I know. Fashion is a serious business despite virtually all outward appearances, so the snit Vogue and Neiman Marcus confessed a couple days ago about is not silly.
Still. . .The famed magazine and famed department store are both complaining about fashion vloggers. Too many. Way, way too many. And too frivolous.
Quartz picked up on Vogue’s displeasure with fashion bloggers at runway events, as discussed by the prestige title’s top editors in a piece printed online. Those young influencers show up in lots of outfits, aiming to get published. The event essentially gets hijacked.
Prominent among the Vogue complainants was Sally Singer, the creative director, who said, “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.”
As the Vogue editer roundtable just about wrapped up Alessandra Codinha, Vogue.com fashion news editor chimed in, “Am I allowed to admit that I did a little fist pump when Sally broached the blogger paradox? There’s not much I can add here beyond how funny it is that we even still call them 'bloggers,' as so few of them even do that anymore. Rather than a celebration of any actual style, it seems to be all about turning up, looking ridiculous, posing, twitching in your seat as you check your social media feeds, fleeing, changing, repeating . . . It’s all pretty embarrassing…”
I guess it is, really. But there’s the maxim, “Don’t let them see you sweat,” which for the fashion business and fashion editors must go double. I mean, you really don’t want to let them see you sweat.
But they are as Quartz reported, even fancy-pants retailer Neiman Marcus blamed bloggers and vloggers for impacting sales, downward, for four consecutive quarters. Its CEO lamented that fashion shows, where Neiman Marcus could make a splash, are now a dime a dozen. And that’s bad news for a retailer that has the nickname Needless Markup.
“One of the biggest changes the internet has wrought on the fashion industry is to open it up beyond insiders.,” Quartz wrote. “On the sales side of things, of course, t industry always reached out to a broad audience, but to disseminate the images from its runway shows and show how clothes could—or should—be worn, it typically relied on a coterie of gatekeepers, including venerated fashion magazines such as Vogue.”
Certainly fashion journalism professionals must feel a little diminished. Just to pick one vlogger spot, StyleHaul, the huge YouTube beauty and fashion machine has thousands of creators and channels. At NewFronts, it claimed to upload 750 videos to various platforms every day. More to the point, it says its has 2 billion monthly views and 86 million unique visitors a month. Its experts are teens and just people who like fashion and think they know it.
Wrote one She Knows site a while ago, naming the top 50 fashion sites, "Remember magazines? Those rectangular paper books that used to tell you what pieces of clothing to buy and how to wear them? It seems said books—while still respected—aren’t quite considered the bastion of fashion advice they once were thanks to—bingo!—the world wide web. First came sites like the one you’re reading right now, followed by the gazillion personal style blogs that proved anyone with a laptop and SLR can be an editor, and now we’re dealing with an even newer form of fashion media: The YouTube vlogger."