The blog that went to Harvard

Do you read fashion blogs? I do, but less now that I live in a country without J. Crew or ASOS–it’s just too painful. I never considered writing a fashion blog myself (not my wheelhouse), but when I started researching fashion blogs for this ThriveWire story, I realized what a killing I could have made…

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Chiara Ferragni may have been a serious law student in Italy when she started her fashion blog “The Blonde Salad” in 2009, but she never thought writing about sequined shoes would be what would get her into Harvard University.

According to economists, The Blonde Salad is part of an elite group of bloggers who earn (yes, after taxes) more than $1 million a year—outside of perks such as free travel and designer clothing. A few other bloggers in the millionaire’s club include: Into the GlossMan RepellerSong of StylePink Peonies and Snob Essentials.

As part of a new marketing course at Harvard, a group of MBA candidates will study the inner workings of luxury fashion brands and blogs, focusing solely on The Blonde Salad. It will be the first Harvard case study on a blog, professors say.

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Since 2009, the blog has grown into a 16-person team running two main businesses: Ferragni as a brand (blog included) and the Chaira Ferragni Collection of footwear.

The footwear collection is the brand’s main revenue driver and brought in about $5.1 million of the group’s total $7 million last year, according to Harvard professors. That said, Ferragni pushes online shoppers to her website largely through her 3.2 million Instagram followers, her online editorial content and maintaining a public presence by being featured in magazines around the world.

Harvard students will study Ferragni’s advertising, editorial, brand partnerships and marketing. Through a case study, students in the course will seek to discern whether the footwear business should be merged under The Blonde Salad umbrella, or kept separate.

TEM7139Read more about the blog that went to Harvard on ThriveWire.

 

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