Since its inception, social media has had a mammoth impact on the fashion industry. From the first wave of bloggers such as Susie Bubble and Tavi Gevinson to vloggers like Zoella, social media celebrities are increasingly influential, with designers and brands desperate to gain their seal of approval. Yet some savvy ‘influencers’ have decided to cut out the middleman and create their own brands which are guaranteed to appeal to their loyal army of fans. These can seem gimmicky, a side project to the main brand – their personality, if you will. Yet some have gone above and beyond, using their good taste and connections to create something with staying power, as well as the potential to win over even the most dismissive fashion editors. Here are our favourites.
French blogger and street-style favourite Jeanne Damas is the epitome of modern Parisenne style and her label, Rouje, which launched this year with the help of a talented group of female friends, is no different. A selection of classic and super-covetable pieces, named after Jeanne’s friends, the range is a celebration of sophisticated femininity: “I’ve always been surrounded by women with strong personalities and feminine; my mother, my sister, my aunts, my friends. I am fascinated by the appearance they can have – simple details such as a walk, a way to talk, gestures, a way to wear a piece of clothing.”
Sleepwear is no longer reserved for the bedroom, as proven by the popularity of Olivia Von Halle’s beautiful printed shirts, and Attico, a collection ‘inspired by the classic peignoir’ (peignoir is the antiquated word for a dressing gown) from Italian best friends and Instagram stars Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio. The collection, which is mostly robes but also includes gorgeous evening dresses and tops, is made from luxurious materials such as silk, tulle and velvet, perfectly encapsulating Giorgia and Gilda’s innate Italian glamour.
Counting the Jenner sisters, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin amongst her fans, model-turned-blogger-turned-designer Rumi Neely‘s Are You Am I creates luxury LA basics, including lace bralets, velvet chokers and barely-there slip dresses. Often modelled by Rumi herself, AYAI is a one-stop shop for those after some California cool.
As far as blogger success stories go, Chiara Ferragni’s is a fairytale. The Italian started ‘The Blonde Salad’ in 2009 whilst studying law at university, as a space to express her love of fashion. Fast forward 7 years and The Blonde Salad has become an award-winning website encompassing fashion news, features, lifestyle and an e-shop, with a staff of 16 .Meanwhile, Ferragni has become one of the world’s biggest fashion influencers, as well as an author and a tv-presenter. It would be easy to imagine her eponymous brand, founded in 2013, as an offhand side-project but as creative director of Chiara Ferragni Collection, which started out as a footwear range has grown to include bags, phone cases and even leather jackets, Ferragni has created a range of well made, Italian-produced products designed by upcoming local designers (including Attico’s Gilda Ambrosio), and encapsulating her playful yet classic sense of style.