Monday, November 30, 2015

On why my respect goes to L'Armoire De Lana

So it is now "official", l'Armoire de Lana is in the top 10 of fashion bloggers in the Middle East. Mind you every other girl who has a skirt in her closet calls herself a fashion blogger, a brand ambassador (I was asked to be a brand a brand ambassador just for attending an event - a non-fashion one mind you), they claim to be doing "collaborations" while they are simply wearing clothes (no more, no less, this is not a collaboration - this is mercantilism), etc.... Lana herself got attacked by another blogger (although she might not be aware of it) when she said she was "founder of l'armoire de Lana" and "content provider" (I measure my words as I have seen the tweet that attacks her!).
Please note, apart from an archaic tweet conversation with Lana, I do not know her personally, nor for that matter her so-called "competitors" (which they are not). And if I am writing this today, it is from what I specialize in - the marketing/branding/image angle. Once more, in the crowded field of blogging where everyone is aiming for the same target audience, it is difficult to make a stand. And no, the "age" of the blog does not matter a lot, because after some point no matter how "popular" you are on Facebook (or paid to buy fans or whatever) if there is no interesting content your audience dwindles down.
Also let it be known, when bloggers move to an independent platform (i.e. their own blog) I am not impressed with the results, and sadly in that respect, I am not a big fan of her site (PS: I told her before, if her website is in English why is the "presse" section title is in French), but you see, most blog audiences come from the "here and the now" and if anyone wants something from the archive they will use Google to get to it without resorting to the "sections" (Fun fact: This is how Google was invented when the founders were creating a search engine which would let them look for their own references as they wrote their thesis).
So why am I writing this? Because Lana turned herself into a brand. Which is no mean feat in a field where everyone is vying for attention. Yes, I can see people now saying, "Oh if I had her money and connections I could have done much more" - really? How come not every society girl is blogging tastefully about fashion then? "If I was invited to the Paris Fashion Week like her, my reviews would be better", seriously? NY Times critic reviewed the Saint Laurent collection all while being banned from attending the show by Hedi Slimane, so the attendance itself could be superfluous, but still if attendance there is, how many can secure a selfie with the lead designer of a fashion house such as Lana did.
She did this all while remaining above the fray, she just does her own thing and does not go into the "she said" "she said" thing which is rampant in the blogosphere in Lebanon. Here's a hint, Lana managed to secure a sure footing in a very competitive field, she knows her strengths and capitalizes on them, she turned her name into a sure brand (styling Nancy Ajram, doing windows for ABC, cresting a shoe collection for Poise design), she did that all while remaining the sweet attainable girl next door (I once saw her shopping in downtown Beirut and even if I did not approach her, I really felt I could have and that she would have met me with that charming smile she flashes frequently in her photos).
Making a brand is tough, creating one that lasts is even tougher, still Lana did this with charm, grace and elegance. Honestly, what's there not to love?
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