Founder of fashion and lifestyle platform Inthefrow, Victoria Magrath, sat down with our digital editor Megan Doyle at the recent GFW19 photoshoot to discuss the evolution of her platform, where she’s been sharing her perspective on the industry since 2012. Over the course of seven years, Victoria has turned her hobby into her career, and now has almost 900,000 followers on Instagram.
She shares with us her passion for education and how that led to her involvement in the GFW19 photoshoot, her thoughts on social media and the rapidly changing fashion industry and advice on life online.
Megan Doyle: First of all, thank you for joining us on the shoot today! Have you enjoyed the experience?
Victoria Magrath: I had such a good time! Everything today was really inspiring for me. Being around work made by young talent always makes me feel excited. There is something about graduates’ work that sparks the creativity in me.
MD: Could you tell us why education was so important to you? You studied fashion marketing and business and then went on to do your PhD — what is it about the education system that you enjoyed so much?
VM: When I was studying in Manchester it was amazing few years — I loved learning about marketing and how fashion businesses work. I moved straight into the PhD to keep learning more about marketing, consumer behaviour and more exciting things that I’m really interested in.
I’m a big advocate for education, because I had such a great time at university and that’s why I’m so excited to be involved in this photo shoot. Expanding your knowledge, learning new skills, not only professional but also life skills, meet like-minded people – these are the benefits for anyone who considers going into higher education.
MD: How do you use these skills that you learnt at university in your day-to-day life as a blogger and content creator?
VM: I think the main set of skills I learned at university that helps my career now is the social skills — knowing how to talk to people, network, being comfortable with meeting new people, etc. The marketing knowledge is hugely beneficial as well, especially to a fashion blogger. Being able to tell what people want to read about, to plan my content in a way that it’s successful definitely helps. Marketing is about understanding consumer mindsets, understanding trends and why people enjoy shopping; I use all this information to run my blog.
MD: You’ve been blogging for 7 years now, and obviously the industry has changed exponentially in that time. How have you found adjusting to the increased importance of social media? Does the constant evolution excite you or do you find it a bit daunting?
VM: All the changes that are happening right now keep us on our toes and there is always something new to look at and be interested in, not only in terms of content, but also where the content is available, how it looks like, all the visuals that go with it. It definitely inspires new generations to be more creative and imaginative.
When I first launch my fashion blog it was very much a hobby. Not many of us did it as a full-time job – which is the big difference now. I started writing about fashion and beauty because I really wanted to share my opinion, and in last few years my audience has been growing and interest in this type of content is bigger than ever.
There are so many influencers launching their own beauty brands or collaborating with existing brands. The fact that someone who used to blog from their bedroom can now be the face of a big beauty campaign is very exciting!
MD: The rule for influencers used to be: you need to post every day or people will forget about you, but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. Even if you don’t post for a week, your audience won’t forget about you because, as you say, you can now be the face of a beauty brand or on a magazine cover. It feels as if this career is less fleeting and one dimensional now that influencers and bloggers have broken into the mainstream. Do you agree?
VM: Definitely. Even though there is so many bloggers and influencers, everybody is doing exciting and new things. Being on a face of a magazine for a month is something none of us ever dreamed of, but it’s actually happening now.
I always used to worry that when I take few days of people will forget about me, but I learnt that doing things outside of social media is what makes it work. I always recommend for people starting out to use more than just one platform.
There is Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and many more to try out and see where your audience is. Because of such quick changes in the industry, you don’t want to wake up one day to discover that Instagram is no longer the most popular platform and your career is over because you’re not anywhere else.
“There is something about graduates’ work that sparks the creativity in me.”
MD: It seems sometimes that since sponsored content and advertising flooded Instagram, creative and original content became somehow diluted. Of course it’s possible to curate a creative account and work with brands on sponsored content at the same time, but it needs to be thought through properly and done well. What’s your take on it?
VM: Absolutely. And also, if you have such amazing opportunities to work with such brands and promote the products that you love and look up to, it is a huge honour to do so. There are so many bloggers and influencers doing an amazing job and putting effort into curation of their digital spaces, while also being paid for it and staying true to who they are.
If I was to give a new influencer any advice, I would say: create content that you love, that you’re passionate about and you think it’s worth sharing. Make sure that you feel good about everything you post – never do it just for a sake of it — because otherwise you’ll be bored of your own content, and that’s really hard to deal with.
MD: Lastly, could you give any advice to young people who want to build their personal brand and online presence? It can be easy to find yourself facing a lot of negativity and nastiness online — what lessons have you learnt in navigating your own online presence?
VM: Sometimes people forget that your Instagram account is your own space where you don’t have to accept the hatred and negative comments. There is actually a new function on Instagram when you can block certain words from being displayed in your content, including comments, and let’s not forget how easy it is to block other accounts from viewing your content and commenting on it. Nobody should be afraid to block negative content, to unfollow certain accounts, report ads, but it takes effort to make your account positive. I think the best advice is to create the content you’re passionate about, and that brings the most rewards.