September 27, 2016
Chiara Ferragni in front of a sea of photographers via Style Shouts Is Vogue out of touch when ...
|Chiara Ferragni in front of a sea of photographers via Style Shouts|
Is Vogue out of touch when it comes to their views on bloggers?
On Tuesday morning, my Instagram and Twitter feeds were blowing up with angry posts, and it wasn't because of the Presidential Debate. The culprit was Vogue, who posted a recap of Milan Fashion Week that included a pretty harsh discussion about the role of bloggers at fashion shows.
Complaints of preening bloggers in sponsored designer clothes, constantly snapchatting and Social Media-ing throughout Fashion Month are nothing new—in fact, I thought the fashion world had kind of accepted and even warmed to the inevitability of bloggers at Fashion Week, but it seems I am mistaken. In the article, Vogue editors sat down to discuss the best collections from Milan, but it quickly turned into a bashing of bloggers. Vogue.com Chief Critic Sarah Mower called women "pathetic" for wanting to be photographed by street style photographers, while Creative Digital Director Sally Singer said rather bluntly to any bloggers reading: "You are heralding the death of style". Sure, there are some valid concerns with the increased commercialization of blogging (and therefore the demise of creative personal style) but I'd look to Kylie Jenner's homogenization of fashion or the persistence of Lululemon-as-everyday-wear as murderers of style before I would ever blame fashion bloggers.
The main complaint amongst traditional fashion week attendees in regards to bloggers is that they don't understand why fashion bloggers attend runway shows. They aren't buyers or editors, so why do they need to see collections ahead of time? In addition to publicity, most fashion bloggers act as editors and critics themselves, which is something I feel traditional fashion media has been slow to recognize. To me, the best blogs are the ones that share their personal voice and style while also commenting on larger ideas about fashion and culture. Bloggers post runway recaps and reviews just like Vogue does. So what if they share what they wore to the show, too?
|Leandra Medine, Chiara Ferragni, Nicole Warne, and Gala Gonzalez sitting front row at Delpozo via Harper's Bazaar|
Editors see themselves as the intellectuals, the cultured few who dictate style to the masses. They don't like that bloggers are taking that power away from them (especially since bloggers tend to feature more accessible brands and styles than Vogue, who's budget outfit feature considers a $500 dress a steal) and so they attack them, saying that bloggers are vapid and self-obsessed.
The worst part is the quip that makes these women sound like grumpy baby boomers rather than reasonably in-touch fashion editors, where Fashion News Editor Alessandra Codinha said that it was embarrassing to see bloggers wearing loud clothing and using their phones nonstop "when you consider what else is going on in the world". She then snarkily asks if bloggers have registered to vote or know that the debate is happening. Commence eye roll.
|News flash: everyone uses phones during runway shows via Harper's Bazaar|
Also, Vogue editors criticizing bloggers for being "bought" is kind of pot/kettle, as I don't think it's a coincidence that the number of featured clothing items from a particular designer directly correlate to the number of ad pages they purchase. For that matter, critiquing the blogger obsession with social media while awarding Kendall Jenner the September issue cover in part because of her social media power is a bit hypocritical, too, don't you think? Vogue and fashion bloggers are doing the same exact things, placing value in social followers and advertisement opportunities, so don't get it twisted, editors. It's the change that bothers you, and the realization that these bloggers threaten the relevance of fashion magazines. But the times are changing, and instead of complaining about it, you might want to adapt, lest the trendsetting train leave the station without you.
|Susie Lau at Milan Fashion Week via Vogue|
Final Notes: I read runway critiques and editorial content religiously. I have dreamt of writing for a fashion magazine for my entire life, and it's the reason why I started this blog. But times are changing, and I hope Vogue and other traditional fashion media recognizes this before it's too late, because I see the value of both magazines and bloggers. What it comes down to is this: constructive criticism and think pieces on the state of the industry are always welcome, but let's not put down fellow women and question their intelligence or sincerity because they want to be part of this tiny, exclusive world too. Democratization of fashion is not a bad thing, and it isn't something these editors should be scared of.