Bloggers carry growing fashion industry influence
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Fashion Week has long been the realm of magazine editors and department store buyers, but now a growing number of online fashionistas are wielding some unlikely industry influence.
Typically equipped with just a smartphone, bloggers and tweeters are telling the world about designers' collections for spring/summer 2011 -- which won't be for sale in stores for months -- within seconds of models hitting the runways.
Online media at fashion week has grown 20 percent in the past six months, said organizer IMG, and now accounts for about 40 percent of the 3,600 members of the press covering the event. They also follow fashion trends outside the invitation-only venues.
"We do pay attention to it ... It's important to be aware of what they are blogging about and what's inspiring them," said Colleen Sherin, Saks Fifth Avenue fashion market director. "Some of the things we might have been seeing on the street are perhaps now brought to us by the Internet."
Retail strategist and trend forecaster The Doneger Group even published a list of who it considered to be the key New York Fashion Week bloggers and tweeters to follow.
"Bloggers and tweeters are becoming even more important as they provide consumers an inside look into the latest trends and styles," said David Wolfe, Doneger's creative director.
Among the bloggers to make that list are 14-year-old Tavi Gevinson from the Chicago suburbs, who began her blog www.thestylerookie.com when she was 11, and Susanna Lau, 26, from London, with www.stylebubble.co.uk.
There are also plenty of regular shoppers posting so-called "haul videos" on YouTube, some of which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. The concept is simple -- shoppers make videos showing off their recent purchases, giving the industry an insight into what trends are selling. Continued...