Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni launched ‘The Blonde Salad’ in October 2009. She has six million followers on Instagram / Rex

A hobby has become very big business

Some of the fashion world's most influential tastemakers are making up to £60,000 for a single Instagram post.

A recent Vogue debate over fashion bloggers being paid to wear outfits has shone the spotlight on the world of sponsored posts and lucrative endorsements.

After being called ‘pathetic’, ‘ridiculous’ and ‘embarrassing’, a number of influencers have argued that this type of work is no different to a glossy magazine exchanging advertising space for cash.

Susie Bubble tweeted: “Bloggers who wear paid-for outfits or borrowed clothes are merely doing the more overt equivalent of that editorial-credit system."

Speaking anonymously, one social media branding guru told The Independent that the going rate for many fashion bloggers is £20,000 per sponsored Instagram post - but some can earn three times that.

It has made a one-time hobby into an incredibly lucrative pasttime.

Vlogging sensation Zoe Sugg, for example, started her YouTube channel in 2009 and has accrued 9.5 million followers on Instagram. She now earns a reported £50,000 a month wage and has a net worth of around £3m.

Those with clout in the big-spending world of high-end fashion can earn a lot more.

 

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A photo posted by Zoella (@zoella) on

Social media is becoming increasingly powerful in the world of fashion, offering instant access to a much larger audience than regular print advertising.

Portia Shaw from fashion-focused PR firm Pop said: "You can see the comeback straight away rather than magazines where you have to wait over a period of time to see the sell through."

Candace Fremder, senior account director at PR firm Thrsxty, added: "In order to access large and relevant social media followings, brands are paying anywhere from £1,500 - £300,000 per Instagram post, depending on the level of influencer.

"For an A-list talent you are looking at a starting point of £50,000 per post.

“Influencers provide an immediate channel for brands to connect with their desired consumer in a unique and genuine way. In today’s landscape, consumers are more likely to buy product recommended by a trusted and idolised social media star than product promoted via traditional advertising channels.”

Whether the editors of Vogue like it or not, these women are changing the pace of the fashion industry and cultivating the position of sartorial blogger to high esteem. It’s a business model that just can’t be argued with.

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