Getting a celebrity to endorse a product has always been an effective way for brands to market themselves. It’s the “Jordan” in Nike Air Jordans that makes them a collectors item even to this day - and there’s a reason even people who weren’t alive in the 80s know that nothing gets between Brooke Shields and her Calvins. Even better is when brands can get celebrities to collaborate with them, like Kate Moss for TopShop or Alexa Chung for Madewell.
Still… celebrity isn’t quite what it used to be. While there’s no denying that A-list movie stars and models have selling power, now anyone with a computer has the opportunity to build a following that brands simply can’t ignore. Take, for example, these nine bloggers, vloggers, and Instagrammers who all collaborated with major brands in 2014 to create some pretty stylish – and quick to fly off the shelves – collections.
Peace Love Shea + Steve Madden
Peace Love Shea is Shea Marie, a Los Angeles-based fashion blogger who worked in fashion PR and trend consulting (while bartending on the weekends) before her website blew up and became a full-time job. Marie who now runs her own business has her hands in many pots: stylist, consultant, TV host, photographer, model, and editor. And, as of this fall: Steve Madden designer.
Though Marie is every bit the quintessential California girl (the styles are all named after L.A. streets), she also has a dark and edgy side to her, which was the inspiration for her Steve Madden capsule collection. While it was a dream of hers to work with Steve Madden, a brand she says she “grew up idolizing,” it’s fair to say that that the three million impressions she gets across her social media platforms every day make it a dream partnership for Steve Madden as well.
Bethany Mota + Aeropostale
Bethany Mota has over 8 million YouTube subscribers, 4 million Instagram followers, and is one of the most recognizable names on social media for tweens and teens thanks to her candid and bubbly personality. And, thanks to her recent stint on “Dancing with the Stars,” now adults know and love her as well.
Due to declining profits, teen retailer Aeropostale was looking for way to jump start sales. Enter, a partnership with Mota, who, did we mention, gets an average of 500,000 likes on every Instagram pic?
The line gives teens a chance to emulate Bethany’s personal style, which is both cool and accessible (now even more so!). And considering Bethany shoots most of her YouTube videos in her room, it only made sense that she create a home collection line with the brand as well.
All in all, the collections generated more than $50 million sales in 2014. Not too shabby for a girl who creates videos while sitting on her bed.
Cupcakes & Cashmere + Club Monaco
Emily Schuman started Cupcakes & Cashmere in 2008 as a way to catalog and share her favorite things. Now, Schuman receives over 5 million pageviews a month on her website that she describes as “more than a blog… a mantra and aesthetic that celebrates the little pleasures in life.”
One of those pleasures is her recent collaboration with Club Monaco, a brand that perfectly aligns with Cupcakes and Cashmere due to its understated, functional, but also fashionable clothing and accessories. Schuman only designed six pieces (including a trench and a faux-croc pencil skirt), but they were staples than any Cupcakes and Cashmere devotee had to have.
Into the Gloss + Warby Parker
Emily Weiss, founder and creative director of Into the Gloss, describes the readership of her beauty site as a “cult following.” We, however, think it’s fair to say that they didn’t get $8.4 million in venture capital financing in November thanks to a small group of loyal followers, but rather thanks to the fact that Into the Gloss has become a must-read for beauty lovers to the tune of 10 million pageviews a month.
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It only makes sense that when Warby Parker wanted to design a aviator-inspired optical frames that they turned to the totally chic Weiss to do a collaboration. After all, Weiss says she “has long been of the mindset that aviators are like leather jackets—when they're perfect, they give you "instant cool." It took over a year to come up with the final glasses (two styles and two colors) with most styles selling out immediately.
Bip Ling + Pretty Ballerina
Bip Ling started as a DJ when she was 17, but now, at 25, is a musican, film star, blogger, vlogger, model, and thanks to a collaboration with Pretty Ballerina, a shoe designer. The ballet flats are all about classic silhouettes with fashion-forward textures and patterns, so it seems there was no better place for Ling’s animated mascot, Mooch, to make his first appearance off of the site. And considering the ballet flats sell from $200-$300, we seriously hope Mooch is getting part of the cut.
Nicolette Mason + Modcloth
Nicolette Mason started her blog in 2009 as a way to explore her love of design. However, as her career in fashion took off, so did her readership. Mod Cloth co-founder Susan Koger was among those readers who considered herself a huge fan of Mason’s personal style, which is why she reached out to see if Mason would be interested in collaborating on an affordable (nothing over $150!) 11-piece collection ranging in sizes from XS to 4X. Nicolette said yes. The result? Super fun designs inspired by the concept of an “all girl gang” that are like if girlie met “Grease.”
Man Repeller + Nina Ricci
Man Repeller was founded by Leandra Madine for women who love fashion and DGAF if it’s attractive to the opposite sex, or really anyone else for that matter. Thanks to Madrine’s wicked sense of humor and eye for style, it’s taken off amongst the fashion set.
In a first of its kind collaboration, Nina Ricci invited Medine to create her own version of its iconic bag, Le Marché. The crazy part? They gave Medine carte blanche to design whatever she wanted. Man Repeller editor Amelia Diamond describes it best when she says, “Leandra and [Nina Ricca designer Peter] (if I may) made a bag together — they’re calling it Le Marché x Man Repeller. I made a sandwich once. I called it: Peanut Buttér x Jelly.”
The limited edition bag is still available on Net-a-Porter and can be yours for just $3,990.
Fashion Toast + Sunday Somewhere
Rumi Neely is the star of Fashion Toast, a style blog that shows off her (seemingly) effortless perfect outfits. Originally Sunday Somewhere just sent her some of their glasses in an attempt to get featured on her site since they felt like they were totally fit with her California-girl style. When they found out Neely was a fan, they reached out and a collaboration was born.
The Blonde Salad + Steve Madden
Chiara Ferragni’s website The Blonde Salad serves as “a source of inspiration and style for millions of people in Italy and around the world.” It’s also the reason Ferragni will make $8 million in 2014. Well, part of the reason. The other part is Ferragni’s shoe line she launched in 2013 in partnership with Lorenzo Barindelli and Paolo Barletta that retail for $220 to $500.
However, since her shoes aren’t coming to the U.S until 2015, Ferragni found time this year to do a 10-style capsule collection with Steve Madden in February. 16,000 pairs were sold in the first two weeks. Not too bad for a women who launched her blog in 2009 as a way “to express herself.”
Got a favorite brand collaboration we missed? Let us know in the comments.