the bow that sparked a thousand gripes. source unknown.
a few weeks ago at the catholic university of milan, a round table discussion was organized for the topic of fashion blogging. i was invited but unable to attend and i'm upset i couldn't make it - especially after finding out from attendees that an argument arose when fashion magazine journalists stated that blogging is unethical, stupid and pointless.
i was under the impression that this issue had been put to rest after the whole tavi/bow affair... but seeing as how it's been re-hashed, i feel like weighing in, especially since i wasn't there to say my peace.
what exactly is the insinuation behind "blogging is unethical"? and are they saying all blogging is inherently unethical? 'cause that's a broad and boldly untrue statement. aren't journalists supposed to be big on research and providing factual information? i'm sure there are some bloggers who are unethical, just as there exist some unethical journalists and some unethical people in every profession, country and walk of life. some people are unethical, and others aren't. to say "blogging is unethical" is a highly unsupported statement that sounds more like sour grapes than fact.
it's difficult to write about a product you haven't seen, touched, worn - and that's why many designers will willingly gift things to the press. but i used to work for a designer who would flat out get asked by magazine editors and journalists for freebies. in some cases, she would send over gifts as a thank you and editors would call back requesting alternate (more expensive) styles. i have yet to meet a blogger with the gall to pull a stunt like that. in fact, none of the blogs i read seem even remotely unethical. i never feel that bloggers are lying to me - endorsing things they don't actually like just for perks or freebies. most bloggers are aware that their reputation is incredibly important and as a result are very careful in the things they choose to feature. those who don't care can't really be considered good bloggers, can they? so really... this point is moot.
"blogging is stupid and pointless." aside from being a rude thing to say, i'd argue the exact opposite. granted, not all blogs are created equal and it's up to each of us to find those that suit our tastes. but on the whole, i think the blogosphere is extremely useful and exactly what fashion needs.
in past years, many people have felt excluded from fashion. it can be an intimidating world and as a result, cause many people to roll their eyes, call it silly and just not bother. people will mock that which they don't understand, and they won't take the time to understand something that makes them feel excluded. unless we want fashion to continue coming off as an industry filled with insecure, self-important people, that's just gotta stop. for fashion to thrive, it has to adapt to new attitudes and this mentality of "you're not good enough to be part of this" is absolutely passé.
i get the impression that the resistance to fashion bloggers primarily stems from that mentality. bloggers take it upon themselves to do fashion their own way and confidently put it out there for all to see. they are broadening the definition of style. they prove daily that everyone and anyone can do fashion - regardless of size, age, location or financial means. this severe critique of fashion bloggers doesn't take any of that into account. sharing personal style gives people the confidence to get creative and have fun with fashion instead of feeling intimidated by it. that's the exact opposite of useless. the broader fashion becomes, the more creativity will thrive, which in turn will create more variety, resulting in a larger fashion industry. to me, that sounds like progress.
bloggers have certain freedoms allowing them to discuss issues magazines can't (or don't want to). topics like body image are being kept alive in the blogosphere daily. same with environmentalism, good working conditions in factories, fair trade, animal rights, various ethical debates, and many other topics that relate the fashion industry back to the real world. as much as fashion might represent fantasy, the industry itself is not independent of world issues. the blogosphere provides the perfect forum for discussion and the fact that it's thriving is a clear sign of what's desired and where we're headed. it isn't a war on magazines. and to attack bloggers with such harshness is a futile resistance against the direction people are going in of their own volition - the exact opposite of what the ever-evolving world of fashion is all about.
fashion blogging is a whole heap of hard work that requires steadfast dedication and continuously updated knowledge. in the past six months i've gotten to know the fashion blogging world extremely well. daily i meet interesting, creative and multi-talented people with smart views and wonderful personalities. when journalists attack fashion bloggers, i can't help but cock an eyebrow and question their motives. if they're making these accusations, they must not know the blogosphere very intimately, and if they don't know the blogosphere, how do they feel justified in making such accusations?
it reflects poorly on fashion as a whole when such pettiness gets thrown about. journalists and bloggers are not at odds. if anything, they're a compliment to each other and should work together to create new, innovative and creative material for people to see. it's an exciting time for the world at large and fashion is not excluded from that. welcome to the digital revolution, please check your old-fashioned mentality at the door and get with the program!