Nowadays the face behind any given product, be that a blog, magazine or designer label, is just as important as the product itself–if not more so.
“Consumers today are buying into a lot more than just a commodity,” said Marc Beckman, co-founder of Designers Management Agency which reps Proenza Schouler, Andre Leon Talley and Nicola Formichetti.
Consider Anna Wintour or Karl Lagerfeld–their personal brands are inextricably connected to those of the companies they work for. When people buy a Chanel lego bag, they’re buying into Lagerfeld’s kooky, high-fashion lifestyle almost as much as the brand itself.
A figurehead with a strong personal brand is not just a boon for the company; it’s a powerful asset for the individual, making them less dependent on any given organization. That’s why having a personal brand is even more important for entrepreneurs or free agents, like models and bloggers. Cara Delevingne and Kate Upton are not necessarily the most beautiful models out there (though to be sure, they’re up there), but they are genius self-promoters.
It’s a concept that successful personal style bloggers have mastered as well: BryanBoy, The Man Repeller, The Glamourai, all have their own distinct voice and image which sets them apart in such a crowded space.
Whether you’re an editor, blogger, or designer, having a strong personal brand may be the key to success in the fashion industry.
“Developing a brand is important in that it goes hand in hand with developing your overall personal voice and point of view,” Raina Penchansky, Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Brand Architects, which represents brands and top bloggers, said. “Your brand is what gives you the ability to determine what you want your growth strategy to be and where you ultimately want to take your vision.”
“It is one of the most critical elements of building a sustainable long term business model,” said Beckman.
So how can you tap into your own personal brand? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to effectively brand yourself, with input from industry experts like Beckman, Penchansky and Kelly Framel of the Glamourai.