SHIFT Magazine: Style Goes Viral

May 3, 2011  

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By Rachael Mackin
rmackin@smu.edu

The world of high fashion used to be the exclusive playground of the rich and famous. Fashion week represented a time for designers to present their latest collections to the most elite members of the fashion community. But since the presence of bloggers has expanded so much in the past year, fashion editors and executives are being bumped to the second row for shows of the Spring 2011 Fashion Week.

Sarah Bray, the co-creator of the Dallas-based fashion blog SMUStyle says bloggers changed the landscape of fashion in the past year. “I’m really interested to see where everybody is sitting at the shows for the Spring 2011 Fashion Week in New York because the front row used to be exclusive to the Anna Wintours of the world,” she says. “This year editors will be next to the internationally recognized bloggers like Garance Dore, Tommy Ton, Scott Schuman and so on because they really have become the dictators of taste and trends.”

Bray, who interned at Vogue last year, says she remembers when the magazine’s editors laughed at the concept of bloggers having the power to change the face of fashion. But the blogsphere gained so much recognition because, she says, fashion bloggers from all walks of life have the ability to write to an international audience and influence the way people view fashion, which in turn influences designers and what’s on the runway.

“The recognition of ‘street style’ is the biggest phenomenon that has come out of these blogs and you can really see how that’s shaped what we’re seeing on the runway this year,” Bray said. By street style Bray means what real people (not just models and celebrities) are wearing, meaning the street has become the new runway. Carson Eisenhart, the co-creator of the blog The Dallas Stylistas says fashion blogs has increased the accessibility of high fashion to those who wouldn’t have been able to experience it without street style and fashion blogs.

“Blogging has brought high fashion to the streets in a way we’ve never seen before,” he says. “When I was a teenager, the ‘hot’ brands were Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle and Juicy Couture, but today more young people are looking more and more to Forever 21, H&M, Topshop- brands which are working to bring the latest trends from the catwalks of Paris, New York and Milan to the everyday consumer with greater immediacy than ever before.”

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