Last week, hot on the heels of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Stockholm, CNN ran a story about Swedish fashion. It spoke mainly about the country’s rising export sales, due mainly to brands such as H&M, Acne, Cheap Monday, Tiger and J.Lindeberg, but it was the end of the article that piqued my interest the most.
Quoting street style photographer Yvan Rodic of The Facehunter, apparently Sweden’s blogging culture has contributed to its global success. A blogger phenomenon himself, Rodic says, “Sweden is a pioneering country when it comes to blogging. In the last decade, people from around the world have started looking at Swedish blogs for inspiration – mostly to enjoy the photos since they don’t necessarily understand the language.”
Judging by the worldwide recognition now garnered by most of the blogs rounded up by Daniel last year and last night’s Bloglovin’ awards – where incidentally, Swedish blogger Kenza won international blogger of the year – Rodic is absolutely on the money. But while I won’t deny the fashionable allure of blogs like Stockholm Street Style, Style by Kling and Fashion Squad (another winner at the awards for best blogger business), the unsung hero in the upward trajectory of Sweden and blogging may be Bloglovin’ themselves.
Essentially a blog update alert site and blog reader, Bloglovin’ was founded in late 2007 by a few Swedish lads in Täby. What’s telling about their biography is that they started out with some sort of “fashion community” web project, but abandoned that in favour of the blog reader. In spite of this, once it was up and running, the online fashion community flocked to Bloglovin’. Badges and widgets were proudly (and prominently) displayed on blogs, with followers heavily encouraged to use the site as their one-stop shop for all their favourites. The site currently receives millions of unique visitors a month.
And now with a well-attended awards show billed as “the Oscars of fashion blogging,” held in New York City for two years running, Bloglovin’ are arguably part of those aforementioned Swedish blogging pioneers, albeit more behind-the-scenes than frontline. Given that the awards are voted upon by blog followers (aka, the general public) and that they promote “likes” (aka, a blogger’s popularity) on their own site, Bloglovin’ are singularly harnessing the power of the masses to catapult fashion blogging even further. Potentially ensuring that we’ll be seeing bloggers front row at the major shows, fronting brands and creating successful businesses themselves for a while yet. Or at least as long as the blog loving and Bloglovin’ continues to grow.