By Marilisa Racco
The Vogue.com editorial team bared their Zoom-whitened teeth last night in a scathing round-up of Milan Fashion Week that involved an open and hostile reaction to the rise of the fashion blogger.
Sally Singer, creative digital director, started things off by blaming bloggers for making fashion “schizophrenic.”
“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,” she wrote.
Her sentiments were echoed by Sarah Mower, Vogue.com chief critic, who replied: “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.”
The site’s fashion news editor, Alessandra Codinha, followed up her colleagues’ comments by noting that so few of the celebrated fashion bloggers do any blogging anymore, and have reduced themselves to paid-for peacocks that wear outrageous outfits, preen in the front rows of shows and incessantly track their social media feeds. She called the scene embarrassing and questioned how many of these bloggers were registered to vote.
Overall, the editors’ reactions to Milan Fashion Week itself were positive. They heralded the return of elegant and expertly crafted fashion, which they noted had been sorely missing from the Milan runways for many years. They also lauded the Italian government for getting behind the fashion industry and making a concerted effort to support and publicize it.
Understandably, the reaction from the blogosphere has been heated. Susie Bubble, a pioneering fashion blogger who counts over 270,000 followers on Twitter, responded with a mix of ire and weariness. She noted that the fashion industry has been saying the same things about bloggers for the past eight years, and that the relationships between magazine editors and advertisers are no different than the relationships bloggers form with brands.
Bryanboy, another early fashion blogger, also lashed out and called what the editors wrote “schoolyard bullying.”
“How satisfying it must be to go for the easy target rather than going for other editors,” he wrote on Twitter.
In direct response to the allegations that all fashion bloggers borrow clothes and are paid to wear certain designers’ outfits, he tweeted:
So far, the fashion media’s reaction has been equally negative. Online fashion blog-cum-respected-outlet Fashionista, which boasts a monthly readership of over 2.5 million, wrote a scathing retort that ended with a summation of what fashion bloggers do when they’re not front row at fashion week — and it’s quite a bit. Maria Bobila, the site’s associate editor, wrote:
“Singer’s call for bloggers to ‘find another business,’ is probably the harshest remark. However, bloggers do find other businesses — multimillion-dollar businesses: clothing lines, collaborations, campaigns, contributing or full-time professional gigs in the industry, judging or expert panel appearances and even music careers. Street style and front row opportunities are only a fraction of what these bloggers really do. Don’t knock the hustle.”