By Angie Argabrite, Thursday, October 20, 2011, at 9:45 am.
Word on the Street
Street style has eclipsed the influence of celebrity style—yes, we said it
In the ’90s actors and musicians replaced supermodels as the leading harbingers of style, but now an even more dramatic shift is underway among fashion’s hierarchy. With magnificent magazine-worthy photography, some top fashion bloggers and street-style photographers have become as influential as chic actresses like Sienna Miller and Diane Kruger were just a few years ago. Here’s why: In North America alone, 55 million women read one another’s blogs every month, leading about 80 percent of them to make a purchasing decision based on what they’ve read. Far more forthcoming about their outfits than celebrities—detailing the origin of every last bangle on their wrists—many fashion bloggers are also beloved for wearing items that are vastly less expensive (read: more accessible to readers) than red carpet garb. The best of the street-style photographers (the New York Times’ Bill Cunningham and the Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman come to mind) capture impeccably chic women deftly navigating cobblestoned city streets in stiletto booties. In the lenses of master photographers, these nameless women have become purveyors of the latest and greatest looks, and rather than ignore the trend, fashion magazines have welcomed it. Harper’s Bazaar added a Street Style section to its website; Lucky magazine launched a network of 50 fashion bloggers, the Lucky Style Collective; and In Style added a monthly DIY fashion feature to the mag. These high-profile gigs are just one way low-profile fashionistas profit from their personal blogs. Annual conferences hosted by websites like BlogHer and She’sConnected teach thousands of bloggers how to turn sponsorships into dizzying traffic numbers … into major ka-ching. And that’s always in fashion.