I hadn’t planned on writing yet another post about the Dior Saddle bag (catch my first post about it HERE) but I wanted to address the controversy surrounding it. As a luxury fashion lover and shopper I finally felt compelled to add my two cents.
The Saddle bag officially launched on Thursday 19th July amongst a wave of blogger controversy. All day Instagram feeds were awash with images of high profile influencers touting their saddle bag and declaring their love for them. It didn’t take a lot of detective work to realise Dior had manufactured an undeclared social media campaign.
It turns out Dior had gifted a bag to 100 influencers with the caveat they were “planning a huge digital moment on 19th July” and requested each influencer post images of their bag on launch day. The problem came when only a small handful of bloggers declared the bag as gifted and only one blogger (Veronica Ferraro) labelled it as an ad.
I have no problem with bloggers and influencers been gifted items. I know how bloody hard they work and they deserve every freebie they receive. What I do have a problem with is brands who push staged, planted and inauthentic campaigns. My issue is Dior tried to manufacture the Saddle as this year’s “it” bag via simulated means and ultimately, their end goal was to showcase how in-demand this bag is. However, in reality it was all staged and faked.
I’m not naive, I understand how advertising works and that we’re all susceptible to a good marketing campaign. However, when doing an influencer campaign, I strongly believe authenticity is key. There is and always should be a distinct difference between an influencer and a model. In this case, Dior took advantage of the trust consumers put in these individuals and tried to use it to their advantage.
A blogger absolutely has a responsibility to keep tabs on the campaigns they accept and declare them responsibly. However, brands the size of Dior shouldn’t be pushing these sorts of campaigns in the first place. If I was Dior, I’d have gifted the bag without any strings attached. This way, if the influencer uses the bag, it is natural and genuine.
When it came to the Saddle bag I never advised buying one from the new collection. If you caught my first post about the return of this bag (read it HERE) you’ll know I recommended buying a vintage one from the 1990s rather than splashing out on a new one. I would still advise doing this if you can find an inexpensive one for £200-£300.
FYI my pink one is vintage and I purchased a new strap from Dior so I could wear it cross body.
As a result of this campaign, I would now also strongly advise exercising caution when getting absorbed in any hype around around Dior products because chances are it’s all manufactured! Just make sure you buy something for the right reasons, e.g. because you love it rather than because it’s a “hot” item.