Handbag March

Dissecting Our Love for Designer Handbags

Author: Jemma Mornington

Best Designer iPhone Cases for Summer 2017

There is no doubt we live in a social media and tech-centric world. Try walking down the street and see how many people are not looking down and scrolling through their smartphone. It’s unusual to see people out and about without a smartphone in hand. In fact, it’s downright unusual not to see someone staring at a phone or tablet. It’s as if we are suddenly glued to our phones in an unhealthy way. Can you imagine if someone from the 1800’s witnessed how modern humans conduct themselves in public and private. If they were to return today, they’d immediately wonder why so many people were constantly staring down at something in their hand. They would be perplexed why some people didn’t hold their heads up on a sunny day and greet friends and strangers alike when walking. It’s laughable if you truly think how ridiculous many of us look with our smartphone addiction.

Obsessed as many of us may be with social media, technology connected the world in recent years like never before. Even the elderly are learning to use tablets to keep in touch with their family. Every Sunday afternoon, one of my dear friends Facetimes with her 95-year old grandmother. They both love to see each other and it’s more life like and dimensional than simply using the telephone. My friend says she often FaceTimes her grandmother to show her new outfits or what she is wearing for the weekend. Technology and the release of apps for the phone and tablets put people right in your home, even if they are thousands of miles away. Along with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets is the world of fashionable tech accessories. Even my friend’s grandmother has a growing collection of cases for her iPad and iPhone.

It makes no sense to invest in a new iPhone if you have a penchant for dropping things. There are a vast array of iPhone cases flooding the market, but they are not all created equally. Mall kiosks are filled to the brim with cheap cases that easily crack and do not necessarily protect your phone. Many well known designers are launching iPhone accessories, but not all of these cases are a perfect match for your iPhone. After testing designer iPhone cases from several brands, our favorites are from the accessories line PLIA Designs. PLIA Designs’ collection of iPhone cases perfectly merges fashion and tech. You may be familiar with this accessories brand by their collection of popular Reid satchels. Their well designed handbags are often spotted in fashion glossies and on the arms of influencers and style stars.

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Without a doubt, PLIA Designs designer iPhone cases rank number one for summer 2017. We got in touch with the designers of the line and learned a lot about the inspiration behind these beautiful iPhone cases. All of the illustrations on the cases are created from scratch by an artist. She begins the process by painting them on a canvas- a true work of art! The designers told me that French pastries inspired part of the collection. Wonderfully illustrated macarons burst with color along with other delicious delights such as the decadently whip cream-topped St. Honoré. Each case is also incredibly protective; it makes your phone feel very safe and cared for. PLIA Designs designer iPhone cases are hands-down summer favorites for the fashionable tech crowd.

New Tech Accessories

Tech products couldn’t be any hotter at the moment. From all corners of the globe, everyone is plugged in and on their smartphones nearly every minute of the day. You can no loner walk down the street without seeing people hunched over their phones. The smartphone of choice is of course the iPhone. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own an iPhone. In fact, when I see someone else using any other smartphone, I do a double take. Not that I have something against other brands, but I’m so used to using the iPhone and all of the amazing apps available.

One of the biggest tech debuts recently is the Apple watch.  Many thought the Apple watch would be a huge hit with the tech crowd and although it is, what they didn’t expect was how many people in fashion love it as well. Nearly everyone I know at work ordered the Apple watch. You can’t attend a fashion show without seeing the watch on every perfectly proportioned wrist. I personally do not own the watch, but I find myself becoming increasingly curious out what it does. I do think Apple could be more clear about the watches capabilities. For instance, I’m confused if it doubles as an iPhone and you can speak into it. That would be amazing if it doubles as a phone. I personally feel the iPhone 6 Plus, which I own, sometimes seems so large when holding it up to my face to speak. I love my large iPhone for everything but talking; meaning, I rarely use it as a phone. I’m constantly glued to my iPhone to watch videos and to scroll through social media apps such as Instagram. If you can use the Apple watch as a phone, it will be top on my list.

Along with new tech products come categories such as accessories. Tech accessories are a booming category. I never leave the house without an amazing case on my iPhone. In fact, I am obsessed with designer iPhone cases.  My favorite iPhone cases are made by PLIA Designs. They make make intricate cases with incredibly detailed designs. You need to take time to see the designs on the back of a PLIA Designs case. They look like mini works of art. In fact, I’ve written the company to tell them I could hang my collection of their cases on my wall. To say I love PLIA Designs iPhone cases is an understatement. I own every iPhone case they have made. I can’t even begin to explain my love of PLIA Designs iPhone cases. Everything they design is utterly amazing. Of all the new tech accessories on the market, I have to say designer iPhone cases are my favorite. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you how much I adore all of the iPhone cases I’ve collected over the years. Collection is probably the appropriate word for my tech case addiction as I own so many. I don’t plan on letting up buying new iPhone cases. They are they best way to protect my iPhone while also showing off my personal style.

Top of the List: New Designer iPhone Cases

Ever since the iPhone 6 model was released, there has been nothing but iPhone mania.  From country to country, there are lines wrapped around Apple stores nearly every day of the week. Haven’t you noticed how any shoppers are lined up to get into your nearest Apple store before it even opens?  One Thursday morning I was on a coffee run, the clock was barely at 6 AM and already there were at least 50 people waiting until the tech behomath opened.  Of course I realize not everyone waiting to get into the Apple store is there to buy the new iPhone 6, but a majority of them are.

One of the top reasons the iPhone 6 is so popular is its new design.  It’s a sleep new look that only Apple can pull off. The rounded edges and thin body draw you in immediately. It’s not a clunky phone, but rather one that looks thoroughly modern, but also very useable.  Let’s face it, we are all on our phones a majority of the day.  The minute we wake up, most of us check our phones for emails, texts, and weather updates. Our phones keep us updated and plugged in to work, family, and friends. The minute Apple introduced the iPhone 6 Plus, I knew that phone was for me. I rarely talk on my phone.  There, I said it and I suspect there are others like me. We use our phone to keep in touch with people, but not with the voice part. It’s much easier for me to text a friend than to call her and talk. At work, I can’t really make personal phone calls, so I simply send a brief text and no one knows. It’s not mandatory now that communication be voice to voice. In fact for some, especially millennials, they rarely talk on the phone. Popular social media apps such as Instagram allow us to keep in touch and give updates on our lives without dialing up a phone number and personally cluing people in.

As many of you know, my favorite social media platform is Instagram.  It makes Twitter and Facebook seem positively outdated. And what an easier way to clue people in than with an image. Many of us are super busy, we don’t have time to write loads of text, but we do have time to upload a quick photo.  Instagram is based on photographs, not text.  Sure you can add a bit of text, but it’s mainly the photo that is the star of this social media app. The iPhone 6 is all over Instagram. Along with posts of the sleek new iPhone are all of the cook accoutrements and accessories that go with it. My favorite accessory for the new iPhone are designer cases.

Over the past month, I’ve ordered more than my fair share of iPhone cases. Some may think it’s an addiction, but I call it an ever growing collection. My favorite iPhone cases are by PLIA Designs.  Hands down PLIA Designs makes the cutest designer iPhone cases on the market.  I own nearly every one of their designs. I don’t see the popularity of the iPhone 6 waning anytime soon.

Summer Accessories: Just the Right Style

Summer is upon us. Whether we are ready for it or would rather delay the process, we have no choice but to accept rising warm temperatures and humidity. In the blink of an eye, sweltering heat will surround us. Many evenings are even smothered in a blanket of humidity and pestering mosquitos. I find summer fashion a bit tricky. It’s the time of year when we can wear less, however, clothing options in department stores and boutiques are severely lacking. Wearing the wrong weight of cotton leads to buckets of sweat. Yet restaurants often overcompensate the heat by cranking down the air conditioner to an unbearable temperature. I’ve been known to keep a spare sweater with me in the summer in case I enter a freezing cold establishment. Suffice it to say, I struggle a bit with summer clothing choices.

What I do love about summer fashion are the accessories! From cute flip-flops to sun hats, there is an abundance of fresh and colorful accessories in both brick-and-mortar stores and also online. I’m a huge fan of online shopping. Shopping on your laptop is much easier than driving to an out of date mall. It’s going to be hard for shopping malls to keep up in this digital age. Some of the biggest department stores are losing money because consumers no longer feel the need to turn to brick-and-mortar stores for purchases. Now when shoppers see a product they like on Instagram, all it takes is three clicks and it’s at your doorstep in a very short amount of time. The internet makes shopping much less complicated. Accessories are my favorite product to browse and shop online. My browser’s bookmark bar is filled with online boutiques catering to the accessories lover.

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The top accessories I order online are handbags and iPhone cases. I’ve written about this before, but I love iPhone cases. Over the past three years I’ve amassed a rather large collection of designer iPhone cases. One day I will post a picture of the custom cabinet made specifically for all of my iPhone cases. I’ve been known to change my iPhone case several times a day. And what girl doesn’t love handbags? If you don’t like handbags then we can’t be friends. My handbag closets are well known to many fashionables. I’m happy to show them off to friends and editors because so much work went into making it the perfect place to store all of my bags and small leather goods. I’ve found that iPhone cases are the perfect companion to handbags. After all, most of us store our iPhones inside of whatever handbags we happen to be carrying. Summer is the perfect season to indulge in accessories. Stylish leather handbags and designer iPhone cases are abundantly displayed on many websites. In the middle of winter is the time I like to plan my summer accessory wardrobe. The summer is a time where I indulge my love of pattern and color a bit more. I often accessorize with a handbag that is not monochromatic and an iPhone case with a bright pattern. When planning your summer accessories, don’t forget that designer iPhone cases are just as important as what you are carrying. Indulge in both!

The iPhone Cases Kylie Jenner is Obsessed With

We live in a celebrity obsessed culture. There is no denying the popularity of beautiful people who appear on reality TV shows that are catapulted to fame. In this day of instant media, many of them have become even more popular. Popularity and fame once centered around what sort of movies you made or if you’d won an award such as an Oscar. Fame and acclaim today is completely different. Not that fame today is bad or worse, it’s simply a fact that many people have taken a different path to becoming famous and well known.  Our modern world has many different facets and the way people become known is different. Because of the Internet and social media, someone may become famous by uploading a video to youtube or having a beautiful Instagram account.

In many ways, social media has become an even bigger sensation than movie stars and celebrities. Instagram especially is famous in its own right. Instagram is a social media platform that you must download as an app. Once you download the app, you need to register with a username and email. After you accommodate yourself with Instagram, you will almost immediately notice how easy it is to use. Instagram is photo based meaning each post is visual. Whereas Facebook is about messages and text, Instagram centers only around a photo or a video. The visual is the sole focus on Instagram and that makes it so incredibly easy to use. When you open Instagram, the interface is not cluttered like many other social media platforms. Because Instagram is so simple and easy to use, celebrities have started signing up in record number. Many celebrities like Kylie Jenner have been using Instagram for several years. Just like everyone else, these well known names find it an easy and effective way to gives us an inside glimpse of their lives and to also promote anything they may be working on.

Kylie Jenner has one of the largest Instagram followings among celebs. She is relatable to many of her fans and people like to see what she’s up to. Whether it’s cuddling with her dogs or working on her new lip kits, people can’t get enough of Kylie Jenner. One thing Kylies loves to post about is her collection of iPhone cases. You will notice that sometimes when people take selfies in front of the mirror, you can see what iPhone case they are using. Kylie takes a lot of selfies thus you can see what iPhone cases she prefers. After scrolling through her Instagram feed, the one iPhone case brand she uses the most is PLIA Designs. PLIA Designs creates a line of handbags and designer iPhone cases. Now pay attention when I state this: PLIA Designs iPhone cases are unlike anything on the market. There are no iPhone cases that match what PLIA Designs is doing. Then last week, Kylie posted a snap that contained all of the PLIA Designs designer iPhone cases she owned. Wow. Within minutes their website was slammed and they are currently sold out of every case. I have my name down on a wait list. I cannot wait to get my hands on these amazing designer iPhone cases.

Fashions Must-Have Accessories: It’s all about Designer iPhone Cases

I’ve written extensively about trends and how they come and go.  Many trends are short lived while others remain a part of our lives and wardrobes for years to come.  Because a product is deemed a trend doesn’t necessarily mean it will have a short shelf life.  Boutiques and department stores depend on the latest trends to bring shoppers into their stores and sell merchandise.  Buyers employed by these stores are taught to purchase products that are trendy at the moment and will sell well.  Trends are good because they are exactly what brings many people to purchase a product.  Many think trends are only geared towards tweens and teenagers, but that is simply not the case.  Take a look at all of the shoppers above the age of 25; many of them have an inkling of what they’d like to buy based on trends they have observed.

The fashionable shopper picks up on trends in a variety of ways in todays modern world.  It used to be that trends evolved and grew in the real world.  By real world I mean, what is happening at real time pace; basically everything that is evolving offline.  However, trends are now taking off at greater speed online.  It’s no wonder that trends are born and evolve online- look how many of us are constantly looking down at our smartphones.  I’m one of them.  I’m the first to admit I’m addicted to my iPhone.  I rarely even use my iPhone as a telephone.  For me it’s about keeping in touch with friends and family via text, email, and social media.  I follow a lot of people on Instagram and it’s so easy to see what my bestie is up to by the pictures she uploads.  Instagram is also an easy way to gauge what trends are hot at the moment and which ones will be hot a month or so from now.  The reason Instagram is so popular with the fashion crowd is because it’s instantaneous and you can see trends sprouting from all over the world.  If someone has a smartphone, it’s guaranteed they probably have an Insta account.  Even people over 50 years old are getting into the Insta game.

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Accessories are always important when discussing and tracking trends.  Let’s face it, accessories are easy to shop for because we essentially don’t have to try them on.  If you have gained a bit of weight, it’s fine because you don’t have to be a certain size to carry an amazing handbag.  The must-have accessories making the rounds on social media and in the offline world are designer iPhone cases.  From Paris to Los Angeles, fashionables are showing off their designer iPhone cases.  iPhone cases are also easy to shop for.  Like handbags, you can be any size to shop for iPhone cases.  Last month I met one of the most stylish people I’ve seen in a long time and of course she had one of the cutest iPhone cases.  She said she had a large collection of designer iPhone cases.  It makes sense that designer iPhone cases are so popular as nearly everyone I know owns an iPhone.  Get to shopping and let me know which designer iPhone cases are your favorites.

The Selfie Era and Designer iPhone Cases

Let’s face it, we live in a digital world.  When we aren’t online, our brains nearly don’t know how to handle it.  There is probably a growing percentage of the population that has a digital addiction.  With websites like the Daily Mail feeding us a constant stream of gossipy stories and social media apps like Instagram providing glossy snapshots of amazing lives, it’s no wonder our heads are always bent down over smartphones.  If the Internet and social media platforms were boring, no one would use them and they wouldn’t hold our attention for so long.  However, it’s simply the opposite.  Social apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are super engaging and they captivate our attention more than other aspects of the real world.  I know many among us are swept up into watching Youtube beauty vlogs and most of the time we simply can’t watch just one video.  Anytime I visit Youtube for beauty reviews, I watch at least two videos in one sitting.  And many beauty shoppers use the site’s search function to research new products before purchasing.

Reviews online are the golden chid for many brands.  Big and small brands alike know that consumers turn to the Internet to read reviews and to do their own research before buying new products.  Reviews on sites such as Youtube and Amazon have the potential to move a lot of product.  If a popular Youtube video guru raves about a new concealer, it’s safe to say it will fly off the shelves.  Certain digital influencers have more sway as to what consumers purchase than even some of the most famous celebrities.  There are a handful of Youtube beauty stars that make well into the millions of dollars every year.  They have the power to sell beauty products in very high numbers.  Consumers trust online influencers and value their opinion.  And look at the popularity of selfie sticks.  As ridiculous as they look, many people own one.  Since everyone is taking pictures of themselves, they want to look nice in their photos.  There are countless blog posts and videos about how to look nice when posing for a selfie.

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As silly as selfie sticks are they will continue to sell well.  People want to share their lives with their friends and followers across social media.  Who doesn’t want to post a selfie when you are out celebrating with friends?  And that’s also when the selfie stick comes in handy.  Out with your girlfriends trying a new restaurant?  Get out the selfie stick and snap a group shot.  When you have your iPhone on the selfie stick, it’s important to outfit it in a cute case.  Everyone sees the iPhone on the stick so you need to make sure it is encased in something really pretty.  I use on the best designer iPhone cases on my iPhone.  Whenever I use my selfie stick on vacations, people always ask me where they can buy the iPhone case.  Since we are all engrossed in the digital world, it’s only natural to make sure your iPhone is protected and cared for in beautiful designer iPhone cases.

The Rise of Internet Celebrities and a Few Steps to Become One

Like many of you, I am addicted to Instagram and social media in general. Instagram is one of those rare social media platforms that has a great interface and is used by millions of people all over the globe. With nearly everyone glued to their smartphones, it’s easy to see why there are suddenly so many breakout Internet stars. It seems like there is a new Internet phenom on a weekly basis. And what’s so fascinating about these new cyber stars is that they were not celebrities before rising to fame in the cyber world. These new Internet celebrities are mostly unknown until they became famous online. From Twitter, and Youtube, to Vine, and Instagram, there are several well known social media platforms that let a person shoot to fame in a matter of weeks. We will later look into many of these new stars. Not all social media platforms and apps have the same amount of users and visibility. There are only a few that attract enough viewers and influencers to enable a person to become very well known. After all, one needs an audience in order to set out on a path for stardom. Notice how many apps we all have on our smartphones? And if are like me, I only use 1-4 apps out of 10 or so. I continually open my favorite apps up to 10 times a day, perhaps more on a day off. But most of the apps go unused yet I don’t delete them because I keep thinking maybe I’ll use them one day. Instagram especially appeals to many smartphone owners because it’s so easy to use. And unlike other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram has a very clean and uncluttered interface that makes it incredibly easy to use. When you log onto Instagram, there are no notifications of birthdays or long updates from friends. Because it’s an app based on images and not text, it’s an app that is very easy to use. As more and more people migrate to Instagram from older social media platforms, its user base will grow even more. Instagram is growing faster than any other social media platform. (Below we will discuss celebrities from the top social media sites and platforms, but Instagram is one of my favorites and I look forward to watching it propel into even further growth.)

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Evolution of a Celebrity

Until recently, the route to traditional fame was firmly ensconced in the real world. These famous faces gracing magazine covers and flashed across our TV screens are actors, musicians, athletes, models, and even chefs. You get the idea. These celebrities rose to stardom from traditional offline outlets. Kate Moss jettisoned exploded onto the scene after the infamous Calvin Klein advertisement. It’s all anyone talked about at the time. Who could forget her glossy hair, high cheekbones and waif-like physique. Her look was so different than the traditional models that she went on to become even more famous than many of her colleagues in the industry. She stood out in a way that other models did not. To this day, Kate Moss is one of the most influential style icons. When asked who influences their style the most or whose wardrobe they covet, 8 out of 10 times the answer is Kate Moss. For a model, her star power and celebrity has lasted a very long time. Kate Moss is such an icon that there she has no shelf life. I would wager that she will be in her 70’s and fashionistas will still discuss her amazing style.

Remember when going to the movies used to be a really big deal? Each time your favorite movie star made a big screen appearance, a trip to the movies was in order. Maybe you would go out to eat dinner before the showing and then grab coffee or a drink afterwards. Going to the movies was an outing and even a small scale production for many. We couldn’t wait to see Tom Hanks in his newest production. His face was plastered over bill boards and magazine covers accounting his most recent movie. However, times have changed. Going to the movies isn’t what it used to be. Many new releases that would have broken box office sales in the past now have very soft launches. Movie stars that once had enormous popularity simply aren’t bringing their fans to the movies anymore. And it’s not the celebrities fault. We now live in a more contained world when it comes to entertainment. When you once had to get into your car and drive to see a new release, you can now do that from the comfort of your own home. If you own a television, chances are it’s a SmartTv and you have Netflix and Amazon Prime. Digital streaming of movies and app only series is groundbreaking. It means you no longer need to leave your house in order to watch a movie. Certainly, the new movies aren’t available on Netflix right away, but within a few weeks or months they are ready for viewing. It’s now a pastime across the globe to spend Sundays watching Netflix or Amazon Prime. With breakout series available only on Netflix such as ‘Orange is the New Black’ there are a new crop of digital celebrities. How a celebrity becomes famous is evolving. It’s no longer about being climbing the ropes to fame in the real world. You no longer have to work years and years in the acting world hoping to win a good part in a movie. Thanks to live streaming, social media and online influencers, the world inside televisions and smartphones is creating superstars. As the average person pays more and more attention to their mobile devices and choose to watch movies at home, the new celebrities are not from traditional offline sources. Now all you need is a smartphone, video, camera, pretty face or funny personality and you can be an overnight Internet sensation.

Do You Want to be a Famous Internet Star? Let’s See a Few Examples of Breakout Stars on Three Social Media Platforms

Vine: Jerome Jarre

Known as “the French Guy” to millions of fans, Jerome Jarre has Vine in the palm of his hands. Who is Jerome and why is he so famous? Jerome is 24 years old and from France. Nearly in his mid-twenties he is already a serial entrepreneur. He landed in New York after leaving a few start-ups. All of the start-ups failed or didn’t get off the ground. Vine is a video app from Twitter. Vine videos or ‘Vines’ are six seconds long. Vine videos can be shared with anyone although the bulk of viewers have downloaded the vine app and use it in its native way. The most popular platform to share Vines is Twitter. Jerome Jarre’s videos have been viewed more than one billion times. When he goes to meet-ups, he is often so swamped by fans that police have to come see what’s going on and break up the crowd. When Jerome originally downloaded the Vine app he used it like everyone else simply making normal videos that garnered maybe one or two likes. But one night he did a dance in a Toronto bar’s restroom and it quickly got 16 likes. He thought that was pretty cool. This funny video showed him that people like these sort of quick and happy stunts. With only $400.00 on him, in 2013, Jerome bought a one-way bus ticket to New York city. When he arrived in NYC, Jerome was fine on his own without a job because he had a smartphone. In the beginning he would spend entire days outside in the city making videos. One day one of his Vines hit Internet gold. The Vine went viral and suddenly he found himself on the chat show “Ellen.” Quickly he received hundreds of thousands of followers. Why do fans like him? Young teenage girls flock to him online and in real life in part because of his positive outlook. Jerome wants people to be happy. His Vines are funny, but they aren’t demeaning or mean in any way. (Jerome prefers the term friends instead of fans.) He lifts his viewers up and tells them to spread happiness. His broad smile is hard to resist. Jerome Jarre is a breakout Internet star that is teaching people to find happiness within themselves.

YouTube: Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan is a YouTube superstar. Often referred to as YouTube’s makeup queen, she started with makeup tutorials and still continues to do them, but now she also has her own cosmetics line called ‘em Michelle Phan.’ On YouTube alone she has over 7 million subscribers. That is a lot of eyeballs. Most magazines wish they had that many monthly subscribers. Magazines are lucky if they break the 1 million mark each month. In the past 10 years the phenom known as makeup tutorials has exploded on YouTube. Makeup videos are known as ‘vlogs’ in the digital world. Variety conducted a survey among a group of 13 to 18 year olds who all preferred YouTube sensations compared to traditional, offline mainstream celebrities. They consider vloggers such as Michelle Phan more of a celebrity than offline stars such as Reese Witherspoon. Michelle Phan has such an influence on her followers that they usually purchase products she describes in her makeup tutorials. She is a top digital influencer and her videos help the companies selling those products a lot of money. Michelle’s fans and followers like her crisp and clear videos because they are easy to follow and her makeup directions are never overly complicated. In short, it’s easy to recreate her makeup looks. Her videos have been viewed more than a billion times. It’s estimated that Michelle is worth over $80 million. She is a pioneer on YouTube having been one of the first to draw such a huge amount of subscribers. And she is expanding her empire into health, food, and music. Because of her vast influence, there are now several other breakout beauty vloggers. Is there a shelf life for YouTube beauty vloggers? We aren’t sure, but the numbers do level out after a while. Michelle’s YouTube videos don’t receive as many views as in the past and she doesn’t have as many Instagram followers compared to other Internet stars. Do keep in mind however, Instagram followers should not always be about numbers, but influence. So you could have 4 million followers, but not as much digital influence as one with 1 million followers. Digital influence is the power to move product and bring exposure to brands.

Instagram: Chiara Ferragni – The Blonde Salad

Chiara Ferragni is a widely known fashion blogger. Most people know her as ‘The Blonde Salad’ which is the name of her blog. We are discussing Chiara via her Instagram because of her mass following on the platform and blogs in general have somewhat taken a backseat these days to more popular online social sites. In fact, readership is down among many of the more famous fashion and style blogs. This is because more and more of their readers are migrating to Instagram. As stated above, Instagram is incredibly popular because it’s so easy to use. There is no reading long paragraphs at a time because it’s visual. It’s such a simple way to see what your favorite fashion bloggers are up to without having to visit and read their blog. Chiara, The Blonde Salad, has over 3 million followers on Instagram. Brands love her because of her large following and influence. Brands love to team up with top-tiered bloggers and Instagrammers because they drive sales. Recently Chiara teamed up with PLIA Designs and loves their designer handbags. In fact, Instagram now has a better click-through rate than many of the digital influencers websites or blogs. Instagram elicits the most engagement and Chiara is leading the fashion pack in racking up brand engagement and sales. She is one of the highest earning online fashion stars and what she wears or snaps on Insta is usually a huge hit and drives viewers to research and buy those products. In fact, the term blogger is the wrong word to use when describing famous online influencers such as Chiara. They are brand stars and spokesmodels in a way. Chiara commands up to $30,000-$40,000 for high-profile brand events such as the opening of a new Louis Vuitton flagship. Chiara Ferragni is also a brand in her own right. Not only is she paid to promote other brands and products, but she has a very successful line of shoes that is in more than 200 stores worldwide. It’s estimated that in 2015 she will make close to $10 million. Not bad for someone who started a little blog some years ago! The Blonde Salad is an digital superstar.

Do You Want to be a Famous Internet Superstar?

1.) Find your niche. Do you love fashion? Do you love beauty? Do you adore science and figuring out how things work? Make a list of three topics you absolutely love and then choose one of those. Reserve the domain name to your site or blog and also register that name across all social media platforms.

2.) Research. Research. Research. Research and study what makes some of these Internet stars so famous. Don’t copy what they do as that’s not original and won’t set you apart, but figure out why people are so drawn to them. Jerome Jarre makes people laugh. Famous Instagram photographers use different filters to make their photos stand out. Focus on Instagram especially as it’s the fastest growing social media platform.

3.) No matter what topic you plan to be known for, learn to take good photographs. You don’t need the most expensive camera anymore to take great snapshots. Sometimes even your iPhone camera will do. Most of the best Instagram photos are actually taken with a camera and then imported through the posters smartphone. But the new iPhone 6 has a great camera and is perfect for any new blogger or Instagrammer who is just starting out. Also try to figure out what filters some of the best online stars are using. VSCOcam has amazing filters and it’s very popular. We love their filters, too. Through VSCOcam you can edit your photo through various filters before posting on Instagram.

4.) Be positive, happy, and smiley. No one likes a Debbie downer, especially online. Despite how much we despise the whole selfie phenom, everyone is taking them. So if you must take an occasional selfie, learn how to do them well. Michelle Phan has a good video on taking good self portraits. As ridiculous as they look, you may also need a selfie stick. No one looks good in extreme closeups. Trust. A selfie stick extends far enough out that your features and angles look much better.

5.) Be consistent. Instagram feeds look best when the photos are consistent and have similar filters. Also make sure your personality is the same across all platforms, also. For example don’t make your Facebook page look completely different than your Instagram.

Not everyone who starts a blog or a good Instagram feed will be famous. It takes time and a lot of work to get an audience. And not all audiences are the same. You want an engaged audience who wants to see what you have to post and is eager to hit ‘like.’ One of your end goals should be to have a long shelf life. Trends online come and go much faster compared to the offline world. Slow and steady wins the race. Also, don’t forget to use hashtags on Instagram. That’s one of the easiest way to find likes for your photos. And most importantly, be yourself! There is only one you in the universe. Don’t base your online profile on anyone else but you.

BIO: My name is Jamika Farmington and I’m a freelance beauty and fashion writer.  You can find me writing mainly about beauty, but also social media. Beauty wise, I like to share what I’m currently using. What is working and what isn’t. I occasionally blog for fashion accessories labels and write content about what’s happening in the world of style. For example, I’m a guest blogger for PLIA Designs highlighting several of their collections of designer handbags.

Fashion at the Oscars

2014 was a great year for many actresses.  Their performances in movies proved to be a pivotal time in their careers.  The buzz surrounding their movies made many of us, including me, want to see what all of the fuss was about.  And though I have yet to see Cake, the trailer shows a different depth to Jennifer Aniston than what we are used to.  In nearly any career it’s easy to get pigeon holed into only one role.  Or one role that everyone knows you for.  For example if you are a host at a famous restaurant everyone knows your face because you are social, greet people and make sure guests are taken care of.  However, what if the host occasionally slips back to the kitchen to help with very specialized dishes?  Perhaps he is the one who makes these specialized dishes that are then served to customers.  The customers have no idea the host has another role at the restaurant.  The same can be said for several actors and actresses that are known only for one sort of role.  Just like Jennifer Aniston in Cake, viewers were pleasantly surprised to see one of American’s most beloved actresses step out of her comfort zone.  Or perhaps this sort of role is her comfort zone and we were always left in the dark with her ability for more dramatic roles.  Along with many fans, we were devastated that Jennifer Aniston did not receive an Oscar nod.  I would have adored seeing what Jennifer would wear sashaying down the red carpet.

Just like many of you we are eager to see the fashion choices on the red carpet during Oscar night.  Watching nominees arrive is almost as fun as watching the show itself.  It’s a fashion sport.  Who is wearing what designer and how they look is a favorite for many.  Just watch Twitter light up with Oscar hashtags that evening.  Twitter loves Golden Globes and Oscars fashion.  This year many critics thought several actresses didn’t take enough fashion risks.  I see what they mean, however, there is a sort of set look one wears for the red carpet.  If an actress takes too much of a fashion risk, she is often ridiculed.  Do we not remember Bjork?  That was a fashion risk and look what happened.  No matter what the critics say, there really can’t be fashion risks.  Perhaps a bit of edginess?  Yes.  But true risks?  Absolutely not.  It’s interesting how armchair critics think the famous need to take fashion risks.

Two celebs that we love to see what they wear are Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon.  Remember Reese’s dress when she was up for her first Oscar?  It was a beautiful vintage find.  Because it was so unique, it was one of the best dresses we have ever seen on the red carpet.  Everyone loved that dress.  Even the toughest of fashion critics had great things to say about Ms. Witherspoon’s dress.  Julianne Moore.  Where to even begin?  She’s a flawless beauty that seems to never age and she has some of the best fashion sense in the game.  She’s a subtle style icon.  By subtle I mean that she surprises us with her fashion choices and is usually spot-on, but she doesn’t do gimicky or outrageous.  Her hair is sleek and makeup beautiful without being overly made up.  Julianne usually prefers a matte or semi matte red lip.  She has phenomenal skin.  Whatever her skincare regime is, we all need to know.  This woman has star qualitly skin that glows.  I’m sure she takes a lot of precautions with sunscreen and wide brimmed hats when out in the sun.  You can always tell the women who take care of their skin.  Even though Julianne’s attire for the 2015 Gold Globes was a bit disappointing to many, I felt neutral about it.  It wasn’t absolutely amazing, but it also wasn’t dowdy.  Yes it was a bit sparkly, but it wasn’t offensive.  I expect she and her stylist will pull out all of the stops on Oscar night.

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From the earliest Oscars, fashion has always been an important part of this awards show.  Fashion at the Oscars is such a big deal, it’s spurred numerous TV shows.  It’s almost an industry itself.  Stylists are now famous because of who they dress during awards shows.  Many people only know Joan Rivers because of her Oscar and fashion coverage.  She became a household name because of the Oscar red carpet.  Oscar fashion is different than other fashion because so many people all over the world are watching.  Billions of people are either watching or viewing pictures of Oscar coverage.  We have highlighted two actress, but many more will be walking the red carpet.  Let us know who you can wait to see dressed to the nines.  Leave a comment.  We’d love to hear from you!

 

BIO:  My name is Jemma Mornington.  I’m a freelance writer covering mostly the tech and fashion worlds.  You can also find me blogging for PLIA Designs maker of luxurious designer handbags.

Dissecting Designer Handbags Today and How Consumers Shop

I have been in the fashion business a long time. I’ve seen so many products over the years that I practically have a PHD in fashion. Fashion is my job. I literally live and breathe fashion. I know what I like or dislike immediately. When I visit a showroom, it’s similar to a visceral reaction when something agrees with me. Year in and year out I’ve attended countless shows and visited numerous designers’ showrooms. Those of us know what we love and what we don’t. We also know right away if something will be a hit with the fashion public or if it won’t. Once you are around product enough in a lifetime, it becomes almost second nature about what will become amazing. There is a distinguishing mark concerning simply good and and the best. There is a huge chasm between what will simply sell and what till be a major grand slam to the fashion public. The fashion public is a bit different than the cloistered world of fashionables such as editors and tastemakers. The fashion public actually knows what to buy and what they will love and like. However, they often need guidance and to be shown what is hot and popular. They know what will be a valuable asset to their wardrobes. And mind you, it’s not always what the fashion press tells them to buy. It’s also what they see on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The fashion press only has so much control over what the public will purchase and use. You can write numerous articles about what you love and how much you adore a designer label, but it’s the general public in the end that decides if a label will be successful or not. Yet keep in mind many of the trends start with the media and have a boomerang effect with shoppers. After all, they are the ones that will purchase and use the product day in and day out. They are the driving force that will tell their friends and family how much they love a designer label. Someone purchases a handbag and carries it for a few days. Before you know it, she’s told her friends and family and also spread the word via various social media outlets. Fashion can only sustain itself when the general public buys into a product and when powerful forces in the world of fashion promote new designs.

And this is where social media comes into play; especially with designer handbag brands. It is now so easy to share and show what you love to wear and carry. Outfit posts of the day are now as common as sharing photos of your kids and pets. Instagram especially is very much driven by fashion. Millions of women and men all over the globe use Instagram as their fashion diary and style platform. They don’t only post one photo a day, but anywhere from two to six. Instagram is a massively popular social media site that is even surpassing Facebook in numbers. Facebook is now more in favor with the senior citizen set if you can believe it. Users from the age of 15-45 are migrating to Instagram in droves. One of the main reasons is ease of use. It’s simple to interact on Instagram. The layout is clean and simple. Your page isn’t crowded as it is on Facebook. There isn’t a huge urgency to write massive amounts with a post as Instagram is centered around photographs. So you can simply hit the little heart which means like and move on to the next post from another poster. If you want, you may even write a little comment below an Instagram post/photo, but it’s not mandatory. The app itself moves so much smoother than Facebook as it’s not as cluttered. Every now and then an advertisement will slip through your feed and it’s annoying, but bearable. It’s truly no wonder the fashionable and those that love fashion have taken to Instagram. The app itself is clean and fashionable; it’s the perfect platform to share pictures of handbags and especially designer handbags. A stylish fashionista can post an Insta and discuss how good the quality is and if the label lives up to the hype. The taste makers of today aren’t only bloggers, but they are style stars on Instagram. In fact, many people don’t read blogs as frequently as they did even one or two years ago. Digital is important to style and especially handbag lines, but one of the most important platforms is Instagram. As I mentioned above, the ease of use is amazingly simple and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. One of the reasons people area reading fewer blogs is because it’s more time consuming compared to Instagram. And let’s not forget we live in an image based society. It’s much faster and easier to absorb a quick photo than it is to read a lot of text on a blog.

So while social media, especially Instagram, plays a huge role in the world of handbags and brands, print is still not out of style. There is often a lot of debate about print being out of style or not wielding enough influence, but it is simply not true. Print magazines and publications are a mainstay in the fashion and design world. Especially the tried and true stalwarts. Customers, shoppers, and fashionables expect to be told and guided as to what is ‘in’ and what they should perhaps purchase. It’s human nature that people need to be guided and told what to do and buy. That may sound a bit harsh, but when it comes to fashion, shoppers need ideas. Of course if the promoted product doesn’t live up to expectations, customers will not make the purchase. A product such as a handbag has to live up to hype. However, it is that initial mention from a famous editor that gets the ball rolling. If a picture of a labels goods is shown in a major magazine, a reader sees that as a distinguishing mark that it’s an amazing product and that they will keep it in mind when shopping. Several of my friends and colleagues in the fashion industry instinctively know what is cool and they don’t need anyone to tell or guide their sense of style. I am like that as well. But a majority of the public needs gentle guidance concerning fashionable purchases.

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The major players in fashion print magazines are the glossies with the most power such as VOGUE and British VOGUE. Their editors attend all of the top shows and know nearly every designer in the industry. So while social media is a huge player in fashion so too is print and the power of stylish editors. Just take a look on Instagram during the shows and there are thousands of pics of editors and what sort of handbags they are carrying. Everyone is keen to know what editors favor, love, and carry; even more so than bloggers since the latter has become so ubiquitous. It’s very presumtive for people to write-off the importance of print. What matters now is how you capture a readers/viewers attention span. Attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter and big brands and designer labels need to remember this. I even find my attention span becoming shorter much to my chagrin. Designer handbags especially are easy to promote on all sorts of digital platforms and in print. Remember, a potentential buyer doesn’t have to try on a handbag. A handbag doesn’t take the same sort of hard sell as clothing. Handbags are easy to photograph whether it’s on Instagram or in fashion magazines. The one thing a woman nearly always needs by her side is a handbag. It’s been that way for years. Even though I’m discussing handbags and how they are viewed in the modern age, let’s face it, handbags have been around for a very long time. And print publications have also been around for a very long time. Even before the famous fashion editors of our generation, they existed long before. There were fashion editors and writers in the early 1900’s. It takes a range of platforms across different mediums to promote and show major products such as designer handbags.

And even though sites such as Pinterest exist, many shoppers still prefer to tear pictures from magazines. Of course a digital scrapbook is great and the who can coexist together. Most certainly that is one of the better ways to shop; have fashion boards on Pinterest and also save tear sheets from magazines. There is no one perfect way to shop for designer handbags today. It’s a varied experience for every shopper. Everyone talks about shoppers only making purchases online, but high-end department stores are still packed with fashionables making purchases. There is now a blended way that people shop for famous labels such as designer handbags. And not all physical stores stock must-have handbag labels. Often online shoppers will pin pictures from websites and the goods may only be available on that particular site and not for sale in every department store around the world. Both digital and print platforms work together to fuel sales of designer handbags and to promote the people behind those labels. It’s often that you will read an interview with designers behind a label in a well known fashion glossy magazine and a few weeks later also read a profile about them on famous websites and blogs. At times, both the online world and offline world work together to promote not only big brands, but also smaller lesser known labels. So consumers get used to seeing a label talked about and they remember to check them out either online or in a store. Maybe the consumer will pin a few of said designers images to the Pinterest boards or perhaps tear out stores from fashion magazines, but either way they know what to look for.

Designer Handbags

Today fashionables and shoppers have many options when shopping for designer handbags. They learn about the designers behind the labels on and offline and the same for shopping. And though many consumers need to be guided in their purchases, the product won’t take off unless the consumer herself truly loves a product such as a luxury handbag. They want to purchase products that are extremely well made and that will last several years. There is nothing worse than making an expensive purchase only for it to fall apart a few months later. And even though Instagram is incredibly popular, fashionistas are becoming more and more aware that many of the posts they see across social media are sponsored. However, many consumers are aware of this and that is fine. And many style stars won’t promote a product that they do not like. Consumers rely on style stars that have the same taste as they do or a wardrobe they admire. Take Olivia Palermo for instance, she has style that many consumers relate to or would like to look like. Her fashion choices are chic and sleek without looking overly done up. And she never wears clothing that is too revealing. Her handbag choices are nearly always spot-on. Instagrammers love to see what the stylish set such as Olivia Pallermo are carrying. They also love to flip through magazines and see what celebs are wearing and carrying. The world of shopping for designer handbags is changing, yet not as fast as some may think. Shoppers still love the thrill of making a new purchase, it’s that they go about it slightly differently these days. They have the guidance from editors of print magazines and then also reading about it online. And finally, the product itself has to be a standout handbag for word to catch on that they really are amazing. Don’t forget, a product has to live up to its hype in order to become a fast favorite with fashionable shoppers.

AUTHOR BIO: My name is Jemma Mornington and I am a fashion and technology editor. I often write about the intersection between the fashion world and the tech world. You may also find me as a guest blogger for PLIA Designs purveyor of some of the best designer handbags in the world.

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