashion blog from five or six years ago is very different to what we would consider a fashion blog is today. That is to say there has been several changes in our perception, attitudes and understanding of what we now know fashion blogs to be. We have witnessed a phenomenological shift (a change in our perception through a lived experience) in our thinking and understanding towards fashion blogs and their creators. Also your perception of a fashion blog, might be different to mine, intertextuality is present (your meaning of a text is drawn from another text’s meaning).
Initially I think it’s fair to say that fashion blogs started out as personal diaries, an account of senseless subconscious and unconscious ramblings of what bloggers were thinking about wearing that day, to the latest Zara knock-off, to celebrity fashion trends, to our latest obsession with dinosaur heels, stinging lip gloss or the wedge sneaker craze.
However over time, fashion blogs and their creators have developed a true skill in learning how to produce. They were honing their skills of authorship on a daily basis, becoming better and better writers. They began to engage with their audiences, have conversations with their readers and most importantly listen to their audiences. Fashion bloggers began to understand and importantly apply their learnings to their blog, tweaking their blog to what they knew their audiences would liked, what they didn’t like and so on. Audiences as a result of this began to engage further with the fashion blogs they followed, they felt heard and legitimized.
sydney fashion blogger antoinette marie
It is this engagement with their audiences that I think is the key driver to the huge growth and surge of fashion bloggers success. The birth of the power blogger. Fashion journalists were renowned for being ‘out of touch with reality’ and certainly ‘off limits’. The mere thought of engaging with the eager fashion masses was counter to the elitest culture of the fashion industry which they represented and had a duty to continue. Plus until only recently engaging with readers on a mass level was not truly possible before social media became vetted as a communications engagement tool.
Fashion bloggers started to very quickly capture and document through a semiotic tradition, a visual archive of how fashion was changing day to day, moment to moment, country to country, person to person, on a fundamentally personal (yet mass) level. Audiences were able to connect with fashion bloggers directly, one to one. Together, they were both able to build a sense of deeper understanding towards who they were as people. What inspired them, motivated them to become a fashion blogger. We hear about their personal stories, their bio details, where they studied, Parsons, Central Saint Martins, etc. their journey and life story. A me-too psychological connection developed.
In turn the fashion bloggers also craved to be validated, to be heard. We all hear the stat that something like 80% of bloggers stop blogging after the first month. It’s tireless work to continue to produce especially when you think no one is listening.
sydney fashion blogger antoinette marie
This brings me to my next and final point, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Humans crave to feel a sense of belonging and to be accepted and valued by others. ‘According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, regardless if these groups are large or small.’ Secondly Maslow states ‘All humans have a need to feel respected; this includes the need to have self-esteem and self-respect. Esteem presents the typical human desire to be accepted and valued by others.’