IT'S TIME FOR FASHION BLOGGERS TO FIGHT BACKTuesday, April 22, 2014
I'm a Fashion Blogger and I'm really tired of Fashion Bloggers being slammed left and right in the media lately. And to add insult to injury, the slamming is coming from OTHER bloggers! So what spawned this post from me? This recent article titled, "The Golden Era of 'Fashion Blogging' is Over" by Robin Givhan for The Cut. The Cut is a branch of New York Magazine that features fashion forward articles. The post went live yesterday, but I picked up wind of the article today via Twitter. Of course, when anything comes across my social media in regards to Fashion Blogging I have to read it. I like to know what's being said about the Fashion Blogging industry...yes I consider Fashion Blogging an industry all by itself and if you are in denial over this fact then you haven't been paying attention. To sum up Robin's article, it basically stated that since the old guard (or legacy members) of the Fashion Industry (think magazine editors like Nina Garcia) are now using social media to bring fashion to the masses that there's no longer a need for Fashion Bloggers, especially at Fashion Week. A quote that pissed me off in the article was this one by Scott Shuman, The Sartorialist.
“The thing that was different for the first generation was [most of us] rarely put ourselves on our blogs. The newer generation is all about themselves. What can we get out of this? It’s much, much more about self-promotion,” says Schuman, who, along with Doré, won a CFDA award in 2012. “It’s me, me, me. Look at me. Aren’t I cool? Look at this bright, shiny world I’m portraying.”
"Who am I to say don’t take the handbag, or don’t take advantage of the opportunities," Schuman adds. “But don’t expect people to respect what you do.”
1. Just because Scott Shuman has not received a free handbag or two doesn't mean he isn't participating in other perks for being a well-known streetstyle photographer/blogger. I'm sure he's received tons of perks, including being in CFDA's inner circle, being invited to exclusive events, and so on...so his statement about "not to take the handbag" or "take advantage of opportunities" seems PRETTY hypocritical to me! #IJS. In regards to not featuring himself on his blog? Why would he be featured on his blog? His blog is about other people! PLENTY of what he calls, "First-Generation" bloggers posted and STILL post outfits of themselves. It's really annoying when bloggers who have "made it" slam up and comers and think they are soooo above them, and this is the impression I get from Scott Shuman.
2. Since when has Fashion Blogging been reduced to just attending Fashion Week?!?! Fashion Bloggers do so much more than just sit front row and look pretty and snap iphone pics. I do not consider the 'Golden Era' of Fashion Blogging to be attending Fashion Week. In my opinion, the 'Golden Era' of Fashion Blogging is bringing fashion to ALL people, not just modelesque figures. Please don't misunderstand me...I'm not slamming models and I have nothing against models. In fact I have a feature with one of my favorite Houston Models coming up on the blog this week, but when the average size of a woman is still a US Size 12/14 it's hard to be inspired by clothes you can't fit into. AND that to me is the beauty of Fashion Blogging. THAT is the golden era of blogging that can NEVER be taken away: "People being inspired by people that look like them." People that they can relate too...people who live regular, daily lives and are on a budget, etc. Fashion Bloggers inspire style and confidence for the people who have been forgotten by the Fashion Industry for so many years! You can find petite bloggers, curvy bloggers, pear-shaped bloggers, bloggers of all ethnicities, etc. The basis of Fashion Blogging is NOT sitting front row at Fashion Week.
3. Apparently only Fashion critics & writers are unclear of the power that Fashion Bloggers have. Let's take Chiara Ferragni, of The Blonde Salad for instance. This girl can post one item on her instagram feed and everyone's scrambling to find it and buy it. That is $$$$ to brands, so why wouldn't they want Fashion Bloggers with that much influence sitting front row at fashion week? Or wearing their brand at #Coachella, or doing a campaign for their brand? It's the same clout that celebrities have and some bloggers have bigger followings than celebs! I don't think there's anything wrong with a Fashion Blogger receiving free stuff and blogging about it and showcasing it as long as they are genuine about the item. I never accept or blog about anything that I wouldn't endorse fully on my own without the perk. To me, accepting any and everything is being a sell-out. Accepting items that you would endorse or believe in is perfectly acceptable.
4. And this brings me back to IMG's slam of Fashion Bloggers with their re-design of MBFW, quoted here (another The Cut article):
IMG says it hopes to eliminate those attendees with only a “tenuous connection to the fashion industry,” because Lincoln Center “has been swarmed with fashion bloggers, street-style photographers and fashion fans … in addition to the hundreds of journalists and scores of celebrities.” http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/12/will-nixing-fix-fashion-week.html
Fashion Bloggers were blamed for being the riff-raff hanging outside of Lincoln Center and causing the chaos and MFBW losing it's prestige...meanwhile...I was there last September and I was working my butt off! I wasn't just lolly-gagging around outside, standing around hoping to have my picture taken. I was running from show to show (up to 8 shows a day), conducting interviews backstage, grabbing b-roll footage, editing and writing all night and up early again the next day to do it all over again for 8 days straight!! In fact, whenever I asked to take someone's picture and have their card, they weren't affiliated with blogging or Fashion, they just wanted to have their picture taken and be posted in the New York Times...so blaming Fashion Bloggers for the random people outside at Lincoln Center is just unfair. How about blaming the COST to produce a show at MFBW? That's probably a more justifiable reason that designers were looking to go elsewhere. And if designers are so busy complaining about Fashion Bloggers being in attendance then they need to take that up with their own internal and external PR Firms inviting all the bloggers!!!! We don't just 'magically' show up, we're invited.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on these topics!