There’s no arguing with the fact that American Vogue is one of the most influential brands in fashion. So when we read that the magazine had established a nationwide network of influencers to represent its readers to Vogue advertisers, we thought it would be composed legitimately influential people. We were wrong.
Adweek reports the many of the network’s 1,000 members are “young bloggers who, whether they have actual influence or not, are certainly passionate about fashion, and Vogue.” We don’t have a full list of the network, but we do know its ranks have been tasked with providing “feedback for clients on anything from new products, upcoming fashion collections, and ad creative.” Which basically means Anna Wintour has asked a bunch of twenty-somethings she found on WordPress to tell megabrands like Estee Lauder and Dolce & Gabbana whether their ads are going to get any play on Tumblr. Eight marketers are said to have used the network since it launched, and Vogue‘s business people say they’ve tapped into a goldmine of influence.
“There are a lot of people who are self-appointed experts,” says Susan Plagemann, vp, publisher of Vogue. “The biggest difference is, we’re developing a program of ambassadors who spread the word digitally across a very big network about the access that’s been given because of Vogue.”
So who exactly are these ambassadors? One of them is the anonymous blogger behind Closet Fashionista. She recently graduated from college, and has a whopping 404 twitter followers. Another is 24-year-old Christa Marzan, who landed in the influencer network because she uses what she calls “potentially powerful tools (blogging, social media) to pass on news and have discussion about what’s happening in the fashion world.”
Which is great, but so do a lot of people. And a lot of people design clothing, but Vogue only features the absolute best designers in its fashion editorials. Rounding up a bunch of “influencers” who don’t really have all that much influence doesn’t strike us as a very Vogue thing to do — but hey, they’ve been wrong before.