There’s words running about on the web at the moment regarding bloggers and their validity in the fashion industry. Oh no, are my days numbered? Little snippets here and there through to full articles from fashion blogger Fluff Chance and an interesting one from The Cut suggesting blogger du jour Tavi is a gimmick and quite possibly a fraud. Quelle horreur. That word, gimmick, keeps popping up more frequently. As bloggers are rising in the media industry, appearing at exclusive shows, swank parties and on the covers of magazines; editors, bloggers and readers are finally stepping back from the haze and asking how relevant are bloggers really?

A number of designers have voiced their concerns and fears over bloggers. Christopher Kane recently said “It’s a bit mad, isn’t it? It feels like it’s happened all of a sudden and at some shows this season the front row was just all bloggers. I think it will die down though and people know what they are doing. No one who wants to read a serious review of a show is going to look at what a 14 year old thinks. But it has become more critical; people can say what they want about anyone on a blog without consequences and that’s quite scary”.

Umm yeah, there’s so much to break down here. The opening line “It’s a bit mad isn’t it?” What, like bonkers? Crazy? Nuts? Oh absolutely Mr. Kane it’s a crazy world we live in now. Just that opening line suggests how out of touch Mr. Kane is with social media. Odd considering he’s only 27. Why is it scary that people can say whatever they want without consequence? If there’s something legally objectionable on a blog, a designer has every right to take them to court. Bloggers aren’t untouchable you know.

The other quote “No one who wants to read a serious review of a show is going to look at what a 14 year old thinks”. Sure, can’t argue with that. If I want a serious review I’ll go Sarah Mower or Cathy Horyn but just because an editor read your press notes doesn’t make their opinion more valid than that of a 17 year old in, say, Utah. More reputable for sure but no less valid and often more entertaining.

Dolce & Gabanna’s spring 2010 show had BryanBoy and Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil fame front row with little tables for their laptops so they could live blog the show. This is most definitely gimmicky but it worked. Who were these young upstarts with their own tables seated front row with Anna Wintour? Their presence drummed up the sort of interest reserved for celebrities.

Above: Tommy Ton

Interesting to see that the cameras are now turning from the catwalk to the front row. Yes there’s always snaps of editors and celebrities but writers? Unheard of. And it works, it does create interest. I don’t know how long that interest will last because it is gimmicky and people will lose interest before moving onto something else like Tumblr hair stylists, or make-up artists taking us backstage Twitpic’ing about the hair they did for Lara Stone.

So what are we getting from reading blogs? I have to wonder that myself but each blog is as different as each author’s personality. Take BryanBoy, a rich Philippino who went from swanning around the streets of Manila in heels to jet-setting to the shows in Paris. Credible fashion source? Not really. Highly entertaining? Definitely.

Above: BryanBoy

Or take with up to the minute insider news on the luxury fashion industry. Credible fashion source? Absolutely. Entertaining? I’ve never seen a picture of the girl who runs it. And Tavi. Firstly I’ll be honest, the green-eyed monster in me is jealous. There I said it. There’s so much to envy here. A thirteen year old girl gets invited to a party in Tokyo held by Rei Kawakubo of Comme Des Garcons. She then gets to pick out six items from the fall 09 collection as a gift for herself. Umm, yeah I’m insanely jealous of that. But she is fascinating. That’s the appeal. A remarkable sense of style and cute as a button too.

As long as bloggers keep bringing in the buzz for big brands then we’ve definitely got legs and relevancy in the industry. Blogging has been around for years and brands have finally cottoned on to the potential for new or future customers. Comme Des Garcons has never had this much press since the 80’s and they have Tavi to thank.

Above: Tavi

PS, if you’re looking for some related articles there’s a really great one on the Financial Times written by Nicola Copping.Click here

PPS, I need a cigarette and a cocktail after writing that.


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