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11th July 2016 / Musings / by Chia Sihan

In the age of influencers

Meet the new age celebs of the digital tribe – The Influencers.

It wasn’t too long ago when streetstyle bloggers such as Garance Dore and Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist fame dominated the blogosphere with their glossy snapshots of impossibly chic strangers juxtaposed against everyday backdrops. Thanks in large part to Instagram and YouTube, a phenomenon has since swept across the fashion world and transcended into mainstream consciousness, forming cult-like followings around a new wave of fashion forerunners.

You may not have heard of these names but they are pushing the sails of fashion in ways that have never been done before. It’s like that cool classmate whom you seldom speak to suddenly appearing in a Tommy Hilfiger ad campaign. Some posts are specifically themed around a certain look or trend whereas some are tastefully styled and carefully edited shots with apps such as Afterlight.

We take a quick scan of three style arbiters who are making waves in the fashion consciousness:

#1 – Luka Sabbat (@lukasabbat)

Peep game

A photo posted by Mr. Fallback (@lukasabbat) on

There are not that many among us who can credit Tom Ford for sponsoring his prom suit, but then again, Sabbat’s fashion credentials are far from regular.

Raised in Paris and New York by a former model booker Mum, Jessica Romer, Luca’s father Clark Sabbat is a women’s wear designer. A testament of his enduring love affair with fashion: his first modeling paycheck reportedly went to a pair of Rick Owens $1,200 high-top Geobaskets.

When it comes to defining what he does, “model and sometimes stylist” does not quite do justice. He was cast by Kanye West for his Yeezy show, and has appeared in campaigns for American Eagle and Hood by Air and an Adidas NMD billboard that towered over Times Square.

What makes his mojo tick? The fact he doesn’t take his newfound fame too seriously, for one. ““I never thought about fashion that much. I was way more into hip-hop or playing video games or sleeping than modeling,” he told the New York Times in an interview.

With his star on the rise among the fashion glossies including GQ Style and W, you can rest assure you’ll be seeing this face just about every where, very soon.

#2 – Aimee Song www.SongofStyle.com

This interior design trained fashion blogger is one of the rare birds that managed to juggle two succesful careers in the limelight. Song started blogging while studying interior architecture eight years ago, and wanted to create an online space to document her interoir design aesthetics and portfolio shoots. When the initial posts of her outfits quickly garnered positive comments and likes, she decided to turn it into a personal style platform instead.

The American-born Korean beauty has since collaborated with several established brands including Botkier, Seven For All Mankind, Truel Religion, Levis and Piperlime.

In an interview with Fashionista.com, she said, “I originally intended to start a decor blog but after my outfit posts got a good response, I quickly switched it to a personal style blog. It represents who I am: fun, easy going, and colorful, a mix and match of styles with underlining Californian roots. At one point I did actually want to be a fashion designer, just so that I could crip-walk after the finale on the catwalk!”

Defining what she does today is still a challenge. Her profile on the Business of Fashion states she is one of the original fashion bloggers with 2.6 million Instagram followers and 2 million page views on her site each month. She has also started her own jewellery line named after her blog, and an apparel collection, Two Songs. With dreams of collaborating with Giuseppe Zanotti, the fashion world looks likely to continue to be dancing to this Song.

#3 – Leandra Medine www.themanrepeller.com

So thiiiiiiiiiis izzzzzz what they mean by squad!

A photo posted by Man Repeller (@manrepeller) on

So much has evolved in the blogging world since The Man Repeller was launched in May 2010 as a hobby for the founder, that it’s almost impossible to remember this journalism graduate was one of the pioneering bloggers who started off not selling anything on her site. The writing was an outlet for her expression of her fashion preferences, which was deemed “a man-repellar” by a good friend.

In an interview with Business Insider, she said, “I started Man Repeller because I wanted to write. I didn’t start Man Repeller because I wanted to be a founder.”

Priding The Man Repeller as a humorous site for serious fashion, Leandra has since employed a stable team of editorial staff to keep up with a constant stream of quirky and thought-provoking reads on fashion, pop culture, relationships and pretty much any topic under the sun. Amidst a full schedule of meetings, podcasts, brand collaborations and projects such as publishing her private collection of essays, Leandra reportedly allocates about 10-15% of her time on writing for the site, such as opinion pieces on personal style which are as addictive as her social media postings. It will be interesting to see how the site continues to evolve with the team’s ever innovative approach towards content creation.

About the Writer

Chia Sihan

A story junkie by nature, this TFCS scribe thrives on uncovering the backstories of her interview subjects, whether they are heads of corporations or a working Mum caring for a child with a developmental disorder. She finds it a privilege to be privy to these personal experiences. Some of the publications she has written for include the Singapore Women’s Weekly, L’Officiel Singapore, and Harper’s Bazaar Junior. It is this genuine love for storytelling and collaboration that led her to kickstart her journey as a co-founder of The Fashion Collective Singapore. Now the chief storyteller at TFCS, she is particularly inspired by the personal journeys of TFCS Mentors, not to mention their dedication towards the refinement of their craft.

Head over to The Editor’s Journal to read articles contributed by Sihan.

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