How much do ‘influencers’ really influence?

It’s no big news that the fashion industry landscape has changed. Dramatically. Nowadays, everyone who is anyone is calling themselves a ‘stylist’. The term is thrown around like confetti. However, no one arm of the fashion industry has amassed more power and legitimacy in the last 2 years than the “influencers.”

This group of social-media megastars have challenged brands, retailers and publications to reconsider who it is that truly connects with their customer in selling their product. The definition of what it means to be an influencer is evolving quickly, as is the ecosystem of influencer marketing.

In 2017, fashion is now a numbers game. Success is measured by how many clicks a website gets; how many likes an influencer receives on their Instagram post; how many consumers are driven to purchase by a product featured. Vogue Magazine has 12.6 million followers on Instagram but not far behind that are the style blogger elite: Chiara Ferragni has 6.7 million followers (that’s more than the population of her home town Milan). ‘Getting dressed’ for these women is a transaction, requiring as much rigorous planning as plotting out a magazine shopping page.

Susie Lau of Stylebubble.co.uk Photo credit intothegloss.co.uk

It prompted us to look further into what real women actually want from the industry now. Sure, we all love to look at beautifully styled photos, outfits inspired by brands and put together and worn by ‘influencers’. Sur isn’t it all lovely to look at? But how real is it and how can professional stylists, image consultants, coaches find their way through the haze?

We asked a couple of real women their thoughts on what THEY want!

WOMEN WANT TO BE INSPIRED

Fact. We all lead busy lives. Too busy in many cases (not us of course!) to be thinking constantly of the next outfit and the next wardrobe update. We do therefore love to look at pictures that inspire us. It is a fact that we all love to be inspired, get ideas from new places and see what other ‘real’ women (real curvy or really just a beautiful blogger clothes horse!). How this translates into finding that perfect outfit nowadays just follows many new routes than of old. Click and buy what your favourite blogger is wearing. Spend time in your favourite store (if you have time!) or be inspired and directed by personal stylists, image consultants and professionals who you know can really make the link for YOU from inspired image to inspiring and right for YOUR wardrobe.

WOMEN WANT A FILTER

When our members talk to us about clients needs they mainly tell stories of overwhelm! With all the choice that is out there and most especially all the images, ‘looks’, outfits, stores and shopping opportunities now open to us, it is pretty hard not to feel over whelmed even if you are working in the industry! But this is single handedly the one women will say is why they seek out professional help, to decipher what’s gorgeous and what’s gorgeous for me? There’s a big difference. This is where a professional can help a blogger or ‘influencer’ will inspire.

WOMEN WANT A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP

Ever hear the saying there’s no shortcut to any place worth going? Well this is absolutely true when it comes to creating a style you love and a feeling you get when you walk out your front door in the morning. The biggest reason ‘influencers’ are so hugely successful is that they have broken down that barrier from the ‘industry’ to what is more ‘real’ and we want real! However, just as anything becomes commercial (as blogging and influencing now is), real can be replaced with ‘really beautiful’ and what started as attainable now seems like us mere mortals are far removed from it all again. Getting inspired is about that connection and a real connection comes with building a relationship. Finding a professional stylist, image consultant or personal shopper that works for you is about that ‘feeling’. Do they get you? To really effect change to your style, look for the professional who takes the time to get to know you. No blogger will really do that and fair play to them, it’s not what they are there to do!

What does that all mean?

Influencers are now bona-fide celebrities with selling power comparable to any actor, musician or model. They have a place and a big place in affecting us all, inspiring us all, making us want to buy and imagine a different life for ourselves! Here is an interesting article on the topic from Fashionista.com. Is it real? It’s as real as you decide to make it and how you decide to let it ‘influence’ you. That’s just it. The power to create a style you love is in your hands. You now just have more ways to utilise that power!

FIPI x