In its latest YouTube video, entitled ‘Laid-Back Luxe,’ John Lewis enlists the help of UK fashion bloggers Ella (of cocosteaparty.com) and Laeitia (of mademoisellerobot.com) to style looks for the party season. It represents a shift in the way retailers advertise and the growing influence that bloggers have in both the high-end and mainstream fashion industries.
With so much advertising and multi-media shouting out for our attention, particularly in the run up to Christmas, getting heard amongst all the noise is increasingly difficult for retailers. In order to engage new and existing customers, more and more brands are publishing video content on platforms like YouTube (Harrod’s ‘Inside The Studio’ being a recent example). The featuring of celebrities or designers in this content is nothing new; the aim being to appeal to their fans and potentially bring in new customers. The addition of bloggers to this marketing strategy, however, is very interesting: it essentially marks them as equally valuable and influential in terms of their following and potential for generating sales.
Over the past few years we have seen blogger status rise steadily, as famed fashionistas such as Susie Lau (of stylebubble.com) have become a staple on the front row at fashion weeks all over the world. Bloggers have become the stylists of the people, increasingly acknowledged amongst highstreet fashion lovers too.
As well as this, ‘Laid-Back Luxe’ mirrors a shift in the kind of role model / fashion icon that women aspire to today: could we finally be seeing a move away from the idolising of super-skinny catwalk models and airbrushed celebrities in favour of ‘real’ women who have earned style kudos?
The use of ‘real women’ in advertising and fashion promotion is a concept that has been campaigned for many times in many ways (most markedly in the debate about the size of shop mannequins) – so could this video be a little sign of a change in the retailer’s attitude on the issue? Perhaps. One thing is for sure, John Lewis has recognised the appeal that bloggers now have in the mainstream fashion arena and intends to capitalise on it.
Written by Francesca Bassenger. Video source: John Lewis.