A new movement in American fashion has emerged and it appears its influence is now impacting the future of fashion journalism.
Some call it the “embrace of street style”, others call it “fashion’s digital superstars” but to most of us they’re known as simply bloggers. Call them whatever you want, but these “bloggers” aren’t doing anything simple. In fact these entrepreneurs are carving a new line of work in a destitute economy, playing Barbie, no less, (hey, I'm just as envious as you are) and some are making up to $1 million a year doing it. Yes, you read that right.This doesn’t even include the opportunities these self-starting fashionistas are receiving for campaigns, signing on with major labels (such as Estee Lauder and H&M.) Now - for the first time - bloggers are taking the face of major American fashion magazines.
If you’ve seen the February issue of Lucky magazine, typically known to cover the likes of Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde and Miranda Kerr, it may seem to oddly cover a few unfamiliar faces (unfamiliar, to some of us): bloggers Chiara Ferragni (The Blonde Salad), Zanita Whittington (Zanita.com) and Nicole Warner (Gary Pepper Girl). A magazine that could be categorized to bring the runway to everyday life on a budget (though few of us share this same definition of “budget”), Lucky has been considered a front-runners in fashion journalism for some time. In other words, it’s a magazine you’re likely to peruse in the checkout line at your local grocery store. Lucky has rarely strayed from featuring the celebrity style advice it’s audience commonly seeks out. Though from the looks of it, Lucky may be veering from the typical fashion icons it's highlighted in the past, and may be foreshadowing, not only the shift of style influencers, but more so, the decline of interest in American fashion journalism.
Case in point: Lucky’s combined December '14/January '15 issue, featuring Taylor Swift, filled up an already slimmer 127 page magazine. This month's release, covering these fresh faced bloggers, Lucky cut down to barely a 97 page issue.
Over the years an increase of social platforms and influential bloggers have taken the fashion, and celebrity world by storm. They’re invited to runway fashion shows, signing contracts with major labels, and even finding a voice in current social issues. Take for example the famed little fashion blogger of NYC, Tavi Gavinson. By the age of 15 Tavi was the founder and editor of her blog-turned-online magazine, Style Rookie. (Don’t be mislead by the self-deprecating title.) By 2012 Tavi was listed on Forbes 30 under 30 in Media list, for the second time. By now Tavi has been invited to countless Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Couture runway shows, presented a TED talk on feminism, made special guest appearances on NBC’s Parenthood, and even has managed to find her way on Broadway. It seems many of these average self-starting bloggers are gaining more ground than most models and actresses can’t attain in a lifetime.
Tavi Gavinson and the cover faces of Lucky are just a snapshot of this “street style” rise of influencers, changing the content of our closets, as well as the content of our Vogue magazines. This may not only clearly alter the empire style influencers we thought would always rule and reign, but may also be declaring the future (or decline, rather) of fashion journalism in the time ahead.
It turns out we girls can benefit from continuing to play Barbie into adulthood, if not make a career out of it.