And if the saying holds…they’re pretty much landing among the stars. Truly, today’s influencers are reaching celebrity status like we’ve never seen before; or have we?
Fashion icons- or trend setters are not a novelty. They’ve existed alongside dress history since the very beginning. We can name tons of trendsetters from Cleopatra to Marie-Antoinette to Lady Di and the list goes on. Such famous personalities have helped shape opinions, fashion, politics and definitely lifestyle and trends as well. Today, that’s pretty much the role of an influencer, don’t ya think? So what makes the influencer phenomena any different today, compared to the past?
If we go back in history, the so-called influencers of the times were, almost always, already famous- and rich. It would make sense for the masses, who could never achieve such heights, to want to dream of emulating these lifetyles. Or at least be enraptured by them. Along with fame, came influence. Status was one way of proving credibility. This is still true for celebrities. But not necessarily for today’s influencers.
Today, we can say that influence, credibility and fame grows from a place of commonality. The most popular influencers began as the average person discussing their own opinion and tastes and sharing that with a group of people (at first, a very small group). The more relatable – rather than untouchable, as in the past, the more credibility and influence amongst others.
Think about this: Whose opinion would you trust more regarding a product; your friend, or a random person in a commercial? The feeling of trust comes from a sense of ‘knowing’ the person. And through the revolution of online platforms, we have started to map out different relationships and communities with like-minded people who share similarities in lifestyle or aspirations. And through their social exposure, these influencers become our trusted, credible sources. This is true even though, we might never even meet in person. Ultimately, they influence our style, our purchases, even our beliefs.
Along with the credibility and feeling of belonging to their group, people become attached and form relationships with influencers. Attraction builds traction, and the more influencers generate content that is what their community wants to read or learn about, the stronger the connection and ultimately, more ‘followers’ are reached.
But most importantly is how vast the influencer role has become. In fashion for instance, influencer opinion is valued on all levels; from designers, to distributors, to companies, all the way to the most important of all, the consumer. Everyone relies on the influencer’s word- and consumer behaviour regarding purchases especially so. No wonder brands and companies are at attention!
So where are we headed? I personally don’t think we’ve reached a plateau. There’s room for growth, as communities, and niches keep on morphing and developing. An influencer can take this as far and wide as they want. And- brands see this; they’re taking notes. They can dip into an ocean of content creators to choose those best fit to promote their product. Trends change, as do opinions- and that’s a good thing! Change is a definite indicator and mover for growth.
Personally, I have seen my platforms grow steadily, at a pace that I can handle. What is important to me, is to still have that connection with my community. Styling and the fashion world are topic realms that will never fade in content- it’s evergreen and constantly moving. I want to keep on creating content that is of interest while boosting you with inspiration.
Nothing pleases me more than seeing the rise of some of my influencer friends that go way back- and now they are soaring- sometimes landing on jobs that have sprung from their blogger gigs. It’s super motivating! You just never know- but one thing is for sure; anything is possible through this craft, even landing among the stars.
A Few Questions :
How are you inspiring your niche?
How often do you produce content?
How engaged are you with your community?
Fashion Unstitched is a series where I take you through bits of fashion history, fibres and textiles, guest interviews, industry talk, fashion events, sustainability, museums, reviews…If it’s fashionable- I’m covering it!! Suggestions, and collaborations are welcome. Send me an email. Thanks for reading.