By Michelle Lee
Vogue’s War on Fashion Bloggers
Right now, society is changing and it’s changing at a rapid pace. Let’s face it, millennials and technology are taking over and with that comes a new way of thinking and communicating. The fashion industry is adjusting to these norms, except for Vogue. Recently, in an article on Milan fashion week, Vogue editors Sally Singer (creative digital director), Sarah Mower (chief critic of Vogue.com), Nicole Phelps (director at Vogue Runway), and Alessandra Codinha (the website’s fashion news editor), were outspoken on the new wave of bloggers coming into the industry. So, the question is, why were the four editors so keen to attack fashion bloggers.
The article, titled “Ciao, Milano! Vogue.com’s Editors Discuss the Week That Was”, showcased the typical Vogue fashion week review. However, what was not expected from the respected publication was the old school (and degrading) thoughts on fashion bloggers. The four editors stressed the irrelevance of fashion bloggers and their presence at fashion week. Singer begged bloggers to “please stop” and “find another business” while Mower was convinced that streetstyle bloggers are “risk accidents in the hopes of being snapped”. Codinha cheered the others on agreeing that all bloggers care about is “turning up, looking ridiculous, and posing”, which is “pretty embarrassing” while reminding people to register to vote because that is what is really important.
According to DailyBeast.com, this is not the first time acclaimed editors have publicly attacked bloggers. In 2013, Suzy Menken, fashion journalist and critic, openly degraded bloggers in an article titled “The Circus of Fashion”. Comparing them to “peacocks” and “cattle market”, Menkens showed her distaste for the way bloggers dress in exaggerated pieces with hopes of getting a single picture from the camera men standing on the sidelines, losing the authenticity of individual style along the way. She did not stop there; she also belittled what bloggers did and still do, criticizing their ability to thoroughly critique a show or give a valid opinion on fashion week.
Although many are not happy with the way Vogue editors attacked the blogger society, most are finding problematic ironies of the article as a whole. First, Vogue pointed fingers at bloggers for wearing “paid outfits”, pieces that bloggers are paid to wear by various companies at big events like fashion week. Blogger Susie Lau, founder of the blog StyleBubble, was quick to counter Vogue’s accusations. She took to twitter (a very blogger move), to expose the irony of the statements tweeting: “Firstly let’s not pretend that editors and stylists are not beholden to brands in one way or another, getting salaries at publications. It’s just that bloggers sadly don’t have prestigious titles/publications to hide behind and represent themselves solely”. She has a point. The publication and editor in general are paid to feature certain brands so what is the difference. That’s what a successful business does, which leads to the next ironic moment. Bloggers who have a large following and make content run successful businesses. Danielle Bernstein, the creator of her blog WeWoreWhat, which has gained her over one million Instagram followers, went to Instagram to speak about her disappointment with the publication. Defending not only herself but others in the field, Bernstein wrote “it saddens me that a respected institution such as Vogue would insult bloggers and attempt to discourage young woman from forging their own career paths, by expressing themselves through what Vogue represents; personal style fashion” and ended the paragraph with a simple “And yes, I am registered to vote”. Lastly, it is ironic that the magazine is knocking down people who are often featured on the website. They have covered many topics having to deal with bloggers, publishing articles like “The Five Brilliant Fashion Bloggers you Need to Know” and “What a Toddler Packs When She Brings Her Toddler to Paris Fashion Week”. Why are bloggers covered in the publication if the top editors are so against them?
Vogue may have given bad name to bloggers but people will never stray away from them. With the growing youth generation and technology, along with a new way of thinking, especially in the fashion industry, bloggers are not going anywhere. Whether they are taking over social media or sitting front row in Saint Laurent (paid or not) at fashion week, us normal people will also want to see what they are up to. So with that, what team are you on?