An Interview with Olia Kedik on Pandemic Shifts in Influencer Marketing

Going back to business, as usual, is not an option.

This Interview was created and for and published in Folitique Magazine

Olia Kedik is a fashion blogger and founder of the Oliamoda platform, where she shares her unique sense of style and passion to empower and connect with other women.

A more sustainable business model is way overdue for the industry in general. I think we will see a dramatic shift towards digital solutions. – Olia Kedik

How did you get into fashion? Please tell us a bit more about your career? 

Olia: I am a self-made fashion blogger, stylist and digital content creator. Fashion has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I can still remember putting together outfits and being a trendsetter even in my teenage years. I have lived in many parts of Europe, which was a major influence on my personal style development. I came to the US with a degree in Linguistics and decided to get my second degree in Advertising. Both degrees have been integral in creating my brand and blog.

What was the initial idea behind your blog? 

Olia: I wanted to provide a platform for women to get inspiration and fashion advice. I am a big fan of vintage clothing. Back in 2013 when vintage was still on the uprise, I shared a lot of How-To’s and styling tips about this niche. Ultimately, my goal was to add value and help women with their fashion needs. My blog has organically shifted into being a platform for emerging trends, designers, and brands to discover.

Do you think social media is the best fashion communication tool? 

Olia: Social media is hands-down the strongest communication tool. In the fashion world, social media has brought connectedness, innovation, and allowed consumers to not only consume fashion but also contribute to it. 

What is your opinion about TikTok? 

Olia: Tiktok is the new power platform. Video blogging and content consumption via video are here to stay. Tiktok is now the leading platform for creativity and self-expression, be it fashion, humor, or lifestyle content. During the start of the pandemic, I dove in and created an account and stay very active on it. It is so much fun and quite easy to create and share engaging content. 

What is the best way for an influencer to stay creative? 

Olia: Creativity is key in delivering content that thrives. I am always looking for inspiration or the next big idea on how to create content in a new and inspiring way. Following the right type of accounts, being on top of leading trends and authenticity is key to successful content creation. 

How is the COVID-19 influencing your profession? What transformations will it go through? 

Olia: Like many other industries, Influencer Marketing has been vastly affected by Covid-19. A decrease in brand collaboration, contracts being put on hold, or canceled are some of the obstacles influencers are faced with. The industry had to shift focus and adapt to current circumstances and movements. Showcasing luxurious items and lifestyle is no longer relevant. 

This is where Tik Tok is such a great source of inspiration for fashion influencers like myself. It allows us to create content in a fun, engaging, and relatable way. Things will continue to shift in this industry, however, brands still see an undeniable value of influencers reaching their consumers. The recent event around the tragic death of George Floyd is another indicator of how powerful the influencer industry is in spreading a message. 

What is the future of the fashion industry in the post-COVID-19 period? 

Olia: The future is unpredictable and extremely unstable. The Fashion Industry is poised for change. A more sustainable business model is way overdue for the industry in general. I think we will see a dramatic shift towards digital solutions. COVID-19 is forcing brands to engage and experiment with immersive technologies. Virtual clothing, virtual models, virtual influencers, virtual catwalks, and virtual showrooms. I do hope that in-person fashion shows will still exist in the future.
There is nothing like seeing the garment move on a real model and feeling the energy of a live fashion show. The theatrics of a live runway show excites me. 

What digital technologies are influencing the fashion industry the most? 

Olia: Digital Fashion was getting its momentum before the pandemic started but with Covid-19 came the birth of virtual styling games, avatars for personalized shopping, and digital sampling. Artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing of garments, and blockchain are some of the few leading technologies that bring change to the industry. 

What advice would you like to give to those who are dreaming to become part of the fashion world? 

Olia: Be unique, be you and be relevant. Have a very solid online strategy and a strong online presence is a key to brand survival in Covid times and into the future.

What future do you predict for independent fashion brands? How should they build their communication to get noticed? 

Olia: Slow fashion has a higher chance of survival now. Independent fashion brands must invest in digital channels to survive in a post-COVID world. Creativity, disruption and lack of fear will help in making it through this major shift in the fashion industry. 

How to build relationships with your followers? 

Olia: Creating valuable content is key. When you create something of value or connect emotionally with your followers because you touch a serious subject or emotion, one can open up a door that allows you to engage and build lasting relationships. I dedicate an hour each day to respond to my comments and DMs on every platform I run. Retaining your followers is more important than focusing on getting new ones.

There is so much noise everywhere and the information that is not relevant. What is the best way to filter it? 

Olia: I suggest filtering what accounts you follow. We are already so inundated with information. Seeing things that matter or inspire me is very important to me. I always take the time to clean up my feed. Finding inspirational content or content that shares the same voice and values is what I strive to see when I turn on my IG, TikTok, or any other source. 

Understanding the current worldwide emergency, what changes do you think may appear in the fashion industry, and where they could bring the whole system in the future? 

Olia: This is such a polarized and interesting time we are living in. Adapting and being innovative is important. This is an opportunity to redefine business models and build a more sustainable, progressive future for the fashion industry. Going back to business, as usual, is not an option. It is going to be tough for many in this industry. There will be many major brands that will go out of business, but no doubt many will survive and prevail amid these challenging times. It is nerve-racking to enter the era of the unknown, but it is also extremely exciting as there will be the new norm for retail and the way we consume fashion. 

This interview was created for and published in Foltique Magazine.

OIia Kedik
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