I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Ever since I wrote about celebrity‘s who were taking to blogging as the latest and greatest thing, I knew it wouldn’t be long before bloggers reached the heady heights of celebrity status. So this week when it was announced that Conde Nast’s US magazine Lucky would be handing their front cover for February over to social media darlings Chiara Ferragni aka The Blonde Salad, Zanita Whittington and Gary Pepper Girl, this certainly seems like the trio have taken a small step towards mainstream recognition but a giant leap for blogging kind. How long will it be before Chiara is a Victoria’s Secret model? A part alongside Cameron Diaz? Invited to front a huge charity? Covers Vogue?
They still aren’t quite there, I mean they are not instantly recognisable by, say, Joe Public. They can’t quite be in a movie yet or have enough star power to be on the sofa with Oprah or Graham Norton but they are influential enough to be pretty important to brands and to media. So while they’re not people your gran would recognise in Tesco, to their captive following, they are God. For a brands the right connection can extend your reach and introduce your products to a wider audience through the perfect adjacencies. For media, good strong links from social media super bloggers are as important to them as any other business. Celebrities with social power great. Social power without celebrity, still good.
As the editor of Lucky explains: “Thanks to social media, there’s a window into the design world these days that just didn’t exist 10 years ago—both because of technological limitations and because of antiquated attitudes about exclusivity. Chiara, Nicole and Zanita are three new faces that I followed on Instagram long before we met in person. Collectively, their Instagram following is about four million—larger than the population of Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island combined, in case you were wondering. Yes, they look amazing in clothes from Chanel and Cartier to Topshop and H&M. But more important, they and their peers are breathing life into the industry, launching small designers, bringing fresh eyes to existing brands and having a one-on-one dialogue with their readers.”
So this goes a little past the traditional brand and blogger collaborations – Chiara’s shoe collection, blogger guest editor pages and straight forward brand ambassador or sponsorship deals. And even beyond the medias crafty ways of ensuring good blogging links with ‘blogger awards’/communities/parties which designed to get bloggers to link back to the magazine. Lucky just takes this one step further, making media history as the editor confirms “Readers, with the launch of this groundbreaking cover, I’m expecting some fashion purists to be clutching their pearls in horror. Bloggers?! On a cover?! What is this mad, mad world coming to? Yes, it’s a first for a major U.S. magazine.” Lucky has chosen well, a big splash for their 2.5 million print audience, 4.8 million average monthly unique audience and their 15 billion media impressions per year (as they say).
As DisneyRollerGirl asked on her Facebook page – “I’m wondering if people are getting a bit sick of style bloggers? Or is this just the beginning?” I think in fashion, style bloggers are getting a little oversaturated, but don’t forget that Joe public or even Jane Public hasn’t even really engaged in this yet. If bloggers and social media stars can replicate their online/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/YouTube success in a print publication it really is the first step to more commercial projects and for one or two special bloggers, world domination. Then surely an Oscar winning blogger isn’t so far away at all?
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