Street Fashion blogs like The Commodified in Vancouver, Toronto Street Fashion in Toronto and The Company of Wolves in Calgary are shining a light on the hip, well-dressed trend setters around the world.
Zev Klymochko is a Circa footwear representative and runs the Calgary based fashion blog.
"It's also a play on words. You know the saying, 'A wolf in sheep's clothing?' It's a play on that. The sheep are the followers and the wolves are the trendsetters. The people on my site are the wolves," said Klymochko. "It started after I realized there really wasn't one in Calgary, and I thought that's kind of strange for a city of like a million people. Fashion blogs are all over the world now. I've talked to people in Montreal, Ireland, Vancouver and Winnipeg and each of those places have their own fashion blog. It's become a really wide spread phenomenon."
With the increasing popularity of the blogs, the established fashion community has started to pay attention. It's rumored that one of the key players at Holt Renfrew's World Design Lab is an avid follower of street style blogs.
According to Rachel Schwab, Editor of Torontostreetfashion.com, fashion houses have always taken inspiration from what people in the street are wearing, only now it's easier.
"Previously, many companies charged a lot of money to provide photos of what people were wearing in big cities. With the Internet and especially fashion blogs, designers can now get their inspiration for free. I would bet that 90 per cent of 'wired' designers take some of their inspiration from the Net. If you see that teenagers in LA or London are all wearing neon, you may be 'inspired' to design neon clothes for kids in Calgary," said Schwab. "The Internet and its wealth of information allows designers and artists access to more ideas; from past fads to current popular trends in other cities. It's making it easier to copy fashion and art. This is not a bad thing, fashion and art have been copied forever."
The Commodified is one of the premier fashion blogs out of Vancouver, and Craig Long has been using this blog to show some of the most innovative in his city.
He sees these trends as an offshoot of the communication revolution spurred on by the Net.
"Fashion is, after all, a form of communication. We live in a visual culture that inundates us with images. I think fashion allows individuals to break through the clutter and tell the world something about themselves," said Long.
"Look at the music industry with mp3 sharing, we've seen a recent increased presence of smaller acts who come and go. Blogs are having the same effect on fashion as they are on music. Only instead of file-sharing, it's style-sharing."
So now the paradigm has been shifted and the previous model of innovation has been turned on it's head. Not longer are new ideas coming from the top, dictated down to the consumer. Now it's the democratized masses that are choosing the direction of new trends and styles. According to Carolyn Rohaly, blogger for the Toronto Fashion Incubator (a non-profit organization aimed at promoting new fashion entrepreneurs), it's just a sign of the times.
"Blogs provide so many different options and opinions that the concept of following one main trend won't exist. Fashion blogs are promoting individuality," said Rohaly.
"Magazine readership is down as more people get their information online, so those magazines must increase their Internet presence, and many are doing it through blogs. But it has only been recently that magazine writers have started blogging. For a supposedly trend-setting industry, fashion can be slow to embrace new technology."
With no sign of these outfits shutting their doors anytime soon, people will always have blogs to check out the best looking pedestrians on the Net.