She'll never walk Ilona
Far be it from Frockwriter not to respond to a bit of link bait.
Earlier today on Twitter model blogger Alexandra '4th and Bleeker' Spencer voiced her concerns about our recent story on Chic Management's newly-minted blogger division.
Not, we gather, because we failed to name-drop Spencer in the story (even though she is inadvertently mentioned, by virtue of the reference to Chic's New York affiliate Next Model Management and the 20 bloggers in its talent division, who include Spencer).
Spencer's beef focusses on our commentary regarding Chic having signed to the new division New York-based Australian stylist and former Vogue Australia fashion assistant Ilona Hamer, the author of the one year-old You Are Not Ilona blog:
The Tweet was followed up shortly afterwards with an Instagram photo of Spencer, shot by Hamer, which may or may not have been part of the same message:
That's terrific and look, we do appreciate Spencer taking time out of her busy schedule to address the lack of emerging talent content on this blog. Which content has included, in the New Faces model series alone, a 2009 post on Spencer herself when she first commenced blogging.
We also appreciate that Hamer isn't just a mate of Spencer's, Spencer in fact credits Hamer with launching her modelling career via a Vogue photoshoot.
Frockwriter has, to the best of our knowledge, never met Hamer. Our commentary was not a reflection on her styling or photographic prowess, personal style (which earned her a nomination in The Vine's names to watch list for 2012 under emerging street style stars) or her burgeoning freelance career in New York, where she has been based for just over a year, with clients ranging from Rebecca Minkoff and Westfield and recent work featured in Harper's Bazaar Australia and Oyster.
But when you're talking about social media pull and you trumpet the fairly impressive socmedia stats from new recruits such as the well-established Jessica Stein (700K Instagram followers and 700K monthly page impressions), Sara Donaldson (54K IG, 154K PI's), Lee Oliveira (100K+ IG and PI's) and even beauty vlogger Chloe Morello (who claims 2million monthly YouTube views), it's a fair question, isn't it, why would brands be interested in a dabbler with 5,000 page impressions per month?
And why would Chic sign Hamer as a blogger, as distinct from say a creative in the company's The Artist Group division, which includes many fine Australian stylists, photographers, hair & makeup artists etc? None of whom, are far as we are aware, blog.
The answer, via some off-the-record comments and the following direct quote from Nadine Andrews, who heads up the new division, is that Chic has been inundated with requests for bloggers from clients and in response, has not only jumped onto the blogging bandwagon with gusto, but signed a range of talent.
To Chic's credit, the new division doesn't just boast the requisite, so-hot-right-now personal style bloggers with massive follower counts, but also creatives. Although we note that some time between last week's story and when we checked Chic's website today, Contrôle Créatif had been removed.
"New York based Ilona Hamer is an up and coming blogger with CBM (Chic Blogger Management). The reason we took her on is that we see huge potential in terms of her blog and styling and feel she will develop a very loyal and strong following. The blog is more an outlet for her creativity and we think it is really important to support Australian talent in this industry who base themselves overseas. She identifies extraordinary creative individuals from models to actors and photographers and uses the blog to illustrate and embrace this talent. We feel she has commercial appeal which will grow stronger over time, we are exploring some exciting opportunities for her" - Nadine Andrews, Chic Blogger ManagementHamer certainly boasts 'fashion insider' status, which is an advantage. And although no longer working for Vogue Australia, she is a good networker, with contacts that stretch into the US Vogue mothership. Emerging New Zealand designer Thistle Brown credits Hamer with getting one of the neoprene-fused knit pieces from his debut collection into the June 2013 issue.
With a good agent behind her, pushing her, it will be interesting to see how she develops.
We wish her all the best.