Are Fashion Bloggers Sooo Last Season?!?

Sep 16, 2010Fashion

Would William Shakespeare be a blogger today? Oh, happy dagger.

Since New York Fashion Week started, I’ve had this gnawing feeling in my gut that I could not quite put my finger on. Yes, it could be stress since I’m producing several projects during the week plus having to write my daily musings…where does the day go? Leading up to fashion week I was inundated with news about fashion bloggers. New ones, old ones, newly famous ones, bloggers photographed by Anna Wintour, a blogger that actually hired a publicist, others touting their front row-ness, bloggers who were cast in ad campaigns, bloggers sponsored by major fashion brands, bloggers with capsule collections, bloggers hosting events…and then I realized…that fashion bloggers are the new black. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.

The phenomenon of fashion bloggers rising to power has surprised me as much as it has magazine publishers. Who would have thunk that in many cases bloggers would be deemed more relevant than established fashion editors; replacing them in the front row and dressed up as the new guard? The state of the (social media) art is such that, “Ayzah you ah een”…thank you Heidi Klum…and in this situation the fashion bloggers are “in”. But within minutes…probably less than fifteen…they could be “out”. The worst thing you can be in this town is the flavor of the month. When fitness became a trend, there was a surge of waiters-turned-trainers because it was more respectable for actors to moonlight stretching out a fat lady rather than delivering the meal that made her fat in the first place. Now we see that plenty of the trainers in gyms could actually use a trainer themselves and virtually anyone who can count to ten fits the bill.

Let’s say you were seating a fashion show with only bloggers. Who would sit where, how would you determine who sits front row, second row…etc. This would be an interesting exercise to determine the strata of the fashion blogosphere. Now that magazines are scurrying to beef up their websites in order to compete with the blogs, it will be interesting to watch the sea change as the publishers muscle in to resume their positions and start buying up the bloggers to keep their brand at the top of the heap.

I did not start I Mean…What?!? with the intention of carving out an editorial role in the fashion industry in the hopes that, “You like me, you really like me”, said in my best Gidget impersonation. Rather, I am a “Social Commentarian”…my newly made up title. My manifesto has always been to deliver “a daily reportage on what’s not quite right in the worlds of fashion, entertainment, politics, celebrities…well…pretty much every category on Earth.”

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8 Responses to “Are Fashion Bloggers Sooo Last Season?!?”

  1. Alex says:

    Great post. Now I feel like I need to dress in leopard to get a seat and it has nothing to do with the content the blogger produces.

  2. Kanani says:

    Hi Abe, You've got a swell blog!
    If bloggers have double-stitched themselves into being last season it's because in this rush to "be first," blogs have been replaced by the 144 character Tweet and the Facebook rant. Longer forms of writing like a blog post (yes, it's bizarre that in today's world 500 words is considered "long") compete for attention in our distracted world.

    But you've hit upon something important: the quality of writing. Quality is related to knowledge of the subject and also the person's wordsmithing capabilities. Writing isn't easy, nor is knowing what's important to focus upon or understanding how to get a good story. While some people have good instincts, sticking with it takes a lot of patience and the willingness to do a lot of book learning as well. And as important, they have to develop an engaging voice that people want to follow. Those who have taken the path deserve the kudos they get.

    Magazines may buy up blogs, and they may employ their young staffers to be bloggers. However, without an engaging voice, it's all for naught. And I think that's what a lot of them lack.

    This being said, most bloggers are hobbyists working for no return (check out Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2009). So the consistency is uneven, and rather than going into a cool analysis of a show, we're apt to get "Ins, outs and Oooo! Here's Anna!"

    Anyway, this has been fun. I enjoy your writing. I used to have a fashion blog. But I felt pulled more to writing about other parts of my life. I still have lovely friends in fashion. I liked to write long commentary about what was being sent down the runway. As the daughter of a seamstress, I construction, form, and fabrics are in my blood. But for now –military blogging has led to an interesting world, and also –cash.

  3. Carolyn Moss says:

    In my last issue, which was devoted to the Internet, at Tobe, I wrote an editorial piece called: Is Blogging An Inalienable Right? In it I compared blogging to our inalienable right of freedom of speech. I compared bloggers to those brave souls who once used street corners as a means of being heard. I covered several of the same issues that you mentioned i.e. the replacement of seasoned editors by bloggers in the first row. My conclusion was a discussion where I asked is blogging a new profession or merely a way to blow off steam? I questioned the viability of these self pronounced experts i.e fashion students or some has been D list celebrity. One thing is clear- when years ago people were thought of as know-it-alls, today the latter are being paid for former behavior which was once considered obnoxious.

    • Abe Gurko says:

      i have much more to say on this topic and neither bloggers or fashion editors (print) are going away. can you send me the link? xo

    • kanani says:

      Technorati will be coming out with the new stats at Blog World Expo in Vegas next month.
      At conferences on blogging it's already being noted with some cynicism that "microblogging" (FB, Twitter) has made blogs obsolete. But I'm not sure how much of this is true, given that most of the people attending are tech geeks, not necessarily writers and editors. I would like to think that there is always going to be a place for literate writers who are reaching a base of readers who don't mind digging a bit deeper.

      Keep the good work coming, Abe. I'll check in with you next week. I have a column up on PBS' Regarding War, and will be talking with the Pentagon next week. How I went from hemlines to war is another story….

      • Abe Gurko says:

        Hemlines…war…as long as you are in the writing process…who cares. I was asked to write about life after divorce once. having never been "married" traditionally anyway…i had plenty to say. The end of a romance is the end of a romance. And by the way…fashion IS war.

  4. Teisha Fake says:

    I have been a reader for an extended while, but this is my first time as a commenter. I simply needed to say that this has been / is my favorite replace of yours! Sustain the good work and I’ll keep on coming back.

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