The advent of personal fashion blogs was an industry game changer. When fashion bloggers first started appearing on the scene, they began to represent so much more than the ideal beauty standards we saw in fashion editorials and on the runways; they were regular women who were filling a major gap in the cookie-cutter-dominated sphere. Minorities who were often left out of the fashion industry, whether it be due to body size, skin tone, or ability, have been taking the reigns and influencing the industry in fresh and exciting new ways.
Following the major blogger boom around 2008, the world's most beloved fashion bloggers come from almost every walk of life. Anyone with access to a camera and computer has the ability to create a blog, and minority bloggers have offered a space for readers to connect with women who represent their own backgrounds. Bloggers are challenging beauty norms, inspiring audiences in the millions, and breaking molds that the fashion industry has had in place for so many years. Jillian Mercado, a wheelchair-bound blogger was just signed to IMG Models and Chastity Garner spurred the launch of Target’s fully plus-sized line Ava&Viv.
There's no doubt that the fashion industry still has a long way to go. Fashionista reports that on the Fall 2015 runways, 80 percent of the models were white, and in 2014, only 119 out of 868 magazine covers featured a minority. But, any progress is good progress, so read on to see 15 bloggers who are making a major impact on the fashion world.
15 GarnerStyle (Chastity Garner)
Chastity Garner started GarnerStyle (formerly The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Style) to inspire plus-sized women to take hold of, and rock, their personal style. Since 2008 she has been offering fashion advice to curvy women and making a name for herself in the industry, featured on publications such as Oprah.com, The New York Times and Elle Magazine. In August of last year, Garner made waves with her open letter to Target, which reprimanded the retailer for excluding plus sizes from their designer collections. Her letter, and the accompanying hashtag #BoycottingTarget led to the store adding plus size styles to its collaboration with Lily Pultizer and spurred the launch of the fully plus-sized fashion line, Ava&Viv.
14 The Chriselle Factor (Chriselle Lim)
A first generation Korean-American, Chriselle Lim branched out to start her own blog in 2011, following her career as an editorial wardrobe stylist. Fashionista quotes her saying, “When I started, it was so rare to see an Asian face on a campaign or even on the runway. I think that social media, and just digital media in general, has really given a voice to minorities.” Along with her blog, she also has a strikingly popular YouTube channel with over 444k subscribers and 29 million views, making her the #1 Fashion Expert on all of YouTube.
13 LoveBrownSugar (Christina Brown)
Being a plus-sized, dark skinned model was pretty much unseen in the fashion industry before fashion bloggers hit the scene. Through her buzzed-about blog, Christina Brown has created a space where multi-cultural women can find style and beauty expertise, become inspired and become empowered. She’s a contributor to digital and print publications such as Essence magazine and People Style Watch magazine, and has been featured on top lists including HelloBeautiful.com’s “30 Under 30 Style Mavens” and Essence Magazine’s “Top 40 Style Bloggers.”
12 Keiko Lynn
With visible tattoos and, sometimes, multi-coloured hair, Keiko Lynn has planted a voice for self-expression through fashion. She loves vintage finds and has that pin-up girl aesthetic that makes you want to go out and buy a pair of cat-eye glasses and a handful of silk neck scarves. Her mixed ethnicity (being ¼ Japanese, with a combination of European and Native American descent) makes her a relatable figure to a diverse range of women and her quirky style is a breath of fresh air.
11 Manufactured 1987 (Jillian Mercado)
Jillian Mercado uses her blog as a creative outlet to convey fashion in a unique way. She was diagnosed with spastic muscular dystrophy, and confined to a wheelchair, this stunner breaks countless molds in the industry. Not only does she rock wheelchair style, she has become a favourite among the industry, regularly covering New York Fashion Week for her blog as well as magazines, starring in campaigns for brands such as Diesel’s We Are Connected Ad campaign, and recently being signed on to IMG models. Her goal is to represent all the girls that don’t see themselves as part of the fashion industry.
10 Razzle Dazzle Pickle (Ritu Arya)
Ritu Arya is an Indian fashion blogger who showcases grunge and tomboy style with a feminine finesse. Based in Bangalore, this blogger/stylist/design advisor intends to start a fashion line in the near future, and we can’t wait to see what it holds. She’s also the co-founder of Drum and Bass India, a community supporting underground D&B artists in India, making her an entrepreneurial role model in so many ways.
9 GabiFresh (Gabi Gregg)
Gabi Gregg of GabiFresh is all about body positivity and helping plus-sized girls find fashion items that work for them. Along with being featured in magazines such as Glamour, Teen Vogue and In Style, she has triumphantly launched three swimsuit collections, her first one with label Swimsuitsforall selling out in just two days. With over 250K Instagram followers and brand partnerships so secure that she is now a full-time blogger, it’s safe to say that this gal has had a significant impact on the industry.
8 Accidental Icon
In the past (and still quite a bit, now) the fashion industry has favoured a young, fresh face. Accidental Icon is one of the “older” woman fashion blogs to completely blow this preference out of the water. She jaunts around sporting the latest trends with confidence and flair, and she looks damn good doing so. In the past year, we’ve seen a wave of elder It Girls hitting fashion editorials like nobody’s business (Joan Didion for Céline, Iris Apfel for Kate Spade and Joni Mitchel for Yves Saint Laurent), and bloggers just may be to thank.
7 Song of Style (Aimee Song)
An interior designer by day, Aimee Song has become an internet It-Girl who has honed her craft on her blog, Song of Style and accompanying YouTube channel. With over 2.7M Instagram followers, features on sites such as The Coveteur, and her very own jewelry line, the Korean knockout has come quite the way since her blog launched in 2008. Always perfecting the high-low mix in her outfits (she’s often snapped pairing brands like Alexander Wang with Zara), she’s become a trendsetter for the everyday girl who looks for inspiration in places other than on the runway.
6 Sea of Shoes (Jane Aldridge)
While she recently dyed her signature vibrant red locks, Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes was a standout redhead in a sea of blonde and brunette bloggers. She started her blog when she was just 15 years old and since then has snatched up shoe collaborations with Urban Outfitters and ShoeMint, and has landed a campaign in Barneys and an editorial in Teen Vogue.
5 …Love Maegan (Maegan Tintari)
The fashion industry’s fascination with youth has habitually excluded “mom”-aged women from their editorial repertoire. Many bloggers of this age group have challenged this marginalization, showcasing style that not only works for young female adults, but older women as well. Maegan Tintari from …Love Maegan is one of those women. She started her blog in 2003 when she was 27 years old and has been a source of style genius ever since. She is one of the bloggers who fills a major gap in the fashion industry, writing about mature women’s fashion, as well as her struggles with infertility. She’s a real woman who readers can relate to and that’s more of what the industry needs.
4 Haute Muslimah (Asma Pervez)
Haute Muslimah combines style, religion and modesty in her blog pages and since her launch in 2009, has grabbed the attention of the fashion industry at large. The number of bloggers writing about modest fashion has exploded since her blog debut, but Asma Pervez has also noticed a major shift in the industry. Brands such as DKNY and Valentino have created covered-up silhouettes that were instant hits, and Chanel hosted its 2015 resort show in Dubai. Asma takes couture and runway looks and puts a modest twist on them, giving the world a fresh perspective on fashion. She’s certainly caught our eye.
3 Nicolette Mason
Nicolette Mason is a half-Persian plus-sized blogger who has made her mark in the fashion industry, continually promoting diversity. She often discusses topics such as race, sexuality and body image and has garnered a reputation as a serious fashion writer, contributing to publications including Marie Claire, Vogue Italia and Glamour Italy. She made a splash with her ModCloth collaboration in October 2014 that featured sizes XS to 4X, a line that was meant to fit a diverse range of body types, no matter the shape or size.
2 Wendy’s LookBook (Wendy Nguyen)
Wendy Nguyen had quite the life before her rise to blogosphere/YouTube fame. The Vietnamese native spent her childhood in foster care and, worried that she would be homeless at the age of 18, worked three jobs through high school so that she could pay her way through college. She volunteered throughout and after college working with marginalized communities and currently volunteers at InsideOutWriters, a non-profit that offers mentorship to formerly incarcerated youth. East Asian bloggers have prospered in the blogosphere, making their mark in previously marginalized territory. Nguyen’s past and current endeavours solidify her as a role model for fashion lovers and beyond.
1 Fashion, Love, and Martinis (Amanda Allison)
Amanda Allison is all about rocking plus-sized fashion and self-acceptance, a combination that makes her quite the influential style idol in the blogosphere. She has become an inspiration and someone who plus-sized females look to for style advice and motivation. She has no trouble flaunting her curvy body and looks absolutely amazing doing so.