September 9, 2006
New York fashion week is here…
… and Julie scored an interview with Cathy Horyn of the New York Times where they talk about the changing role of blogging in
the fashion industry…
Julie makes a case for why blogging should be respected as much as any other kind of media – and Cathy Horyn points out why established players find the concept of blogs intimidating. I agree with Horyn that gaining approval from fashion’s ivory towers is unlikely – despite the accessibility of the media, blogging is not something that everyone can truly do. Large brands lack the personability and authenticity to create a real voice with a blog – and companies that are already successful will fear adopting blogging because they are afraid of compromising their hard-won image. For big business, the status quo keeps them from taking risks in new media. Horyn is right when she points out that blogging will be most successfuly used by the newer voices, and that it is a new kind of fashion communication that is uniquely appropriate for brave young designers and journalists who have nothing to lose.
In my opinion, I’m glad that journalists and designers in the fashion industry are slow to get on the bandwagon – it leaves an avenue open for new voices to be heard. Whereas I would be just another wannabe voice in the crowd if I attempted to break through the mainstream channels (runway shows as a designer, glossy magazines and lifestyle journalism as a writer), blogging allows me a small advantage that I can’t get when I’m competing in established channels. In this world of deafening noise, I’ll take any edge, no matter how small or unpredictable.
And it is unpredictable – there’s no saying where bloggers will be sitting next season, and when labels that blog will be on the official schedule of the major fashion weeks. I’m not entirely sure that bloggers necessarily need to be welcomed into these mainstream channels to be successful. Blogging is not one-size-fits-all – it takes a certain combination of attributes to make it work – and in the area of fashion design it’s not entirely clear yet what a blogging success story looks like.