Is Blogging the Future of Fashion Journalism?
(Originally published on kettlemag.co.uk)
We are the children of the internet revolution, the Facebook generation and the age group that defines itself by their twitter status. But that is no longer the main issue of today’s social media phenomenon. Most print media professionals are more concerned about the threat that this tie to the internet is having on the industry and the ease of access to material only making their job harder.
This is due to one phenomenon in particular—blogging.
Blogging: A method of expression
Most prevalent to the blogging world is the genre of fashion and the almost cult-like behaviour of its followers. A fantastic example of the overcrowded nature of this genre and the relevant blogging sphere is this video by Garage Magazine, which I encourage you to watch as an insight into their world.
But as a fashion blogger myself, I can relate to expression in an overcrowded environment. What most people forget is that blogging is just that—a method of expression. I would never consider myself or my blog to be challenging the foundations of journalism, but for many fashion publications, they see us as a threat.
For example, Vogue reported a print circulation of 51,000 per month last year but reports that it plans to move (sooner or later) to mainly digital copy. In regards to the news, The Sun has already attempted to maintain profits by charging access to their online content.
But what do these publications see for their future? As pointed out in several news reports, people noted the glaring contradiction in that bloggers have up-to-the-second access to breaking news on multiple fronts, and offer it all free of charge.
Set myself apart from the rest
Indeed, some bloggers enjoy the anarchy involved in usurping and replacing the media by providing their own online content. Some even see it as a challenge to prove themselves in a highly competitive industry. The very reason I, myself, chose to start a blog was to set myself apart from the rest and show a real passionate interest in a highly sought after sector.
And that sector (namely fashion) comprises lot of different areas. At present, the majority of fashion blogs cover fashion weeks worldwide, personal style and street style. But who cares what Sally from Northampton thinks about Proenza Schouler’s latest collection? Or what Octavia from Herefordshire was wearing last Saturday? This is where most people underestimate the power of blogging.
Bloggers are just like us
The barrier between fashion publications and the average consumer is the element of elitism that blogging automatically overrides. Bloggers are one of us. They haven’t necessarily edited a fashion magazine, modelled in a Diesel ad or designed an award winning collection. They’re not fashion snobs or even hella-rich (necessarily!).
Their opinions matter, because they are just like us.
So if Sally from Northampton tells you how much she loves that new H&M jacket, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to love it too, because that is the power of blogging.
Bloggers could be doing fashion publications a favour
By embracing the blogger collective, fashion publications in particular, could really be doing themselves a favour. A case in point is Company Magazine, who recently re-launched their magazine to provide for this newly identified audience.
Editor Victoria White even defines a Company Girl as ‘on Twitter and Facebook. She blogs. She lives to share. She’s on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, her visual references are huge. She sees life through her camera phone and then she shares it.’
Furthermore, the magazine hosts blogging forums and actively encourages interaction with their readers through social media and featuring them in their magazine.
Bloggers are the press
To nail my point home, this is one of my favourite quotes from one of their forums that I personally attended, by the original London-based fashion blogger herself, Susie Bubble:
“Bloggers were treated very separately from the press [and] now they are the press.”
If we are to take Company’s lead by keeping up to date with the current generation, then the future of fashion publications may be saved. Bloggers’ real-time approach to breaking news puts them at the forefront of journalism and by embracing that, publications could really have the answer to their and our future combined.