I normally take Vogue’s word as truth; its latest move however, is not one I’m sure I agree with. In an article commenting on Milan Fashion Week, a selection of Vogue’s top editors and directors got together to criticise the new residents of fashion week, the bloggers, calling them ‘pathetic’ and ‘embarrassing’. Cue a lot of very angry fashionistas…
Sally Singer, Vogue Creative Digital Director said; “Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. It is beyond funny that we even still call them ‘bloggers’ as so few of them even do that anymore.”
And Alessandra Codinha, Vogue.com Fashion News Editor, remarked: “Rather than a celebration of any actual style, it seems to be all about turning up, looking ridiculous, posing, twitching in your seat as you check your social media feeds, fleeing, changing, repeating. It’s all pretty embarrassing.”
The story so far
So, what is it about the fashion bloggers that has got Vogue’s back up? Many suggested it was jealousy or that these influential members of the Vogue team were reluctant to adapt to the constantly evolving fashion landscape. Rewind only a short few years and fashion week was absolutely the playground of the editors, stylists and buyers. Now, there has been an obvious shift and it’s clear that this new wave of young, hot, in-demand style icons are taking over.
One editor expressed her distaste at the amount of time a blogger spends on their mobile either documenting the runway or checking social media feeds. Although, they probably do watch the entire show via their iPhone screen, that is what’s required to give followers what they want. And you can bet there will be a Vogue photographer at the end of every runway – isn’t that the same thing?
The nature of blogging has certainly changed a great deal over the last couple of years and a blogger’s social media channels have become just as important, if not more so than the blogs themselves. Social media allows bloggers to share their experiences instantly and allow avid followers to experience these events alongside them. Bloggers provide an instant access to the fabulous world of fashion week; they capture the hustle and bustle pre-show, give us a first-hand look at who made the cut and who didn’t and, often, showcase the runway show in its entirety, all from the FROW. This means we no longer need to wait for a magazine to come out, or even online platforms to be updated – we see it in real time.
But, are the bloggers really to blame? Shouldn’t Vogue be pointing the fingers at their friends, the designers? It is after all, the designers who will select the lucky influencers that they wish to show off their clothes and attend their shows. In recent years, successful fashion bloggers have amassed a staggering social media following and considerable influence so it’s really no wonder the fashion designers are turning to these social media moguls to showcase their brands. Fashion week is changing and at many shows this season, these millennial influencers, a mix of models, actors and the insta-famous, populated the front row and even the catwalk, leaving the fashion editors, literally, taking a back seat.
Vogue is extremely powerful, but so is the blogging community and I can’t help thinking that Vogue should embrace the changing face of the fashion industry, rather than trying to bring down their online counterparts. In a way, what Vogue and the best fashion bloggers do isn’t all too different. They promote their favourite brands, and they are paid for it. Perhaps most confusing, Vogue Spain’s latest cover girl was none other than super blogger Chiara Ferragni (The Blonde Salad). So it seems like Vogue are happy to use these influencers to sell magazines, just not so happy to welcome them into the world of fashion week.
What happens next?
There’s no doubting the fashion bloggers are here to stay and they have done a great job of establishing their role in the industry, securing attendance at the hottest events and partnerships with the best brands and cultivating a loyal and dedicated following. Perhaps Vogue needs to learn to share the limelight and feel assured in its own position and contribution to the world of fashion, it is Vogue, after all! At Stripe, we work closely with both online influencers and traditional print media and see the benefit and value of these platforms both individually and, even more so, when they are integrated and a campaign or message can be communicated via the two.
Although, all being said, I’ll still be picking up the November issue this week…