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Feuding in the Front Row: Vogue vs. Bloggers

Feuding in the Front Row: Vogue vs. Bloggers

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.”

Ouch.

 

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.

Fashion Week FROW
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.

Carla FerragniVogue 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…

Influencers: keeping up with the kids

Influencers: keeping up with the kids

As a communications agency it’s our job to ensure clients and their products reach their audience. It’s also our job to ensure they embrace all channels available to help reach that audience. The way we consume content has changed immensely over the past five years, print newspapers are shifting to online and social media has given us 24/7 access to global news (and cat videos), but there is one other platform that has been around since before Facebook and doesn’t seem to be slipping – that platform is blogs.

Bloggers have become an integral part of online life and yet many brands are still reluctant to collaborate with this breed of media. Their value can’t be measured with the same formula as print, their influence goes beyond their readership and surely people aren’t just paid to review the latest skincare products? It seems so.

Are 18-24 year olds buying newspapers? Are they as influenced by advertising? It seems not as bloggers are not only reviewing beauty products, they’re discussing lifestyle trends, from wedding planning to party wear and cocktail making to home décor, so it’s only right we embrace this new age platform.

We work regularly with some of the UK’s top influencers to help promote many of our clients. From Glasgow’s golden girl, Forever Betty to London’s Pinterest Queen, Temporary Secretary and Instagrammer Mike Kus. Over the years we have established great relationships and are now in awe of not only their Instagram-esq lives, but the professional level in which they have grown to operate in the social space.

As for the future of media, we hear time and time again the world is changing, everything is online and print is dead, so to stay current and continue to reach our chosen audience we have to change tactics, even if grudgingly, but this doesn’t mean forgetting about the tried and tested approaches, but it’s ensuring we work with our clients to come up with the best solution for their needs.

Ahead of the curve: the Kardashians leading the way?

Ahead of the curve: the Kardashians leading the way?

Kim K and the rest of the clan have been busy this past week, all launching their own personal paid-for apps and websites. So is this a sign of things to come? Will we all be forced to pay to see content published by our favourite celebs, and eventually vloggers and bloggers?

Most importantly, will you be paying the Kardashians your hard earned cash monies for a sneak peek into their world?

Admittedly I am biased on this subject. I look upon them as my extended family (my name starts with a K after all and I do spend every Sunday evening with them thanks to E!) so it is more than likely I will pay for access to their ‘exclusive’ content’ and show favour to at least one of them. But what about the rest of the world?

According to TMZ, they are jumping on board with a staggering 891,340 signing up to the four sites in the first 24 hours of launching, despite their paywall of $2.99 (roughly £1.87) a month. 74% of those were for Kylie, 10.8% for Khloe, 9% for Kim and 5% for Kendall (Kourtney’s has yet to be unveiled).

This isn’t the first time we are seeing online content sneak its way into our purse/wallet. The Sun operates on this system, as does The Guardian and The Times, but the Kardashians? Surely one would be forgiven for thinking it is ludicrous to expect your average, everyday follower to start paying to see what they get up to.

Wrong. Welcome to the era of Generation Z my friends. Sit back and watch as they prepare for world domination. For you wouldn’t complain about buying your paper in the morning, so as we move steadily towards a world of instantaneous content online, why should this be any different?

It may also prove a useful tool for brands in the long run as they look to direct their focus on specific target audiences through these platforms, such as a 23 year-old comms professional, interested in hearing the latest fashion and lifestyle tips from her favourite reality TV family…

Love them or hate them, the Kardashians are ahead of the curve in my opinion. They are setting a trend that I fully expect to see our most popular bloggers and vloggers embrace over the next few years. For we live in a world where nothing comes free, unfortunately.

Now, who else thinks Kara Kardashian has a nice ring to it…