“From models to bloggers to It Girls, the constant stream of gifted shoes, bags and sun-soaked, carefree faces clogging up your Instagram feed can sometimes make you (if you are not a model/blogger/It Girl) forget why it is you work crazy hours for tuppence in an industry that, at least on the outside, appears to only favour the famous.”
The aforementioned extract is taken from a recent article published on I-D online by Courtney Iseman, which explains why she finds the “It Girls” of instagram an insult to the fashion industry – here’s my response.
Here’s the thing about the blogger “It” girl to which you refer – she hasn’t just stumbled into success, she’s worked hard to get there. You see most bloggers don’t post a few pouty instagram photos and then “SHAZAM” they have thousands of followers and Versace’s taking them out for an espresso machiato in Capri. No, most bloggers, work a 9am to 5pm job or are enrolled in full time education – their blogs (at least initially) are what they do with their free time. They too have “long days behind a desk or on set” and “fight to get ahead in the business”, but when you go home for a glass of vino with your mates, most bloggers are sitting at their laptops churning out articles about “five ways to wear Birkenstocks” free of charge for brands or publications. Why are they doing it? “Love for the clothes” just like you.
Like others in the industry, bloggers are incredibly proactive and dedicate hours to their craft – they’re stylists, photographers, pr professionals, digital marketers, writers and website builders in their own right – not bad for a twenty-something girl if you ask me. With no relevant experience under their belts, they create robust social media strategies that gain them all those thousands of followers you talk of. Most bloggers don’t have brands knocking on their doors to collaborate. Most of us bloggers are tirelessly contacting PR agencies and brands to partner with them. We email every fashion publication in the business offering our services free of charge to better our credentials so that one day we might be paid – not in bags and shoes, but in cash (wouldn’t that be nice!). Yes, we get free stuff – Hell some of us get free designer stuff, but those of us that do are a fair few years into our blogging careers by then and have worked hard for that recognition.
We deserve to get paid for our profession. We have impressive readerships, which we present in media packs that rival those of national magazine titles. Those media packs are created in InDesign or Photoshop which we’ve self taught ourselves to better our professional offerings. The blogging veterans might get $5000 for an instagram shot, but I can guarantee the majority of us are not getting paid those kinds of figures. What’s the going rate for an advertorial in Vogue these days, hey? The “It” bloggers are at the top of their careers and deserve to be remunerated accordingly.
Facebook and Instagram are all about showing off – I don’t think we can hold the blogging community entirely responsible for that. Luxury fashion is all about aspiration and if you envy the girls with the expensive, albeit gifted, handbags then someone’s doing their job right. With hard work and determination (like you say), I hope one day I write like Susie Bubble, interview like the Man Repeller, style like The Blonde Salad and shoot like Park n Cube – their instagram accounts inspire me every day.
Best of Luck,
Sophia (an aspiring It girl blogger)