The Digital History of Fashion Blogs

Fashion blogging started as an alternative way for displaying identity creatively through fashion, with time it evolved and overlapped with the fashion industry.

Evolution of Fashion Style Blogging

1990 – first wave of blogging, during this early stage blogs were not popular because there was not an e-commerce component attached to it. They were mostly about politics and world affairs.

Early 2000s – fashion blogs started to appear, such as She She Me, Primp, DFR: Daily Fashion Report. These early blogs were more about writing than images, if existed, the images were for visual support rather than the focal point of the blog post. Each of these blogs had its unique identity, She She Me was a series of diary entries by the fictional character of She She Me girls. The content of Primp consisted of short sentences recommending fashion products and accessories with links to purchase them. DFR: Daily Fashion Report had the content format of showing opinions and events taking place in the fashion industry. However, few style bloggers that appeared in this period took photographs of their outfits, the backdrop might have been in their homes, places such as their living room, bedroom or their gardens using their camera and tripods. 

Mid 2000s – Things started to get more shaped with bloggers engaging in lengthy discussions through comment threads and collaborations between bloggers to write about a subject. Among these early blogs; Final Fashion and Almost Girl. This is a time where street style photography blogs emerged like Cobrasnake in 2003, The Sartorialist in 2005, and Facehunter in 2006. 

2004-2006: this is a period where style blogging was crystallized as a distinct subgenre of blogging. A number of new blogs were created, and bloggers not only wrote about fashion but also visually documented their personal style.

2008 – sharing the styles of everyday people blogs dominated the blogging sphere.    

Post 2009 – Second wave blogging started to emerge, bloggers started having a new mindset; seeing a blog as an opportunity to generate income or create a professional platform as an authority on style.

During the second-wave style blogging, style was a product of what bloggers wore, cataloging their daily outfits as in contrast to the fashion industry practice of displaying clothes specifically for a photo shoot to be posted on their website or for print. The Professional fashion media used to circulate each season’s new trends, which was in contrast to how bloggers showed their style. Publication responded, during the second wave, bloggers were commissioned by fashion publications to write and cover events.

In second-wave blogging content and sales pitches became clearly intertwined. Bloggers began t be able to offer commercial opportunities for brands and monetize their audience.  

Other Contributors to the fashion blogging sphere were forums, social media networks, and fashion-based websites visited by user communities interested in fashion and shopping that influenced the development of fashion style blogs. Among these forums was the Fashion Spot (tFS). These forums contributed in the early creation of fashion blogs, it is where people started to share their own preferences in fashion and learn about what others like to wear, comment and discuss fashion topics.

The first-wave style blogging was characterized by independence, whereas second-wave style blogging was characterized by ambition. Things shifted from the display of a unique own-style to displaying a particular taste in fashion and lifestyle.

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