By: Brittany Maniet, Point Park News Service
This story is the first part of a series about local fashion bloggers. Read Part 2 here.
Sydney Carver took a chance starting a fashion blog after taking a marketing and public relations class at James Madison University.
Forsaking the corporate world when she moved to Pittsburgh, Jessa Gibboney began blogging, styling customers and working with companies and brands all over the region.
Gracey Pankey simply wanted to create a blog for not-so-average-sized girls out there.
They are just three bloggers in the growing fashion blogging community transforming western Pennsylvania from a gritty blue-collar town into a trend-setting epicenter in the world of fashion.
As digital influencing increases, bloggers capitalize on promoting brands which in turn promotes their content.
A national trend, fashion blogging in has grown over the past few years through increased use and interest in social media and the different fashion social events. Almost 60 percent of fashion and beauty brands have a marketing strategy in place, while 21 percent plan to invest neo over the next 12 months, according to Econsultancy.
Carver, known on her blog as Summer Wind, (http://summerwind41490.blogspot.com) gives readers a taste of her love for classic trends by showing her personal style as a native Pittsburgher in styles ranging from event to travel looks.
“I started blogging in early 2009 during my freshman year. I had switched my major from marketing to public relations and was interested in learning more about the field,” Carver said.
She discovered some public relations blogs that introduced her to the idea of a blog.
“One day while googling for ‘monogrammed’ towels, I came upon a blog that I really enjoyed,” Carver said.
From there she decided it was time to start one of her own. The name Summer Wind comes from the Frank Sinatra song “Summer Wind.”
“My style is timeless and classic with youthful and preppy influences,” Carver said.
She loves designers Ralph Lauren and Carolina Herrera as well, as style icons like Jackie O and Samantha Stevens. Additionally, she’s drawn to pop culture influences like Blair Waldorf from the hit TV series Gossip Girl, who wears preppier outfits.
“Fashion is very much a part of my life, especially since blogging is one of my jobs. I pay attention to the fashion industry, but also still try to stay true to my own personal taste and style,” Carver said.
Mary Fremeau a fellow blogger who reads Carver’s blog loves the simplicity and ease of reading her posts.
“They’re not too long, which is perfect for a blogger who wants to stay up-to-date myself, but for someone who also has a full-time job,” said Fremeau. She feels Carver is a lot more realistic than some of the fashion bloggers out there.
“My favorite posts have been when she has worn and re-purposed her pleated black leather skirt. She wore it with a red buffalo plaid shirt, a black sweater and a white and black lace top that was so adorable,” said Fremeau.
Through blogging, Carver has enjoyed meeting new people, making friends, traveling and attending New York Fashion Week. She’s also traveled to the Bahamas and Florida and New through collaborations with brands.
“I think a lot of things are changing for the better in Pittsburgh and that includes the fashion industry,” Carver said.
While Carver believes Pittsburgh is still lacking in comparison to large cities such as New York and Los Angeles, the city is slowly catching up.
“I live and breathe Pittsburgh and I love to share my love for the city on Summer Wind, something I think sets me apart from other fashion bloggers,” Carver said.