If You’re Going to Criticize Bloggers, At Least Make It Original
By: Jennine Jacob

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What does it take to ruffle a blogger’s feathers? We’re sensitive, so it doesn’t take much. T Magazine recently published Suzy Menkes’s article “The Circus of Fashion” about the peacocking phenomenon at Fashion Week (dressing outlandishly for the purpose of getting photographed by street style photographers) and shortly after came Leandra Medine’s rebuttal, “Blog is a Dirty Word.” In it, she admits that while Menkes to be right on some levels, it’s unfair to paint all bloggers with the same fame-whoring brush.

…since when has complaining about something that’s already been complained about for years made for a compelling article?

Admittedly, it took me time to put my feelings together as to why Menkes’ piece bothered me so much. I was juggling work on my website, phone calls with hosting companies, and sorting out things with my accountant before I could really sit down and think about what she said.

First off, she is right: Fashion Week has become a circus. However, since when has complaining about something that’s been complained about for years made for a compelling article?

Even if Menkes had made this “Fashion Circus” argument six months ago when things were getting crazy…But no, this Fashion Week was basically a snooze-fest in terms of circusness.

Menkes could have made this “Fashion Circus” argument six months ago, when things were reaching a fever pitch. At that time, Amy Odell cleverly pointed out how social media tainted Fashion Week, and the New York Times sloppily published fake accounts of bloggers getting paid to wear clothes for the purpose of getting photographed by street style photographers. Comparatively, this Fashion Week was basically a snooze-fest in terms of circusness, and The New York Times even said so in their “On The Runway” blog.  On Monday, IFB noted how bored blog readers were with Fashion Week — so why all the hubbub six months late?

The History of Peacocking at Fashion Week

 

The history of peacocking at Fashion Shows goes back a few years (as does the complaining), probably more, but I need more time to dig up examples. Imran Amed famously coined the phrase “Blogger’s Walk” in March of 2011 noting how street style photographers had become more like paparazzi in the quest for selling images for up to $1000. Later that year, Fashionista noted how editors were stepping up their outfits in their Octover 2011 piece, “All Eyes on The Editor…”

“There’s definitely more of a feeling of wanting to look as cute as possible,” Teen Vogue‘s Laurel Pantin told [Fashionista]. “If your photo is circulating the internet you definitely want it to be a good shot!”

Again, I know there history of the drama goes back further. Just give me time and I’ll give you an example of staircase whit….

Yes, there are bloggers out there dressing up to get photographed, but a lot of the people peacocking (Michelle Harper, I’m looking at you) are not bloggers. Miroslava Duma is ultra famous on the street style circuit, but again, not a blogger. Anna Dello Russo, Olivia Palermo, Natalie Joos? All famous for something else. (Sure, they have blogs, but are not really considered to be bloggers by trade.)

So what does all this peacocking really get you? A second of internet fame? Maybe you do get famous on the Internet circuit, but what does that ultimately get you? Around 2008, a young art history student, Louise Ebel, became a street style darling and consequently started her blog Pandora which is moderately successful, but nowhere near the international fame achieved by bloggers like Style Bubble, Man Repeller, Bryan Boy and The Blonde Salad.

…what does peacocking really get you? A second of internet fame? …doesn’t everyone know internet fame is the least useful kind of fame?

Either way, doesn’t everyone know by now that Internet fame is the least useful kind of fame? You have to put in a lot more effort, and have a lot ingenuity – to make anything worth while out of Internet fame. It’s this dedication which separates that peacocks from the super-bloggers.

So, Why Is Peacocking “News” Now?

 

Your guess is as good as mine. But with all the criticisms that bloggers face between being unable to form original ideas, to money grubbing, to fame whoring, it seems that the traditional media is merely stirring up the pot because they know we will respond. It’s easy PR. I’ve yet to read a smart and factual article on the state of the fashion blogosphere posted in the traditional media without a heavy dose of skepticism and opinion injected. Most of the articles that make it into the annals of traditional press are out of touch, like the “Circus of Fashion” piece by Menkes. At this point, I don’t care if it’s ugly or beautiful. As long as the traditional press can spit out something real, I’ll be happy.

I’ve yet to read a smart and factual article on the state of the fashion blogosphere posted in the traditional media without a heavy dose of skepticism and opinion.

Blogging and traditional media are maturing in the digital space. It’s easy to see that journalists are injecting their own opinions to sensationalize their pieces to make them more sharable and web-friendly. Bloggers are stepping up their game in adopting tried-and-true practices in publishing to increase their credibility. Two things I would like to see more of in this brave new world are research and clear examples. (It’s never been easier to do this, by the way.)

Opinion, whether it comes from bloggers or journalists gets tedious when it’s not original or well-researched. Lazy opinions are not even worth the pixels they take up on the screen. My hopes are that the traditional press stops resting on their laurels of credibility and sets examples as to how publishing should evolve in the digital age. Because lord knows a girl who failed English class (twice) in high school and has never written a word for any printed publication can’t possibly do it without someone or something to look up to.

(Menkes in 2010)

Perhaps I just expected more from Menkes. In 2010, she seemed optimistic about blogging, as stated in a video (for which I was also quoted)  “A good blogger,” she says, “can really take all sorts of elements and use them both in words and pictures and make a strong statement.” I would have never have expected her to make such a tired observation, with no real solution or examination. Nor would I expect her try to pass it off as an article, when really, it was not any different from an eloquently worded blog post.

[Image by Style and the City]

 

Comments

  1. Avatar of Lexi
    Lexi says:

    I don’t remember where I heard about it, but I read Menke’s article last week.

    I remember thinking that she was referring to — and I definitely think there is a culture of this — the people who dress as outlandishly as possible in whatever “streetstyle” trend is popular at the moment in order to garner attention.

    However, I think the actual population of that type of person within the fashion blogging community is relatively small. And you’re absolutely right, 15 minutes of internet fame is worth almost nothing so I hardly think that phenomena is worth writing about. From time immemorial there have always been people who will do whatever is necessary to garner attention. It’s just a fact of life.

    Re-reading the article through a different lens, it definitely strikes me as undermining the effort and style of bloggers who put their heart into what they do.

    Most bloggers that I know, if asked if they would still blog regardless of the gifts, money or fame, would answer with a resounding “Yes, yes, and yes.” and I think ignoring that kind of passion is immensely unfair.

  2. Avatar of
    Andrew says:

    Lots of “real” journalists still don’t take bloggers seriously. But whether they like it or not, lots of people are reading blogs, and the bloggers are becoming as important as the certified journalists. And street style is just showing runway outfits being translated to the street. I don’t understand why people have such a hard time with that.
    theinclub.blogspot.com

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      I think the whole publishing model is changing. There’s always going to be a need for well-thought articles, but with how lean publishing budgets are getting, it’s difficult for everyone. The advantage for bloggers is we do it for passion as much as pay, which makes it difficult for journalists to compete. How this will play out in the future, I’m not sure, but the evidence of this shift is already apparent.

    • Mary Egbula says:

      Peacocking at events Is Not Street Style. That’s not to say it doesn’t have value, but true street style is found on folks that got dressed to do whatever’s on their agenda for that day. The photo darlings at fashion week are so uber concious that outfits often seem more like costume than clothing.

      And if you read Menkes closely you’ll see that her critique of how Fashion Week has evolved isn’t just a stab at bloggers. It’s a honest perspective of how the commerce and media have coalesced to create a very different experience than when the event was in it’s inaugural days.

  3. Avatar of Incognito
    Incognito says:

    So strange that she changed her mind in 3 years. I believe that right we are overwhelmed by blogs, good ones and bad ones, and maybe right now Suzy Menkes is having this feeling of being overwhelmed by bloggers.
    I do think that because of her articles, us, bloggers, will be even more careful (or I hope so) about what we are doing, what we want, and what we aim at.

    While in the video she was praising bloggers for their abilities, I do find it a pity that in her article she spoke about people like Leandra Medine or Susie Lau who as blogger are doing a great job because, they give their opinion with honesty, I don’t feel like the pictures of their clothes could have been relevant if not for the way we perceive them through their writing.

    Not everybody blogs for the right motives, but good bloggers do exist, so why concentrate your thoughts on the bad things, and even more when we already now about them?

    Shug Avery of Incognito

    http://www.thinkincognito-eng.blogspot.com

  4. Avatar of Manuela
    Manuela says:

    I think that once the readers have spoken, and chose a blogger as a role model, the so called ‘real’ journalist who trays to belittle the blogger sounds as envious :)

    Anyway, fashion was always full of peacocks, before bloggers came, so who cares who says what, I don’t! Fashion, is definitely not a close circle, and bloggers finally broth some good sense of style into it!

    • Avatar of Bisous Natasha

      I love the way you put it. If there is an audience willing to listen to X blogger, then so be it. Who cares if someone is a journalist with some fancy Harvard degree of journalism, etc. People are going to tune into who they want to listen to. And what I love about bloggers and blogging is that they interact with the designers and clothes, not just take some Wireimage off the internet and run a long boring article on it.

  5. Jenny says:

    Such a great article, Jennine, and I agree with all of your points. In my opinion, I think the reason traditional journalists and media have a beef with bloggers is because bloggers are their competition. . . bloggers are taking market share and negatively affecting the growth and livelihood of the traditional media industry. We used to have to rely on magazines, newspapers and huge media sources to get information about fashion week, trends, new designers and products. Now, all of the information that was once only available through those traditional sources is available on a million different blogs. Companies are looking to bloggers to promote their product and brands, and are moving their marketing dollars away from the traditional and towards social media, online and bloggers.

    Also, bloggers have built loyal followings from people who trust their opinion, judgement and fashion sense. I am 10 times more likely to purchase an item after seeing it and reading about it on a blog versus seeing it in a magazine or advertisement. I don’t think the general public really trusts traditional brand marketing anymore, however I think many bloggers have built up this trust.

    Sure, there are some bloggers only in it for the money and fame, but I strongly believe that is only a select few. It’s too bad traditional media is showcasing those select few as an example of the whole. I think it’s just their attempt to bring the competition (us) down.

    xo Jenny

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      I don’t know if bloggers are taking a market share or if they are forcing publications to rethink their models. Here you have a group of dedicated amateurs forging their own entrepreneurial way, and a group of dedicated professionals who may not have the skills to adapt, it’s going to cause tension because everyone is having to rethink the industry. There is certainly room and demand for both, in fact, I think there is an actual shortage of quality content.

      It would just be better if we worked together, instead of nitpicking.

      • Jenny says:

        Maybe I should clarify, I’m in NO way saying that someone as respected as Menkes is jealous of fashion bloggers in any way, and I’m not nitpicking. What my comment was directed more to was that online content (including fashion blogs) and social media are taking away marketing funds and market share from traditional media. I see it everyday in my personal habits and in my 9 to 5 job, from both the perspective of a blogger (and consumer) and a brand. As a consumer, I look to style blogs for inspiration way more than I do to magazines now. As an advertiser for a company, (although not in the fashion industry), we have almost completely moved away from traditional advertising and focus mostly on online, social media and blogs. I wouldn’t say there is a shortage of quality content, but I do fully agree that there is room for both traditional media and fashion blogs. I think both need to work together instead of fighting against each other…Lucky Magazine is a great example of how both can work together so both can flourish.

        So, while I guess my comments were slightly off topic, my point was that journalists and their publications might feel threatened from the changing landscape of the industry. And, yes, there are bloggers out there whose only goal is to get attention, but unfortunately those are the ones that are at the forefront of fashion week, and the ones that the journalists take note of. Yes, there probably is tension between the two, which leads to articles like this.

        • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

          I’m sorry Jenny, I think there was a misunderstanding, I didn’t mean to imply you were nitpicking.

          • Jenny says:

            Thank you Jennine, I very much appreciate the clarification, and I’m sorry, yes, I did misunderstand your feedback. I did however want to clarify my point anyway to ensure it wasn’t misinterpreted either. Thanks!

  6. I just posted an article today on my blog on the subject …

    “The fashion world gets enough backlash as being superficial and consumerist, without anyone else adding anymore coal to the fire. So I suggest we all start acting just like the people we respect. Do you respect a fame-seeking reality start? That’s fine, but don’t expect to be treated any better than one. Do you respect a hard headed journalist, who talks about more than what they wore or eat that day? Then start acting like one. Like the saying goes, the day is yours, and the choice is yours.

    No one is saying that we need to start wearing minimalist clothes, or all-black, but dress wisely, dress with a purpose, and dress for a purpose, other than getting attention. And whether you agree with Menkes or not, it is a sad day when a true fashion icon states: “something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade.”

    http://www.fashezine.com/2013/02/oversized-sunglasses-hide-multitude-of.html

  7. Emily says:

    Interesting points, Jennine! Happy that you addressed this on IFB. I loved Leandra’s response because it was objective – she carefully examined the opposing side while offering up some intelligent thoughts and defenses of her own.

    Your take was interesting as well – It’s an interesting question to ponder why peacocking is news now.

    I read a comment on Leandra’s blog that I thought was really interesting: “What Sally says about Susie, says more about Sally than Susie.” Perhaps this is more at play here than we think?
    Isn’t That Charming.

  8. After reading Menke’s article I was surprised to see in this video how optimistic she once was about bloggers changed in such a drastic way!

    I agree with a few points that brands should be respected and bloggers who come off as bragging really do frustrate me, that honesty is lost on some.

    However bloggers are the way forward, they are the perfect marketing tool and give inspiration to those who may not know how to style an outfit or know what trends are trending. Where would we be without them. The ManRepeller’s article hits the nail on the head, definitely a must read!

  9. Wonderfully executed response. While your gut-reaction may be emotional, your delivery of your argument was keenly intelligent. Love this piece.

  10. Laura says:

    If a few peacocking women at Fashion Week can so negatively impact the public’s view of fashion bloggers, surely poorly proofread ill-reading posts such as this are equally damaging. While as a blogger I agree with your sentiments, as a reader I’m finding it difficult to focus on your point because of the outstanding number of glaring writing errors this article contains. This makes a terrible impression to the people you are trying to persuade, and I am disappointed to see that someone writing on such a widely read site such as IFB would not take the time to proofread or spell check.

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      Are you volunteering to be IFB’s copy editor?
      ;)

      • Clara says:

        I VOLUNTEER. I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE.
        Seriously though, I know how professional IFB wants to be, but it’s hard to take y’all seriously when I’m literally subconsciously copyediting as I read.
        This has been an ongoing issue at IFB, and the few times I’ve commented about it, I’ve gotten nothing but snark in return. Thanks, Laura, for keeping it real.

        If you want blogging to be taken seriously, take yourselves a little more seriously.

  11. Avatar of Monica

    Times have change. There is always someone who is gonna critizice the change as everyone is afraid of it. Journalism and blogging is different. It´s not a competition.
    http://thirtysomethingchic.wordpress.com/

  12. Sheyla says:

    When I read the article, I though that it was not only elitist but that Menkes was generalizing her thoughts on bloggers. And as you’ve mentioned, a lot of the peacocks that appear in most street style posts aren’t even bloggers (Michelle Harper and Miroslava Duma are some great examples). But that doesn’t mean that bloggers that weren’t invited to any fashion shows don’t go to Lincoln Center in their calculated outfits just to get photographed or interviewed by Nylon TV. They do, but it’s not all of them.

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      Yes, exactly. I always thought it was the “editors” who were getting hunted down by street style bloggers. Bloggers certainly do peacock for fashion week, but they also do the same thing for their own blogs. It’s how they make a living. It would be different if say, the bloggers dressed like slobs on their blogs, and around town and just dressed up for fashion week. That would be weird.

  13. Ceri says:

    Not really sure why so many people like to have a dig at Fashion Bloggers. Although of course with journalists it is perhaps the competition thing. I think fashion blogs and bloggers along with other social media have been responsible for the democratisation of fashion and a rise in individual style. If they are inspiring people to go out there and dress the way that they want to rather than following the crowd, then I think that is great, peacocks or no peacocks. Who wants to be dictated to about what they wear any more.

  14. Astrid says:

    Bravo Laura and Clara! Jeanine surely proof reading articles is your job, no need to get snarky when you get called out!

  15. Rowan says:

    Such a good point. I’m kind of getting tired of this bashing on bloggers all the time. Indeed Anna Dello Russo, Miroslava Duma etc. aren’t bloggers!

    Love,

    Rowan

    http://www.redreidinghood.com

  16. Astrid says:

    Oh, I see … Jeanine I’m very disappointed in the fact that you are censoring comments on this posts, you have been called out on the poor editing of this article and you responded in a passive aggressive manner. Very bad form!

  17. Gabrielle says:

    Great article.

    It’s nice that you gave it a few days of thought instead of just responding to it in a mad rage like myself.

    It’s tough – because it IS a zoo outside of Lincoln center, but isn’t fashion supposed to be? It’s this crazy mess of inspiration, innovation and imitation.

    Love this: “since when has complaining about something that’s been complained about for years made for a compelling article?”

    I just see the whole thing as another inevitable step in the evolution of the fashion industry, journalism, and social media. There will always be cool people, there will always be newbies, and there will always be cycles of repression and rebellion. Tough to see it that way when we all feel so independent and important, but in the grand scheme of things, this too will end.

    And then begin again.

  18. Tali says:

    Why so many people care about someone who wants to get photographed? Let them be, thay’re not charging money from anyone. When I first saw this article by Menkes I got bored on the third sentence and closed the window. Later on when I saw everyone was talking about it, I decided to read the article and the responces.. And I’m still left with the same question.
    Is someone’s opinion on bloggers, fashion shows wannabies or whatever, more interesting than what are we here for – fashion and beauty? Or.. Are we not??
    Anyway, I’m back to my next DIY :)

  19. leslie says:

    at least she can write better than you

  20. Christine MacDonald says:

    I’m a little shocked at the “grammar police” complaining about Jennine’s article being poorly written. By the standards of my British grammar teachers, there are glaring problems with most of what is written today. I have no doubt that they would rise from their graves and red pen this piece I’m typing.

    As far as they, and I am concerned, many Americans can’t even spell correctly and pronounciation is horrendous. In fact, even my once perfect grammar and spelling awards are humourous to me now as I doubt I do anything perfectly as I did at age 10.

    We’re all living in glass houses these days when it comes to spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Those of you who threw stones at Jennine had no right to, and she has handled your comments in the most graceful way possible.

    • Astrid says:

      Really? She handled the response in the most graceful way possible? You must be joking! She was passive aggressive in both her responses. We have every right to critique this article, Jennine wants to run a professional website she should be professional and hire a copy editor!

      • Christine MacDonald says:

        Seriously, Astrid? I thought these comments were about grammar. I don’t know what your problem with Jennine is but, seriously, you have a problem with her beyond grammar. You are just being nasty; if you needed to talk to her about her grammar you should have done it in a private email. That would have shown class.

  21. Avatar of Girl Loves Color

    I think it’s wrong to solely attribute the peacocking idea to fashion bloggers, and this is where Menkes made a faux pas.

    However, I think the article is still quite relevant because it serves as a commentary about the way fashion is changing – it is more open, more about being seen.

    Bloggers are taking this article too personally. It was an insightful piece of criticism, not to mention well-written.

    Fashion has become a lot about the wearing of clothes, perhaps because of the ease of spreading images via Internet, and a lot of the other sides have fashion have been shoved into the background.

    It’s unfortunately all too rare to see good, thought-provoking fashion journalism today. I’m glad Menkes is keeping it alive.

    • Lisa says:

      “Bloggers are taking this article too personally. It was an insightful piece of criticism, not to mention well-written.”

      I agree. Menkes thoughtfully and intelligently articulated a viewpoint I’ve long felt but haven’t voiced. Fashion Week these days DOES feel like a circus where people dress to be seen and to invite attention from media outlets and street style photographers. Similarly, I question how “personal” personal style blogs are now. Are bloggers dressing for themselves and documenting their outfits? Or are they purposely styling outfits with the goal of getting the most likes, repins, retweets, comments, etc? These latter comments are not meant as criticism, and I for one have found that sometimes the intentions behind my outfit posts deviate from dressing for myself to dressing according to what’s popular online.

      The only point I took issue with in Menkes’s piece was that she depicted fashion journalists as the last bastion of objectivity and made bloggers out to be brand whores. Menkes may be “objective,” and Cathy Horyn definitely is. But most editors and major fashion publications are far from impartial. accepting invitations to lavish press events, getting free samples, showcasing products from advertisers on editorial pages. I’ve been to many press events as a blogger alongside magazine editors and newspaper contributors, and seen how the press event spawned the mention in the magazine or paper several weeks or months down the line. The only difference is that traditional media isn’t required to disclose this behind-the-scenes stuff. Meanwhile, bloggers–whether they’re required to by FTC regulations or so starry-eyed with the whole process they can’t help but talk about it–do mention when they were gifted items or invited to events.

  22. Simone says:

    8. Have I read this over for spelling and grammar slips?
    We have a few common grammar errors to watch out for here, they’re easy to miss and we all make them!

    Maybe you should follow what you preach!

  23. Yuli Ziv says:

    “it seems that the traditional media is merely stirring up the pot because they know we will respond. It’s easy PR. I’ve yet to read a smart and factual article on the state of the fashion blogosphere posted in the traditional media without a heavy dose of skepticism and opinion injected. ”

    They do exist.. Unfortunately what gets most buzz in our headlines-driven days is the controversial pieces. So when Financial Times tries to analyze the business of fashion blogging and shed some light on the successes, it doesn’t get as much attention as the snarky pieces. Check out http://on.ft.com/V67phC (you might need to signup for a free account to get access)

  24. Mary says:

    Sorry to be the downer here, folks, but I think this post & a good bit of the comments following represent part of the reason fashion bloggers are perceived as shallow pests by some. The article by Menkes was a general critique of evolution of Fashion Week, not a finger pointed directly at bloggers.

    The topic of how new media has effecting fashion is still very current and its valid to check in new perspectives every season. Especially if your perspective spans back to the origins of the tradition, as Menkes’ does. And besides, the woman is an amazing writer. If she wrote a treatise on organizing your sock drawer, I’d read it.

    And speaking of reading, how many here actually READ the entire article for themselves? Jeannine is an inspiring blogger and business woman, but you can’t rely on her admittedly emotional response to serve as the basis of your opinion.

  25. I’m not at all surprised that Suzy Menkes has taken Fashion Week to task. It has become a circus, but more on that in a sec. As for “peacocking,” I agree with Mary Egbula that peacocking is not street style and I don’t consider the women mentioned in the article as being guilty of the deed. No, they are public figures seeking publicity. That’s been going on for eons and will continue. It’s the person who shows up at Fashion Week, who may be only peripherally connected with the industry (or not at all) and who decides that morning to have his or her photo picked up all over the internet by dressing to attract the paps. That, in my opinion, is peacocking. It’s often theatrical and done with the express intention of garnering face time. Those who peacock do not make a fashion statement, in my opinion. But they do turn Fashion Week into a circus.

    Now, as for bloggers and their reputation – there are as many different types of blogs and bloggers as there are clouds. While it’s certainly unfair to paint all bloggers as fame whores incapable of having an original thought, there are many for whom this is true. But, there are just as many who have serious talent – as writers, photographers, stylists or knowing how to capture an audience’s attention. Many bloggers, myself included, grew up in print media when it was possible to make a decent buck as a freelance writer. The painfully slow and ongoing death of print and the fact that writers who had been paid several hundred dollars for a print article of, say, 500 words, and who are now offered $25. for the same word count, minus a byline by the way, have caused many professional writers to take up the blogging torch. These writers are certainly capable of original thought and of knowing how to put words together to convey those thoughts. Perhaps it’s a matter of defining one’s terms regarding the definition of blog. I have read many blogs that are neither original, well-written nor particularly interesting. And then there are those that I am happy to receive in my RSS feed weekly. I do believe that in order to chronicle fashion, one needs to have an historical perspective. That can be gained through research or through having lived through decades of changing fashion. I take issue with Suzy Menkes’ statement about bloggers and youth. I am not young and my blog, http://www.EverBeautiful.com, is not geared to a young reader.

    As far as Fashion Week being a circus – it is and has been for at least the past several years. When I first started attending, years ago in the Byrant Park tent days, Fashion Week was an industry event. It received a minimum of coverage in the mainstream press but was covered extensively in the trades. The audience was populated by the fashion press, favorite clients of the designer, other industry professionals and those lucky enough to know someone who knew someone who knew someone who could score them a seat. I had many friends who walked by the tents on their way to work and had no idea what they were for. Those days are gone. Now, perhaps with the popularity of NYC’s biggest fashion party, Fashion’s Night Out which, as we all know, kicks off NY Fashion Week in September, everyone, whether they’re associated with the fashion industry or not, wants to be at the party. Don’t get me wrong. I love FNO. It’s shone a spotlight on fashion and, I hope, generates as many dollars for retailers as it draws crowds. But I don’t think this is the case. Two years ago, while attempting to navigate Soho on my way to a FNO event, I had to get out of my cab about a mile from my destination. The crowds spilling out onto the streets made them impassable. I view this as a double edged sword. Fashion should be accessible. Bloggers, the good ones anyway, help make fashion accessible. But let’s not take all bloggers to task for what they do. That’s just not fair.

  26. I recently watched the documentary “The Tents” about the evolution of NYFW that came out a couple of years ago and I specifically remember several interviews with a couple of fashion insiders that ALL said they enjoyed dressing up for fashion week. And why wouldn’t they?? It’s such an incredible melting pot of creativity and ingenuity that should be celebrated…….why is that so offensive? I realize the issue is much deeper but why does it have to be?!!
    Brooke @ what2wear

  27. Avatar of Domenic Robert Bartlett-Roylance

    totally gets their page ranks up because they know people (like IFB) are going to backlink the hell out of their articles and respond aggressively in their comments.

  28. PJ says:

    As long as there has been a “fashion week,” there’s been a circus.
    First it was crashers doing anything to get in, then celebrities showed up (only if they were paid), then came TV cameras etc.,
    If Fashion Week was hallowed ground with only a select few attending, Menkes would be happy.
    Fashion is at it’s best and at it’s worst, created by people for people, not the elite.
    Fashion grows from the street and the runway.
    You will always find people begging to be photographed.
    You will always find insecure people complaining about other people.
    Screw them all.
    Bloggers are intuitive, talented and are, if you will, “embedded” journalists who may know more than those who work in skyscrapers and have assistants.
    Poo on ‘em.
    Or as my mom used to say, “Sometimes people only have taste in their mouth.”

  29. Sabina says:

    Just read the T mag article and honestly, I don’t think the author said anything unfair. The photos alone (except the one of Tamu from All the Pretty Birds–why was she in there?) made me want to puke. You definitely see what Suzy is talking about with all the gals and guys clearly starving for their 15 minutes. Obviously it isn’t fair to lump ALL bloggers into the category of poseurs, but I don’t think the complaint is so much about bloggers as the sheer over-saturation of similar look-at-me bloggers. Commenters have suggested that this is merely a print hangup, and maybe they’re right. I work in print, and you know what? Their kind of shameless self-promotion and and self-directed editorializing makes my skin crawl.

  30. I have been at NY Fashion week for 20 YEARS… Yes, the very first fashion week at Bryant Park. I can personally testify that “peacocking” for the sake of attention has been around for that long. Then, it wasn’t bloggers, but drag queens and the lesser talented FIT students whoring for attention. It wasn’t street-style photographers, but the regular press corps photographers snapping away.

    Suzy Menkes has been there for every one of those shows as well, and I have personally seen her there. That’s why I found her article irritating and bitter. The “circus” of fashion week has always been there and she knows it.

    The only difference is now, the media power balance has shifted. Print is almost dead, bloggers have risen which means her relevance and influence has been threatened quite a bit.

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      That’s interesting you say that. Which was precisely my point…. this has always been a phenomenon, people have always complained about it, so why the cheap shot? She has so much to offer, I just don’t understand why say something that’s already been said, and why say it now?

  31. Avatar of Lydia
    Lydia says:

    There might be some people who do this, but honestly, those people who get photographed for street style and have their photos circulated on the net are people who really put in the effort to dress up and use their creativity! Obviously if your outfit is not good, inspiring or creative, no street style photographer would want to get a shot of you. I think the bloggers or normal people just want to look their best at Fashion Week because they are going to meet many important people from the fashion industry, and they want to make an impression. Thats not peacocking! Thats using a great opportunity to showcase your style! And one of the best parts of Fashion Week, besides the shows, is to see the street style, because they are usually inspiring. I think Mendes needs to do a total re-evaluation of her argument.

    ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com

  32. Avatar of Rafello Myles

    I hate how the press talk about bloggers they make us look bad and consequently ridiculous, this type of behaviour has made it hard for some blogger such as I, to get sponsors in blogger underdeveloped countries (not going to say which) and I honestly do not see how their posts contribute to society!

    -Rafaello
    http://blackanismo.blogspot.com/

  33. PaintHead says:

    Great read! I agree somewhat that Fashion week for bloggers have become a “look at me” instead of “Look at the designer”. I barely read blogs;they all look the same and they all do the same things. If you look at one blog, you’ve seen them all, and the same with their instagram. No one stands out anymore, it’s becoming a “Me , me, me” instead of being an informative blog, just writing and loving fashion for what it really is.

    Whatever happen to the blogger that really writes about fashion? I think some bloggers get to much credit for doing nothing, but showcase photos of themselves in different outfits; which at times look all the same as well. Anyway, I do have a blog and put up some of my outfits, but I am open to so many things and my blog cannot just be “all about me”

  34. “Something that’s been complained about for years made for a compelling article?”

    Is this the best you can do? I have a blog too, and like you said, bloggers are not all alike. And this is why I agree with Suzy that “look-at-me” bloggers have made fashion and fashion weeks a circus. There are such professional people who work in fashion so hard to make it work and then they come these (wannabes, and most of them arrogant) bloggers who turn this into a circus.
    Maybe Suzy’s article is not original on the subject, but she has a point and maybe she will remind designers to become more selective with who they invite for their fashion shows.

  35. Haruka says:

    This is exactly why, while I am on my lunch breaks and after work, I am scowering the streets with my camera to make sure my blog is indeed that– street style. I don’t schedule people for photo shoots so I can get them in the best outfits/shots. I go with what catches my eye at that very moment. If you are dressed well and worth taking, I will ask to take your picture and I will take it. I don’t care if you flash me a corny smile, I’m interested in your way you look at that moment. If I go to a fashion event or social event I may take and post a few pictures on my blogs or well dressed “peacockers” or the like, but I primarily try to make sure my street fashion blog is mostly random people I see on the streets– that’s how it’s supposed to be!

  36. Eleanore says:

    As someone who likes to dress well, but doesn’t necessarily follow fashion much, I feel genuinely embarrassed every time I see a video of people “peacocking”. I don’t know how they can keep a seemingly smug look on their face, yet look so ridiculous walking back and forth to get photographed in some crazy outfit. It’s really awkward to watch. But then again, what’s different about celebrities being photographed? If you think about it, they look pretty ridiculous as well. So in the end, as weird and alien as this is to me, I kind of understand the bloggers who do it; they’ve made their blog personalized and they advertise their brand this way. They’re basically a walking billboard for their business. I wouldn’t do it myself and I think they look stupid doing it (sorry for the honestly) but if it works for them, that’s great!

    The one thing I really hate about this, though, is that it is not genuine street style and should not be labeled as such. It’s just a bunch of people who dressed up expecting (and even hoping) to get snapped. That takes the whole interest out of it for me.

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