At the end of the Milan Fashion Week, the usual recap of the events appeared on Vogue’s website. “Ciao Milano!”: the intro was positive, as well as the comments about the shows, but at the end of the article there was a clear attack from Vogue vs fashion bloggers, due to the overlapping of interests between the “old” and the “new” editorial system.
Sally Singer, Vogue’s creative digital director wrote: “Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style.”
Sarah Mower, Vogue.com’s chief critic added: “[Y]ou watch how many times the desperate troll up and down outside shows, in traffic, risking accidents even, in hopes of being snapped.”
Vogue Runway’s director, Nicole Phelps, was chiefly concerned that bloggers borrowed clothes from brands. “It’s not just sad,” she explained, “it’s distressing.”
And finally, Alessandra Codinha, Vogue.com’s fashion news editor, wondered what the word blogger even meant. She ended with a plea for everyone to pay attention to current events. “It’s all pretty embarrassing—even more so when you consider what else is going on in the world,”
Immediately came Fashionista’s reaction. Blogger Susie Bubble, used Twitter to underline the hypocrisy of the Vogue staff’s line of grievances. Borrowing clothes in the editorial world, for example, is not only commonplace — it’s an industry-wide given. Blogger Bryanboy added “Why would they knock a certain subset of people who found an alternative platform to make a livelihood doing something essentially similar? It really feels like flat-out bullying! It’s 2016, not 2009, and I cannot believe we’re still having this conversation.”
Pambianco interviewed Mario Dell’Oglio, owner of the boutique of the same name in Palermo and president of Camera Italiana Buyer Moda. “The market decides.” As for the accusation to bloggers that give relevance only to the brands they collaborate with, Dell’Oglio has a clear position: “Editorialists can’t criticize the difficulty distinguishing between bloggers’ editorial and promotional contents: do you know any fashion magazine that doesn’t publish editorial contents related to the companies they’re more connected with?
Neiman Marcus has decided it feels the same way Vogue does toward bloggers. CEO Karen Katz blamed bloggers and social media in general for the decline of the fashion system in general. It’s the same old story: Runway shows fill Instagram, and customers get sick of seeing the same images over and over again. Then, when the clothes finally get to stores, no one wants to buy them.
But while bloggers might have influence over how people shop, they’re not the only factor. Customers are savvy, especially post-recession: They know how to wait for a good sale.
Pambianco revealed that every influencer is paid 10.000 to 70.000 euros per year by brands, and another significant part of the budget is destined to the cost of sponsored media contents on blogs and social media. Is it that wired? I don’t think so. We need to consider that brand’s aim is to reach the broadest audience possible. That’s the natural evolution of fashion communication and we have to remember that there’ve always been lots of different privileged “windows” for fashion during the last seventy years, from actresses to top models, and now, in the era of social media, bloggers are an additional important window for brands.