Tumblr: Walking the catwalk at the first New York Fashion Week for men
Tumblr, which has been sending a handful of bloggers to cover New York Fashion Week for nine consecutive seasons, is bringing its brand of content to the first annual New York Fashion Week for men.
Tumblr recruited a diverse assortment of on-the-rise bloggers — called “creators” in Tumblrspeak — to get behind-the-scenes coverage of the runways. This week, six creators — a GIF maker, photographers, an illustrator, a stylish Tumblr-obsessed math teacher and musician Twin Shadow (the platform’s first fashion week celebrity guest blogger) — will be posting fashion week content on behalf of Tumblr with the hashtag #NYFWM.
Tumblr’s twice-yearly fashion week coverage is coordinated by Valentine Uhovski, the company’s fashion evangelist. Uhovski said that Tumblr, as a platform, contributes to fashion week coverage with GIFs, videos, photos and illustrations,
The lasting nature of Tumblr’s fashion content has helped bloggers get discovered by brands.In 2013, Tumblr sent a fresh batch of bloggers to cover fall fashion week, as well as brought back the biggest bloggers of fashion weeks past and matched them with designers for intimate, close-up coverage, like photographer Miguel Yatco, who continues to work with Oscar de la Renta and whose fashion week Tumblr posts rack up thousands of shares.
Other Tumblr bloggers have gone on from New York Fashion Week to create commissioned work for brands like Ralph Lauren and Nars. It can almost be considered a mini-incubator program for budding influencers; Uhovski calls bloggers who have covered previous fashion weeks for Tumblr “graduates” of the program.
“In the fashion category, Tumblr has the leg up,” said Gian LaVecchia, head of digital marketing at MEC North America. “Look at the Vogues and Cosmopolitans: Tumblr is the modern interpretation of magazine art. Commissioned content feels like a natural extension.”
The migration of Tumblr’s NYFW blogger to brand representative is already underway at the first men’s fashion week, happening now. Axe Fragrance, which is NYFW: Men’s official “grooming partner” has recruited two past Tumblr NYFW bloggers to create content surrounding its fashion week events.
Marni Seidel, senior brand manager for Axe Deo and Masterbrand at Unilever, said Axe chose to team with Tumblr because of its millennial community.
“Tumblr’s communities allow Axe to reach and connect with millennial guys with a variety of passion points in a strongly visual way,” said Seidel. “For men’s fashion week, we’re using Tumblr to tell the story of individual style through our lens, while also bringing a fresh perspective through the eyes of the Tumblr Creatr artists.”
Creatr, launched this year, is Tumblr’s collective of emerging influencers that matches bloggers with brands for commissioned work and sponsored content. This week, Axe is working with Creatr bloggers Joel Castillo and Ryan Plett.
“What we really like about them is how their work tells a story,” said Seidel. “Ryan has an eye for capturing detailed clothes and the people wearing them, while Joel captures cutting edge trends and grooming techniques through awesome visuals. Tumblr users obviously care about style and looking good, and it’s a natural place for us to connect with them.”
Uhovski said during a Women’s Health panel this summer that in targeting the bloggers for fashion week, Tumblr doesn’t just pinpoint the most popular, but gathers creatives from all ranges of follower counts and backgrounds. When Tumblr gives bloggers a prominent platform to post on, like fashion week coverage, that opens the doors for more opportunities (Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton once covered fashion week for Tumblr).
Uhovski believes Tumblr’s edge over other platforms is that the content shared by bloggers lasts much longer.
“On other platforms, your content virtually disappears after a day,” said Uhovski. “Tumblr content isn’t really focused on breaking news coverage that other platforms are focused on. It’s focused on really beautiful, eternal content for reblogging and sharing.”
Content that remains prominent in searched tags provides a visibility boost for brands to find the talent they’re looking for, according to LaVecchia.
“It’s not designed to be a live feed like Twitter, which is the pulse of real time, he said. “Tumblr is designed to have broader longevity, and there’s not a clear expiration date. Most other content out there has an expiration date.”
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