Spotted: Trendsetter Tamia Stinson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brenna Sullivan   
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 08:45

Spotted: Trendsetter Tamia Stinson
One Cincinnati-based magazine earns top marks for trend spotting from one so-called "fashion bible." Find out how the editor reaches new fashionable heights by turning blogs into the new black.

It's not often an independent online magazine draws extensive international readership and highly creative contributors. It's even less likely for such a publication to receive an award from one of the most successful magazines in its industry, just more than a year after its creation.


Improbable but not impossible, this is exactly the fairytale in which Cincinnati-based Style Sample magazine found itself this past May. Acclaimed fashion publication Women's Wear Daily dubbed Style Sample one of the top 12 key influencers for people in the fashion industry.


But when this fairytale came true for Style Sample, mastermind and Editor Tamia Stinson didn't pinch herself. "I called my mother," she says. "It put things in perspective of what fashion insiders and fashion industry people look to the magazine for."


Stinson created Style Sample in an effort to feature the work of fashion bloggers and online style influencers while giving them a creative outlet. It was this emphasis on online bloggers and unique approach to fashion trend reporting that caught the attention of Stinson's "fashion bible," Women's Wear Daily.


"What [the award] pointed out to Women's Wear Daily readers was that Style Sample was a great place to find different blogs to partner with different brands and corporations," Stinson says.


Over the past few years, the online blogging scene and it's contributors have exploded in popularity. This growth has caused fashion brands and retailers to recognize the power of the style blogger, Stinson says.


"It's kind of like being the cool, popular person in high school that everyone looks up to," she says, "but you have an audience of millions all over the world."


Big-name designers who previously dictated the trends aren't the only ones calling the style shots. In fact, it is blogs' increasing importance that nurtures the millions of readers' connection with online style writers.


Stinson believes it is much easier to relate to people as individuals than it is to relate to a big-name brand. She even fondly calls the many people she meets blogging online her "friends."


"I think a lot of brands are realizing how easy it is for individuals like you and I to connect with people who have great style and talk about it online," she says. "There's that recognition that you can reach a huge audience of people that are greatly influenced by this one person."


Businesses looking to drive their sales using this philosophy have found partnerships with some of Style Sample's own. The magazine's blogging contributors have gone on to work with brands like Coach and Forever 21 to land huge advertising deals and campaigns.


In lieu of the Women's Wear Daily endorsement, Stinson has begun the initial stages of creating a database to help brands connect with style bloggers and online influencers. Appropriately dubbed "SSM Pro," the database will act as a guide to who's who in the blogging world while it highlights different trends that are prevalent in the fashion blogosphere. This will help involved retailers grasp people's interest and realize potential partnering opportunities.


As if the concept of SSM Pro wasn't cool enough, Stinson plans to complement Style Sample's post-award increased readership with additional premium content in the print version of the magazine. Readers who like what they see in the online version can order a print edition complete with additional stories and new content still being dreamt up in Stinson's fashionista mind.


So what drives these next steps for Stinson and Style Sample? Following the inspiration.


"I've found the people who inspire me the most are the people that seem to follow their creativity," Stinson says. "They let that lead them, and they seem to be really successful. I'm working on going down that same path — letting my creativity lead me."

Photo courtesy of Tamia Stinson

Brenna Sullivan -

Brenna Sullivan is Cincy Chic's multi media intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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