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Pinterest: Fashion influence through virtual pinboards

March 20, 2012

You can try to explain it to your boyfriend, but it’s like him trying to explain what’s happening in his fantasy football league.  As silly as Pinterest might seem to be, in reality it’s the future of the Internet and in many ways the fashion world; just like fantasy football is the future of… gambling problems.

So what exactly is Pinterest?

“Pinterst is a virtual pinboard,” their website boasts.  “Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”

One of my Pinterest boards

Once you sign up, or rather get invited, you can see everything every other Pinterest fanatic has pinned to their “boards.”  Boards are organized by themes, making it easier to scan through your favorite topics.  Once your friends join, you can follow them, similarly to Twitter, to see what they love as well.

You can blindly scroll through the pages and pages of low calorie chocolate chip muffins or the millions of wedding day ideas, blankly attempting to remember to remember to note to attempt these ideas in some near future.  Or, like many users, you can use Pinterest as a platform for inspiring fashion and showing your followers and friends what’s in and what’s out.

Ellie Benuska, a Los Angeles blogger (Wild, Young and Free) and an intern at Wildfox Couture, interweaves Pinterest into her blogging and professional – albeit fashionable – life.

“I sometimes write [blog] posts consisting solely of inspiring images I find on Pinterest,” she said.  “Pinterest is interesting because it is a home for purely recycled images.”

And these recycled images might be more helpful for your fashion blog than you might think.  Once you click on a pin, it takes you to the original location the pinner grabbed it from.  This simple tactic can bring an immense amount of views to a  website, making their page more and more well known.  In a VerticalResponse blog post, writer Jill Bastian explained “Why Pinterest Matters for Your Business.”

“In just a small amount of time your business could see a boost via obsessed pinners!” she said.  “Adding a pin or two a week will also move your boards up in views, making it easy for people to find you.”

If this works well for small businesses, imagine how well Pinterest shares new trends.  For fashion bloggers, Pinterest is just one step in the trendspotting world.

“Images become viral and almost universal.  In this sense it’s easy to recognize trends because you see particular images being used and pinned over and over again,” Benuska explained.  “If I see all of my friends on Pinterest consistently re-pinning images with neon, or color-blocking or athletic inspired outfits- it’s safe to say that these are probably trends.”

One of Benuska's neon inspired pins

And indeed style inspiration can come directly from this little website.  Once people start posting their favorite looks and trends, it is inevitable that their friends will take a liking to that very look.  Sooner or later, a whole group of pinners will be sporting similar trends… like neon, color-blocking and athletic inspired outfits – all things touted by even the most professional fashion bloggers in recent weeks.  Now while an individual pinner does not make a huge impact on the fashion industry by their pins, the ideas they generate flow through the pinning cycle leading to a wave of trends and fashionable inspiration faster than you can say Chanel Haute Couture.

Now your boyfriend probably could care less about neon, color-blocking or athletic inspired outfits, but that’s what makes Pinterest so unique.  If you don’t want to see neon, color-blocking or athletic inspired outfits you don’t have to.  While Pinterest is great for the budding fashionista and her loyal followers, it can also be a platform for any type of blogging that you want.  Just one more addition to the online inspiration blogging can produce.

Check out my Pinterest here

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