Questioning Fashion

In the millennial era, fashion industry and its people are constantly faced with rapid changes. With digital influencers monopolising younger market, we got through the thoughts of Evita Nuh, Indonesia’s youngest – and oldest – fashion blogger.

By Alexa Picaulima

Evita Nuh has been blogging since 2008, when she was nine years old. It is a fact that she owns one of the oldest fashion blogs in the country. Back then, there were not many bloggers – especially in fashion subject – that we could name. In 2013, her name made it to an internationally known style website. Then she rocketed worldwide when The New York Times featured an article about teenagers that influence global industry on their website in 2015. Reports from international media brands, such as i-D, Buzzfeed, Refinery29, etc. followed this breakthrough. She was referred by them as an Indonesian teen who is “The Biggest Fashion Blogger of The Moment” and part of “14 Teens to Look to for Style Inspiration”.

 

Sometimes when the praise got overly high, Evita herself wonders if she’s really making that much impact in the scene. Ever since she was a little kid, she has been dressing the way she wants simply without worrying on how the other people will see her. Although her family loved to throw jokes about it, she still had their support. When her blog became a massive hit, many youngsters started coming to her for fashion advice and she was considered as Indonesia’s youngest trendsetter. “To be honest, I don’t see myself as one,” she admitted. “It’s like, when you are weird people will call you ‘weirdo’, but if you are rich at the same time, they’ll call you eccentric. The same thing happens in fashion too; if you dress differently, people will call you strange and all that. But when you get mentioned by one or two cool magazines or any media, you suddenly become quirky.”

 

Right now, with the industry’s constant change and so many newcomers in the virtual field, it feels as though fashion blogging is losing its essentials through “OOTD” posts. Online endorsements make it easier to advertise, resulted a faster benefit gain for brands. On the business side, there is Wes Gordon who chose to eschew the traditional runway format in New York and instead release his Autumn/Winter 2016 collection on Instagram via a series of short videos. Or when the market was full on hype for Kanye’s shoes; everyone had to join a lottery to be able to buy one – or if they weren’t so lucky, they could go ahead buy it on eBay where the price is already higher. “Fashion should be delicate, romantic, and not barbaric,” said Evita. “I don’t keep up with fashion because I will always lose.”

“When I was younger, a friend of my father gave me his words of wisdom,” she said, describing the man as a fashionable Italian old man. Evita was told to do her fashion as if she was trying to find a lifelong lover, “Change constantly; try as much as you can, have fun, until one day you go settled with the best one.” The words get stuck in her head and become a patent to her fashion. “All I could think of is how it made sense somehow. He told me to experiment with my style until I’m sick of it and find the one that suits me most.” Truth be told, as perk of being an internet sensation, the 17-year-old doesn’t do shopping anymore. She has lost count on the number of brands that give her endorsements. Barriers including cynicism and increasing advertising literacy threaten traditional approaches to brand communications, which have traditionally relied on verbal communications and storytelling. This phenomenon sometimes causes certain celebrities to lose their style and character, and even a brand’s essence.

 

“You know, I dress up according to what I like and how I feel, not how I want people to think or feel when they see me. I think fashion should be easy; not time consuming,” she explained. Nowadays, celebrity endorsement is recognised as a potentially effective tool in communications, with digital influencers viewed as more powerful than anonymous models and campaigns tending to verbalise the meaning of the celebrity in relation to the brand. “What I learn from this all is people see through you and they capture your personality whether they realise it or not. Everyone needs a personality, I don’t settle with just being anybody. I am fully aware that it’s not just fashion industry that changed over the last couple of years,” Evita added. “We live in the era where our youth – my generation, to be precise – is all about taking photographs or being in the photos and posting it on social media just to look cool. I miss the time when fashion and what you wear was actually you being honest and showing who you are instead of craving for praise from other people in the virtual world.” For a girl her age, Evita sure does stand strong for what she believes in. Something that’s rarely been found in the era of digital advertising. She is one of the few young girls we know whose mind is always alluring to dig.