Let me start by saying this, I just posted my very first New York Fashion Week blog post this week, recapping my experience and giving my thoughts. In a way some of my thoughts resonate with what yesterday’s controversial Vogue.com write-ups are saying. I only became aware of the article around 5:30PM, after a day of shooting product in Downtown Los Angeles with my photographer. I was exhausted, not feeling the best (PMSing, sorry for the TMI), and sitting in traffic. Probably not the best circumstances to be reading the write-ups bashing what I do for a living. Blogging is not conventional, but it’s a job.
I honestly didn’t think my blog would ever be my main source of income. It was always a side project for me, something I did in addition to my “real” fashion job for fun. When opportunity presented itself many years later, I took a leap of faith and here I am today, blogging full time, experiencing things, traveling, and paying my bills all because of my blog. By the way, I still have a very long way to go.
I don’t consider myself a high-end fashion blogger. In fact, my style is very casual 90% of the time and I think I do a pretty decent job relaying that through my blog and other social media platforms. I do occasionally dress up but overall I think my style is, dare I say it, pretty basic. Going to Fashion Week intimidated me because I’m not high-fashion, I don’t have a giant closet full of expensive designer things, and big expensive designers aren’t sending me free clothes. Putting looks together for New York scared the shit out of me but in the end I stuck with what I know–how to dress like ME, just a little fancier. I didn’t feel ridiculous, I wasn’t uncomfortable (well, my feet were but that’s inevitable), and I wasn’t there to be seen. In fact, quite the opposite, I was there to see others. Others, meaning designers’ creations.
Seeing the frenzy outside the shows did not sit well with me. It felt a little too clique-y / clubby. Everyone shuffling to “get in,” find someone they know, get their photo taken, it’s not for me. Of course, I wouldn’t know any of this unless I attended and witnessed it all firsthand. I’m glad I did. Fashion Week was a bucket list item for me and I can now say I’ve checked that one off the list. As I mentioned in my previous article, would I go again? Not very likely, but definitely, maybe. Regardless, I had every right to be there.
The comments made in Vogue’s posts insinuated bloggers are making a mockery of fashion by the way we run our business. Blogging has evolved into a marketing and advertising tool because like the rest of the world, we need to make a living. Why would any of us fight that? We get to do what we love (fashion, DIY, home decor, cooking, beauty, etc.), get paid, and ultimately grow a business, which for some turns into a brand. I find that very admirable and respectable, and strive for that myself.
In an earlier article written in WWD this summer, it was brought to my attention that beauty editors are battling influencers because they don’t consider them a credible source. There are so many angles to look at, but let’s stick to the underlying point–bloggers are everyday people. We follow certain people who we can relate to. And the way we do this is through social media. How else would I know which stranger I actually relate to otherwise? Does anyone out there know a single name of any beauty editor at any publication? Do you know how old they are, their marital status, if they have similar skin tone as you, if they actually tried the product they are preaching for you to buy? For me, that answer is no. However, I do know that Something Navy is a similar age as me, we have similar hair color, we are both married, and we wear the same color Bobby Brown eyebrow gel. So yeah, when she talks about a beauty product I’m more inclined to believe her than page 78 of a magazine. Granted, Something Navy was also most likely paid and / or gifted the product, but I realize she has bills to pay and it’s part of the job. But I also know that as a blogger I have a duty to be honest with my readers and I like to give all my fellow bloggers the benefit of the doubt by saying I think they strive to be honest as well.
The point is, whether anyone likes to admit it or not, editors are feeling threatened. They used to have all the power in those departments–fashion, beauty, lifestyle–and now thousands of 20-something year-olds are dictating what’s “in” and where to buy it. I get it, I really do, but in my opinion there is plenty to go around. Enough that we don’t need to abuse a platform that so many of us look up to in order to insult others.
I’m curious, what is your take on the article?