It happened again, just like it happened in 2013 and long before that as well. Bloggers vs editors war is on. In 2009 fashion bloggers were acknowledge as a kind of “threat” of traditional media, as disturbing newcomers who somehow have found a way to get into a very closed industry. Back then a few “self-made editor” like Bryan Boy had the privilege to sit beside of Anna Wintour, right in the first row. The fashion world was rather surprised and kind of elaborated on the change that was clearly approaching, so things have got back to normal quite fast.
For a while it was silent and everyone was doing what does the best. Editors were focused on the collections and bloggers were focused on boosting their social media channels for being the shortest (and most efficient) link between brands and customers.
But “blog” has become a dirty word in 2013 because a very well respected fashion critic, Suzy Menkes, got fed up with the ways new generations identify with fashion. Menkes has been in the fashion industry for decades and it was clearly a way too traditional point of view against a new, hardly understandable phenomenon. In a few points I actually agree with Menkes, as I personally experienced how crazy (in a bad way) it can get before and after the shows at fashion weeks. The ambition to get photographed has no limits and this results in some seriously questionable creations and moves some people fear not to take. We do not have to accept tasteless “peacocking” but we need to realise that those people who dare to be so very different are individuals, celebrating the freedom of style in their own ways. This is what fashion is about, right? Authenticity. Those who are not fitting will just fall eventually, like in any other business.
Suzy Menkes had a point back than, at the same time her sharp critic exposed how threatened editors feel by blogs, as new mediums. And now the latest fire that came from respected editors via the US Vogue itself is kind of an echo of the same thoughts. Except the plain way these critics were written. Comparing the most successful bloggers (who actually can get access to first row) to strippers, or calling them “pathetic” is quite a low level offense, it is disgraceful and has no style at all. As I am blogging myself I know exactly what a commitment and work it is to blog. When you work alone you are your own web-designer/developer, editor, stylist, photographer, social media manager and more. It is a serious engagement if you want to do it good. How can someone, who actually knows the industry ignore this?
The way I see it: these fashion editors who’s job is to write critics of collections are now like little
mean “elite” girls, trying to sabotage a not so elite girl (bloggers) in school. But why do they do it? Because this non-elite girl comes from a different background but she always does her homework and prepares for class, so teachers (brands) like her. Teachers also like her cause she is very popular between all the other kids in school (customers). Other kids can identify with her, they learn from her, they kind of want to be like her. And this puts the elite girls into a threatening position: they were always the ones with roots and traditions, they always knew more than others and they were mysterious thus interesting – they had a special position. And now they do not seem to be so special anymore cause hey: a non-elite girl could reach the same high as only elite girls before.
My question is: why can’t they just accept the facts and try to figure out something that would make traditional fashion editors get their highly valued position back where it was before bloggers? Why can’t bloggers and editors do their otherwise different jobs in peace.. or let me be outrageous here: why can’t they work together? Why did editors choose war instead of doing something more and better than bloggers can do? Instead of firing hate-bombs that would be something stylish to do.
Few reactions from bloggers
Please read!! Dear a certain few Vogue.com editors- The only thing that is “pathetic” here is this jealous, catty and hypocritical article you’ve just published. You are exactly the type of people that have given the fashion world the cold, unwelcoming and ruthless reputation it has had in the past. Thankfully those times are changing. I’m sorry if you can’t accept that what a “public figure” wears on the street is undoubtedly more influential than your post-fashion week column. That the fashion world isn’t controlled by you alone anymore. You even criticize the brands, for what? For having figured out the obvious: (news flash!) what people choose to wear and purchase is greatly inspired by the people they admire- the public figures (influencers, actors/actresses, musicians, bloggers, models). I respect you all deeply and the hard work you put into the industry. I look up to you. Which is why I feel so taken aback now at how tasteless and classless the words are that you chose. I would think an institution such as Vogue would respect young entrepreneurs instead of belittling them. It’s ironic how you make degrading comments about influencers, and then put them on your international covers to boost sales. And to echo the statements of others- how many of your covers are paid for “head to toe looks” by brands? What about the daily “street style” pictures and articles on your website homepage. Why? Because-guess what?-that’s what gets the clicks. As for your “get a real career” comment- I’m not sure exactly who you’re referring to; surely not me or someone like me. I built and design my own successful line, I style and creative consult for countless brands, and am invested in numerous other successful businesses behind the scenes. I grew up in a small town and came from nothing- I’d call that pretty impressive and admirable. I take pride in giving hope to young women around the world that they too can build something from nothing. I think I speak for “us” all when I say the bottom line here is that if you weren’t threatened you wouldn’t care at all. ✌🏻️ (📸 from New York by @sinx1002)
As I sat with friends watching the debate last night, I felt anxiety about the future of our country. Watching two presidential hopefuls argue over tax reform, immigration and racial profiling amongst petty insults and interruptions was discouraging to say the least. On a more personal level, I woke up this morning to the published commentary of Vogue and Vogue.com editors essentially bullying “bloggers” and I thought, if women can’t even support each other in a female-centric industry, then we really are screwed. I’ve always felt the word “blogger” is reductive and non-descriptive of what I and many others like myself do. I am an entrepreneur, an influencer, a business woman…and yes, I have a blog too. It saddens me that a respected institution such as Vogue would insult bloggers and attempt to discourage young woman from forging their own career paths, by expressing themselves through what Vogue represents; personal style fashion. I’ve always felt my “brand” to be slightly more commercial than high end, but that doesn’t mean I don’t aspire to work with Vogue one day. And on some level I get it; parading around for street style photographers outside a show may look silly to some, but this exchange between photographers, models, celebrities, editors and, yes, bloggers serves a necessary purpose in this industry. From a practical perspective, it provides content for websites like Vogue.com and from an artistic perspective provides a large platform for brands to display their most recent collections. I’d like to give Vogue the benefit of the doubt here, and say that a few old-school editors representing an archaic mindset of the prestigious publication rattled off some thoughtless, bitter comments. Perhaps they’ll change their opinions after reading the responses of countless bloggers, followers, and readers alike who are firing back with their own opinions on who and what matters in our industry. I think it’s safe to say almost every designer, brand, and model in the fashion industry owes some of their success to the rise of social media and digital content. No one should be made to feel ashamed of that. And yes, I am registered to vote.
[Mini Preface here: I was waiting to post this pic as my very own warm spirited “Ciao, Milano!” But now it seems even more apropos… ] Dear @voguemagazine, since you hold a special and significant place in my heart, may I pose a question? If certain people on your team hate bloggers & influencers so much, I’m just curious why you put them on your international covers to increase sales. I’m not a blogger but I find your recent statements old fashioned and just plain rude. Most of the bloggers I know are hard working young entrepreneurs. I find it shameful that an institution such as Vogue would demean and belittle these young people who are building their own paths, especially since they are mostly young women, calling them “pathetic” and comparing them to strippers. This certainly isn’t the Vogue voice my great-grandmother once stood for. One contributor writes that she envies the Italian woman who enjoys life…maybe less complaining and worrying about what other people are doing would help to quell this jealousy. I say live and let live! I think all chic women, Italian and otherwise, would agree. Xoxo, the girl who wore a full body fishnet at 9am. Photo by @timuremek_photography