Fashion Mags vs Fashion Blogs: Do fashion blogs pose a threat to fashion magazines?

we heart it

I had been musing over my next Fashion Mags vs Fashion Blogs post for a little while, as I didn’t want to just write for the sake of it. I knew eventually something would happen to inspire me. And so it has:

Last week, Franca Sozzani – the editor of Vogue Italia – chose to publish her views on fashion blogs and their bloggers on her blog.

The opening paragraph hints a little at an underlying jealousy that some bloggers are being treated the same – or better, even – than established editors of established publications:

“Why are they so credited? Why do they sit in front row? Why does the Chamber of Italian Fashion thinks so highly of them, so much as to provide them with a driver during the shows as it’s happened during menswear?”

Perhaps this sentiment is justified, after all Sozzani herself, like many editors, has been at the helm of her magazine, Vogue Italia for over 20 years while many of these bloggers have been writing their blogs for little over 20 months.

But if this was Sozzani’s point the post on her blog she quickly loses it again.

Whilst dismissing bloggers as “a trend and like it happens with all trends in fashion, it gets blown up out of proportion and creates many followers”. But unlike other trends in fashion, this trend seemingly comes with a threat to journalists.

However the tone of the post changes at the halfway point – from comments like, “ they are so worried about what to wear to get noticed that my eyes only see a crowd in the end” and “There (sic) comments are naïf (sic) and enthusiastic. They don’t hold a real importance in the business.” Sozzani goes on to acknowledge that, in spite of this, “it’s an interesting phenomenon because it changes the approach to fashion”.

Indeed, fashion magazines have to change their approach to fashion and to the way in which they “report” it and comment on it. In a column in the Telegraph just over two years ago, Kate Finnegan pointed out, “Grazia, the weekly fashion title, which has thrived on our fixation with celebrity style, now has a page called Stylehunter, featuring stylish young women photographed while out shopping or on their lunch breaks”. Grazia’s fashion news director, Melanie Rickey admitted that the Stylehunter feature came about because, “We were totally influenced by Facehunter”.

Franca Sozzani concedes in her post that bloggers “change the approach to fashion” and bring “a new point of view and not just rely on journalists “who have been doing this for thirty years!” Not being biased at times helps to see what people who work in this industry miss.”

And so it is. I believe that bloggers can bring a lot of the fashion table: many of us do not have any formal fashion training except for the years and years spent shopping and dressing and standing in front of our bedroom mirrors. But we are the people for whom women like Franca Sozzani write their magazines and the women who have lived it and dreamed it.

Fashion magazines and blogs are perfectly capable of co-existing alongside each other; they just need to learn how to respect the other medium and to use it to complement their own.

What do you think of the debate? Is there a place for both fashion magazines and fashion blogs? Do fashion blogs pose a threat to fashion magazines, do you think?

Further reading:
The report from a the Royal Academy of Art’s Storytellers of Fashion discussion
Franca Sozzani’s blog post
Kate Finnegan’s column for the Daily Telegraph

About sugarandspicesg

fashion blogger
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