For Matt Bernson and 80%20’s Ce Ce Chin, bloggers are more essential than ever.
“They have become just as important as any other press outlet for us,” Bernson said on Monday at a blogger roundtable hosted by Footwear News.
“A lot of them are young and not from traditional fashion media, but they jumped in and have built a reputation,” added Chin.
The designers, who were joined by bloggers from Fashion Indie, The Style Line and several other notable sites, were candid about the substantial impact blogs have on their brands.
“It’s the ultimate word of mouth,” said Bernson, who has seen direct correlation between placement on a blog and interest from customers. “We have seen a huge impact, sometimes bigger than [when we get] placements in magazines.”
The designer also admitted that getting placement on a blog can be even more challenging than landing a credit in a print publication because one person makes the choice, not an editorial team. ”They find it, they like it and they wear it,” Bernson said of bloggers.
Chin noted that she, too, has seen positive results. She was particularly enthused, for example, when popular blog Refinery29 acknowledged her brand as the first with hidden wedges (a rising trend for fall).
“Getting credit from a blog like that means a lot,” Chin said.
The designers also discussed their aesthetics, inspiration and a brief history of their brand evolution, though the conversation often migrated back to the relationships Bernson and Chin have with the blogger community.
“[Because] Matt and I are independent designers, bloggers enjoy that kind of personal connection,”Chin said.