It's been nearly a decade since the fashion blogging phenomenon first kicked off, and after a great deal of blood, sweat, tears and ripped seams, fashion bloggers are now an accepted part of the fashion establishment, seen in the front rows of major fashion shows, landing prominent ad campaigns and starring on magazine covers. Some have even launched multimillion-dollar businesses and become household names.
In keeping with our annual-ish tradition, we're publishing our 2016 ranking of the most influential personal style bloggers across the globe. The list is substantially different than the one we published in 2013, and even in 2015. For one, we no longer include founders whose sites have become far more than personal style blogs, which is why you won't see Garance Doré, Into The Gloss's Emily Weiss or The Man Repeller's Leandra Medine on this list. We've added more international talent, and we've excluded bloggers who focus more on photography (Jamie Beck), beauty (Tanya Burr) or lifestyle areas outside of fashion. And as platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become more important to audiences and brands, we've weighted those more heavily as well.
Here's what we took into consideration:
- Followers and engagement on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest, as well as website traffic. These numbers gave us a snapshot of how many people these bloggers are reaching every day. Some platforms, like Instagram, were weighted more heavily than others.
- Brand extensions. Bloggers were rewarded for launching their own lines and/or collaborations.
- "It" factor. We gave bonus points to bloggers who worked with higher-end brands and those whom industry insiders say are especially popular with advertisers right now.
- Google News searches. Generating headlines = influence.
After crunching the numbers — yes, we used Excel and everything — here are the final results.
1. Chiara Ferragni, The Blonde Salad
For the second year in a row, the 28-year-old, Los Angeles-based Italian has secured the top spot on our list, with more than 5.6 million Instagram followers, 1.2 million Facebook subscribers, a website that's enormously popular in both the U.S. and in her native country, and the ability to move a lot of product. These days, she makes the bulk of her money through her growing shoe line, Chiara Ferragni Collection, which is sold at 300 retailers around the world and brought in $10 million last year. In 2016, she's set to open her own store in Milan and launch an e-store at theblondesalad.com. Ferragni was also recently named a global ambassador of Pantene and is the face of Amazon Fashion in Europe. She has appeared on more than 25 international magazine covers, including Vogue España, to date.
2. Aimee Song, Song of Style
Aimee Song, the 29-year-old L.A.-based interior designer with an approachable, California casual sense of style, was one of the first bloggers to rise to celebrity — and she's stayed on top, with 3.4 million Instagram followers, solid website traffic, a popular Pinterest page and a strong YouTube presence. She also has small apparel and jewelry lines.
3. Kristina Bazan, Kayture
Jaws dropped when this 22-year-old Swiss model/blogger was named a brand ambassador for L'Oreal Paris in October, a deal allegedly worth seven figures. With more than 2 million subscribers, Kristina Bazan boasts the highest Facebook following of any blogger on this list, and has more than 2.3 million Instagram followers to boot. She's also beloved by high-end brands like Dior, Balmain, Louis Vuitton and Valentino.
4. Julia Engel, Gal Meets Glam
San Francisco's Julia Engel, 23, launched her blog in 2011 as a junior in college and turned it into a full-time business in late 2013. Her Lauren Conrad-esque looks and pretty, feminine style have garnered her a large audience across Pinterest, Instagram and especially her own website.
5. Wendy Nguyen, Wendy's Lookbook
With more than half a million Twitter followers, a sizable Pinterest fanbase and the most popular YouTube channel of any blogger on this list (she has nearly 650,000 subscribers and her "25 Ways to Tie a Scarf" video has been viewed more than 35 million times), L.A.-based Wendy Nguyen is a force to be reckoned with. While others have expanded their blogs into new verticals, like travel or interior design, Nguyen has stayed faithful to the classic format: posting outfit photos several times per week.
6. Julie Sariñana, Sincerely Jules
Julie Sariñana, 29, is also based in L.A. She started her blog in 2009, and has amassed an Instagram following of 3.4 million, as well as a popular Pinterest account. Her casual, accessible style has parlayed well into a line of T-shirts with inspirational sayings and industry-centric quips.
7. Blair Eadie, Atlantic-Pacific
While studying the style blogging phenomenon at her merchandising job at Gap Inc. six years ago, Blair Eadie decided to start her own blog. Today, she's working as the director of merchandising at Tory Burch in New York — her true passion, she says, is merchandising — and has one of the best-known personal style blogs on the net, with an impressive Pinterest following to match.
8. Chriselle Lim, The Chriselle Factor
With more than half a million subscribers, Chriselle Lim is one of the most influential fashion voices on YouTube, and pulls in some impressive traffic on her website, too. A stylist by trade, Lim launched her blog in 2011, and her high-quality editorials have attracted top-tier collaborators like Estée Lauder, Bvlgari and Viktor & Rolf. These days, she blogs nearly as much about beauty and interior design as fashion.
9. Gala Gonzalez, Amlul by Gala Gonzalez
A first-timer on this list, the 29-year-old, London-based Spanish model/blogger/DJ has already launched her own clothing line, done in collaboration with her uncle, Spanish designer Adolfo Domínguez. Her highly trafficked website and strong presence on Instagram and Twitter have helped land her in campaigns with Loewe, H&M and Mango, among others.
10. Nicole Warne, Gary Pepper Girl
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Nicole Warne first launched Gary Pepper Girl as an e-commerce site for vintage wares in 2009, for which she would model and write. In 2011, she said goodbye to her e-comm business and turned her attention full-time to blogging, scoring covers for Lucky, Elle Australia, Nylon and Net-a-Porter's The Edit, and collaborating with such prestigious names as Chanel, Valentino and Chopard along the way.
11. Jessica Stein, Tuula
Jessica Stein also hails from Sydney, and with 2.2 million Instagram and 1.1 Facebook followers, outranks most of her peers on this list. She always seems to be traveling — she has recently photographed herself in Mexico and the Maldives — and consistently looks great while doing it, which has secured her clients like Revolve Clothing and Dolce & Gabbana Beauty.
12. Bryan Grey Yambao, Bryanboy
One of the first bloggers to achieve celebrity status (alongside bestie Rumi Neely), the Philippines native and former "America's Next Top Model" judge is a fixture on the fashion week circuit, attracting a range of collaborators in menswear and womenswear, including Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Gucci. As one of the most outspoken voices in the fashion blogosphere, it's no surprise that he boasts the largest Twitter audience of the group, with 591,000 followers.
13. Helena Bordon, Helena Bordon
As the daughter of Brazilian Vogue Style Director Donata Meirelles, Helena Bordon was attending Chanel shows in Paris before she was even enrolled in middle school. Now she's a highly successful blogger and the co-founder of fast-fashion label 284. Bordon's blog has captured the attention of clients like Salvatore Ferragamo and Chanel, and landed her profiles on both Vogue.com and W magazine's website.
14. Danielle Bernstein, We Wore What
Danielle Bernstein made headlines last year when she told Harper's Bazaar that she could make up to $15,000 for a single Instagram post — and that's when she had only 70 percent of the 1.4 million followers she has now. The 23-year-old New Yorker started her blog as an undergrad at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has recently collaborated with Nike and Amazon Fashion.
15. Negin Mirsalehi, Negin Mirsalehi
The perfectly coiffed Dutch blogger, 27, started her blog in 2012 after completing her master's degree — "I didn't want to find an average job at an office or something," she explained. That decision has paid off: Her 2.9 million Instagram followers and much-read blog have attracted the likes of Bebe, Philosophy and Revolve Clothing, and recently landed her the cover of Cosmo Netherlands.
16. Rumi Neely, Fashion Toast
One of the OG fashion bloggers, California native Rumi Neely, 32, leveraged her dedicated following to launch her own made-in-L.A. fashion line, You Are Am I, at the end of 2014. She has also collaborated with several major brands, including Reformation and Dannijo, and starred in campaigns for Free People and Forever 21.
17. Nicolette Mason, Nicolette Mason
Nicolette Mason may not have the highest follower counts on this list, but she's a highly sought after talent. Following a successful collaboration with ModCloth, she was tapped to help create Target's first dedicated plus-size line, Ava & Viv, last year, and is a contributing editor for Marie Claire. In addition to chronicling her outfits, Mason uses her blog to discuss issues surrounding body image, sexuality and race.
18. Susanna (Susie) Lau, Style Bubble
One of the very first fashion bloggers to rise to prominence, journalist Susie Lau remains an industry favorite, as well as a powerful champion of talented young designers emerging in London and elsewhere. For this, she has been named to the LVMH Prize's expert panel, and scored collaborations with brands like Gap, Armani and Dr. Martens.
19. Sarah Vickers, Classy Girls Wear Pearls
Young women more interested in emulating Jacqueline Kennedy than Kendall Jenner have found a muse in blogger Sarah Vickers. She and her husband, designer Kiel James Patrick, play out an ultra-preppy New Camelot fantasy on Instagram, and the Internet is hooked: She has one of the highest Instagram engagement and blog audience scores in our ranking.
20. Margaret Zhang, Shine by Three
When she's not updating her ultra-popular blog, Sydney-based street style favorite Margaret Zhang is styling (and sometimes shooting) editorials for the likes of Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar Australia, or consulting for brands like Yeezy and Swarovski. Last year, she was featured in a Clinique campaign, and has also collaborated with Uniqlo, Swarovski and Louis Vuitton.
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