A few months ago, there was a big old hoo-ha when Fashion Editor at Large published a post about River Island’s blogger-inspired range. The range is part of the River Island AW12 collection and was presented during the press preview but there was a bit of an uproar from bloggers feeling they were being lumped together in a ‘blogger style’ of clashy prints and OTT ‘please-photograph-me’ accessories. The collection is now trickling onto the shop floor so to coincide, I emailed some questions to River Island’s brand director, Farida Kaikobad to find out how a high street brand puts its collections together in these crazy speedy-to-market times, how blogging and social media affects the brand and how that blogger range came about… (more…)
There has been quite the brouhaha over River Island showing a ‘blogger-inspired’ range to the press at its AW12 press day. Consisting of statement accessories and clothes (think texture clashing, fearless colourplay, bold prints, embellished everything) a few style bloggers have taken umbrage at being thought of as people who just throw on gaudy mis-matchy outfits to get attention from streetstyle photographers or other bloggers. To this I say, lighten up! Keep calm, keep your head down and carry on. River Island (and H&M with its forthcoming Anna Dello Russo collab) are just thinking commercially with this idea. Because to achieve this look (which I’d say is a particular experimental-eclectic blogger look than a general blogger look) you do need to buy things in multiples. So River Island, H&M et al will maximise on sales of say, a top, a bag and three necklaces, rather than just one piece. It’s smart business thinking innit!
Having missed the press day and the chance to appraise the AW12 collection myself, I asked River Island’s press office for their thoughts. Senior press officer Melissa Collins says, “the blogger story is representative of a look that’s interesting, exciting, not afraid to experiment, not afraid to try looks that break boundaries and to push limits and fashion forward. Bloggers are ambassadors of street style which has become such a key element of the fashion industry today. As a brand, we are defining what real people are wearing and we feel that bloggers are the voice of the real people.”
I think the debate is quite an interesting one as it does beg the question, where does style blogging go next? I’m sure this one will run and run and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the debate discussed further in Grazia next week…
Topshop, H&M, Mango, they’re all at it with their boldface photographers and supermodel ad campaigns. Latest to join Josh Olins, Terry Richardson et al in the high street ad campaigns camp is Ellen Von Unwerth for River Island. (more…)