Handbag March

Dissecting Our Love for Designer Handbags

Category: Internet celebs

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.

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 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

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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.

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