VOGUE vs BLOGGERS: Who wins?

1:44 AM

Oh man, popcorn-time everybody, sit down because this is true entertainment.
chiara ferragni

In a joint-recap of Milan Fashion week (entitled "Ciao, Milano! Vogue.com’s Editors Discuss the Week That Was"), Vogue.com editors have expressed their intolerance towards bloggers and influencers, claiming that
  1. they are just a ridiculous bunch of people who happens to be paid to attend fashion weeks in borrowed or gifted outfits;
  2. they only care to be featured in street-style photography sessions;
  3. they shouldn’t be called ‘bloggers’ anymore, since most of them don’t even write a word about the runway shows they attended.
Well, let me show you some quotes from this infamous post and then I will let you know what I think about this:

Sally Singer, Vogue Creative Digital Director: "It's a schizophrenic moment, and that just can't be good. (note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style.)"

Alessandra Codinha, Vogue.com Fashion News Editor, targeting blogger Sally Bubble: "Am I allowed to admit that I did a little fist pump when Sally broached the blogger paradox? There’s not much I can add here beyond how funny it is that we even still call them 'bloggers,' as so few of them even do that anymore. 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 — even more so when you consider what else is going on in the world. (have you registered to vote yet? Don’t forget the debate on monday!) 
Loving fashion is tremendous, and enthusiasts of all stripes are important to the industry — after all, people buy clothing because of desire, not any real need — but I have to think that soon people will wise up to how particularly gross the whole practice of paid appearances and borrowed outfits looks. Looking for style among a bought-and-paid-for ('blogged out?') front row is like going to a strip club looking for romance. Sure, it's all kind of in the same ballpark, but it's not even close to the real thing."

Nicole Phelps, Director of Vogue Runway: "which brings me back around to Sally and Sarah’s points about the street style mess. It's not just sad for the women who preen for the cameras in borrowed clothes, it's distressing, as well, to watch so many brands participate."

Sarah Mower, Vogue.com Chief Critic, targeting blogger Sally Bubble: "So yes, Sally, the professional blogger bit, with the added aggression of the street photographer swarm who attend them, is horrible, but most of all, pathetic for these girls, when you watch how many times the desperate troll up and down outside shows, in traffic, risking accidents even, in hopes of being snapped."

So basically the "Bible of Fashion" is calling out the “new kids” in the industry to improve the relevance of magazines.
vogue criticizes bloggers

Even though I am happy that Vogue has finally found out what everybody noticed years ago, I can’t help but feeling amused by their complaint: weren’t the fashion magazines the ones who helped feeding the blogger-machine in the first place?
Didn’t they need to feature these people in their websites and magazines to gain impressions and more following?
But above all…aren’t magazines editors behaving just like the bloggers they are hating on?

Let’s consider the crucial fact that these magazines survive only on advertising, which means that like bloggers and influencers they are paid for product placement, therefore 

  1. they are implicitly inclined to deliver always positive reviews of the fashion shows they attended (goodbye objectivity!);
  2. they are likely to favour the advertisers products when it comes to editorials;
  3. just like bloggers, they are gifted with clothes/accessories and even travels (especially when it comes to resort collections, showcased in exclusive locations around the world)
If this alone is enough to target the entire Vogue.com article as an hypocritical writing exercise, let me add the fact that Vogue has lost its last glimpse of reputation the day it sold its soul to the Kardashian/Jenners (courtesy of Kanye West): isn’t this the “prestigious” magazine who gave Kendall Jenner an entire 52-page supplement (April 2016) and its precious September cover just to capitalize on her following?
kendall jenner vogue covers
Kendall Jenner covering Vogue US special issue (subscribers only_April 2016) and Vogue US September cover: in both cases only her social media following is being highlighted.
Aren’t they the one who keep on posting ridiculous articles about Hollywood’s Instagirls just for click-baiting (I mean, they even called them supermodels after a couple of runways)?
Aren’t they the ones who need to interact with these social media stars to look interesting?

For decades Vogue has relied on its prestigious reputaion to attract people and sell its magazines, however when internet came on the scene and the competition became harder, I believe it failed to fully re-invent itself.
As general audience was starting to favour blogs over magazines, instead of working on new communication strategies to outdo the bloggers' phenomenon, Vogue, as many other magazines, has simply borrowed bloggers and influencers' names and language to attract the masses, hoping by doing so to sell more copies.
And that was a terrible move if you ask me: Vogue was designed to speak to a niece, to attract the masses they basically started to lose on quality and by doing so they only ended up losing their main readers. 
Why? Because the people they are tring to attract are not really interested in their product, therefore they won't subscribe to a magazine just because their favourite celebrity was featured once on the cover. 

As a blogger I want to defend the few good ones in our category: those who keep on delivering good quality and objective articles about the fashion industry and its characters and those who use their voice for good (speaking up about social issues that affects the industry for example). 

However it is impossible not to notice the averageness surrounding the fashion blogging universe: many famous style blogs have become insanely boring these days (poorly written texts, boring articles, no objective opinions…); many fashion bloggers have no knowledge of fashion (therefore they are not able to talk about the shows they have just attended); many are too self absorbed and only care about becoming famous, that's why many of them are ready to advertise whatever is brought in front of them.
Who is to blame for this? The brands of course, who by desperately looking for a cheaper form of advertise, have turned anyone with a consistent following (real and fake, btw) into a superstar. 

So if brands would start looking for quality bloggers and the editors would stop biting the hand that feeds them, I believe that we can all co-exist peacefully, and should work together to improve the fashion industry (not the opposite).

written by: Stella

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