After much apprehension, I have finally decided to start blogging! Okay, to be fair, it wasn’t entirely out of my own free will, and more of a class assignment, but I’m blogging nonetheless. Most of my close friends or family know how I have been passionate about starting a blog for some time, however, I never gathered the courage to actually begin one. Hey – could you blame me? Blogging might seem easy at first glance, but in reality, it takes so much more preparation and effort than most people are willing to admit. For example, I could have ideas for a few initial posts, but do I have enough content to sustain my blog long-term? How specific is my content, and who is my target audience? These are the kind of anxiety-ridden thoughts that pushed me away from blogging, and I never returned to it since.
In the blog-sphere, my biggest influence and inspiration is my mom. A few years back she decided to start her own Health & Wellness blog, a topic she was incredibly passionate about, and taught herself how to use various blogging platforms and created her own brand. She gained a large following and had many companies reaching out to her for product reviews and partnerships, which was something I found incredibly impressive! My mom was my main motivator when I expressed desire to start blogging, however the pressures of college took over and I never made the time. In retrospect, it is probably best I didn’t start blogging freshmen year of college, because my vision was too broad. I knew I was interested in fashion blogging, but didn’t have the concept narrowed down enough. Now, in my old age (lol), I have come to realize my expertise lies at the cross-section of fashion and business, and that is what my blog posts will center around.
In the fall of 2016, I studied abroad at the London College of Fashion, at University of the Arts London. While I was there I took courses on the Fashion Business track, such as Fashion Marketing in the UK, Fashion PR, and Buying & Product Development. This was the first time I received a formal education on fashion business, and I was able to find a way to combine my CSOM business knowledge with my interest in the fashion industry. All of my professors required us to subscribe to the daily newsletter from Business of Fashion (BoF), a website focused on providing an “analytical and opinionated point of view on the fashion business.” Ever since I subscribed I became HOOKED. Every morning I read the latest posts, and stay up to date on all the industry news. I would say BoF is one of my main inspirations (and news sources!) for my blogging style this semester, as I hope to seamlessly blend my new knowledge on social media and digital business with the fashion industry.
I believe that what I will learn in this class will provide me with an invaluable education on how to properly use social media in a business setting. One of the largest critiques I have today of the fashion blog-sphere is that I feel like there is so much unprofessionalism. The most popular fashion influencers come from YouTube or Instagram fame, and lack an awareness of their influence. I have a feeling the topics we cover in this class would put their social media use to shame, and prove that they are as unprofessional as I suspect.
The gold standard for fashion influencers / bloggers is, of course, Chiara Ferragni, also known as The Blonde Salad. If you’re not familiar with her work, Ferragni started her fashion blog in 2009, and was able to grow her brand so much that in 2015 her blog became a case study at Harvard Business School! (and yes, I have studied this case before in class!)
Ferragni has such a professional and refined approach to blogging and social media use that brands flock to her for collaborations. Most notably, multiple luxury brands have partnered with Ferragni and featured her in campaigns. This speaks to Ferragni’s brand, because luxury houses are notoriously cautious of social media and often stay away from anyone recognized as a ‘social media influencer’ due to their lack of exclusivity.
Well, now that I’ve rambled on about my passion for fashion business and fashion bloggers, you have a little taste of what my blog posts will be in the future. I hope to follow the lead of websites like Business of Fashion and The Blonde Salad to find a way to bring together two of my passions and carve out a space of my own on the internet. Lucky for me, I have the pleasure (and requirement) of posting on this class blog, and I can finally start to explore my own blogging style!