|Photo via Style Bubble from Refinery 29|
Fashion bloggers have been having a tough time over the last few weeks, their role in the fashion industry brought into sharp focus by that article by a sharp-tongued Suzy Menkes. My two cents can be summed up as follows: Suzy Menkes is entitled to her opinion – if she finds fashion bloggers annoying and in her face, so be it – but she does seem to have conveniently forgotten the following:
1. Fashion, more than any other creative industry, is, by its nature, full of peacocks – some are bloggers, some are editors, stylists and wannabes – posing and preening for an audience that includes themselves and others. And I really see no difference between fashion bloggers parading the fashion week circuit and club kids out on a Saturday night – they’re dressing up for fun and to be noticed and, contrary to what Menkes says, I can’t think of anything that makes the club kids more authentic than the fashion bloggers (or editors, stylists etc) – what of it if they’ve contrived a more-outlandish-than-usual outfit? And if you prefer to be a black crow, well, nobody’s stopping you. Being a peacock might be annoying in the way we tend to find any kind of show-off annoying, but it’s nothing to feel guilty about, especially if, like many of the bloggers I saw at LFW, it’s done in a sweet and gracious way – less of the judging, people.
2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but magazines and newspapers are often very much at the mercy of their advertisers – to the extent that I know of one weekend supplement beauty editor who left her position because she could not handle the extent of control the advertisers had over editorial. A stand-alone blogger can probably exercise more editorial independence than many a journalist faced with pressure from their editors and sales team.
3. Fashion journalists and editors are often on the receiving end of freebies, gifts and samples and, as far as I understand, are not required or expected, nor rarely choose, to disclose. I think that the transparency of fashion bloggers is paving a way to a new (and better) way of doing things. So, well done, fashion bloggers. I’m guessing the key is not to come off as bragging and showing off. A little humbleness is good.
Anyway, enough about that. The point of this post is to affirm the position of fashion blogs in the industry and the simplest way I can see to do that – praise for creative, inspiring and beautiful online editorial content aside – is to demonstrate how fashion bloggers connect readers (this reader in particular) with products they want to buy. Discovering well chosen and cleverly styled items that I find inspiring and desirable is one of the reasons I visit fashion blogs, and this is why the fashion blogosphere will continue to bloom and be relevant to the industry – like magazines, they influence and encourage buying and that’s a yay for everyone. For the buyer, who has found something they love, for the blogger, who has the kudos and possibly a commission for introducing the product and for the brand who has made a sale. A very happy triumvirate as far as I can see. Everyone’s a winner.
So, in support of my argument, here are the fashion bloggers who have recently inspired me to shop. Susie Bubble wearing a Sarah Frances Kuhn x Meredith Wendell camera strap (above) – currently next on my ‘saving up for’ shopping list; Camille Over The Rainbow featuring pony hair vans from Zara (which I’d also seen on Caroline’s Mode) – I bought a pair last week; Laura from Ascot Friday wearing Sam Edelman Petty booties – I bought a pair in the January sales; Andy Torres from Style Scrapbook wearing a neon beanie – on my shopping list, nice and cheap so no need to save. I could list you a whole load more but I’ll keep things short for now. So, tell me, what have fashion bloggers inspired you to buy recently?