On Fashion Blogs…

On Fashionblogs from Mary Scherpe on Vimeo.

What a crazy year so far, three weeks in! Mary Scherpe, from Stil in Berlin and Pudri had gotten in touch with me to ask if I could participate in a blogger video which would be shown during Berlin Fashion Week at the Panel at Premium Exhibitions with Imran Amed (Business of Fashion), Christoph Amend (Zeit Magazin), Marcus Luft (Gala, Too Posh to Push) and Sven Schoene (K-MB).

In this video she asks Suzy Menkes (IHT), Yvan Rodic (Facehunter), Julia Knolle and Jessi Weiss (LesMads) and little ol' me to share our opinion on blogging. Looking back at this, I probably would have tried to smarten up my answers as everyone else had very interesting things to say! Well then again, I usually like to break down things into small words and visual aids in my head…which is probably why it comes out my mouth that way.

Have a look at the video, I was particularly interested in what Suzy Menkes had to say about blogger independence and the influence of corporate seeding. That while bloggers feel that they are completely independent, many of us are increasingly fed stories by companies who want to reach our audience. I've thought this myself as the number of story ‘ideas' in my inbox grows and how they have gotten increasingly aggressive about getting coverage. One publicist invited me to an event, and when I couldn't go she offered to write a guest post about it. Then there are all the times I've been tipped off on stories and been happy to write about it. I'm not really sure how that is different from traditional media, as I've never worked in the traditional media…but it's certainly food for thought.

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21 Responses

  1. eyeliah

    Great video, thanks for sharing it.
    The seeding is a bit of a tricky game, I get those requests often and it is extremely rare (maybe twice) that I decided to make a post about one. Those posts always stand out to me on other blogs and I usually don’t read them so why would I want to be a part of that ‘fed’ media.
    Re: the viral negativity, that is indeed a scary thought as it is just an opinion, and who says it is an educated opinion. But at the same time, anything that’s pushing boundaries and being innovative will receive some negativity.
    .-= eyeliah´s last blog ..Links à la Mode: IFB Weekly Roundup =-.

    • Jennine

      seeding is really tricky! i feel like it’s become more and more prevalent. sometimes i use the stories, sometimes i don’t it’s always good to have a nice balance that you’re comfortable with.

      and the negativity… they should really look at it as a good thing, as a way to monitor when things are not going so well.

  2. sar.

    Interesting how different generations perceive new technology – Ivan is so convinced of the advantages of the internet whilst Lady Menkes sees the transformation from the traditional media.. I don’t believe anyone can be totally free from the power of marketing anywhere these days, it’s such a clever machinery – our opinions are shaped constantly by images we get fed. But, I agree with Eyeliah and Lisa and prefer to make my own choices what to write about. Love the comment about taking a pic of a dress in the changing rooms and sending it to the miister – I do that all the time while he just waits outside the shop 🙂
    .-= sar.´s last blog ..new decade. new in.mode. new me. =-.

  3. lisa

    Corporate seeding is becoming a contentious issue these days, isn’t it? I don’t post about something unless I really like it, and I’m more likely to post something if it’s by a local designer and the publicist is a local fashion industry person I’ve met in person.
    .-= lisa´s last blog ..Quoted: Candace Bushnell =-.

    • Jennine

      yeah… i agree..though sometimes that personal connection can be just as dangerous, as it’s harder to say no to a friend than someone you never met.

  4. Denise @ Swelle

    Congrats on being invited to participate! I love Suzy Menkes, she’s brilliant.

    It’s funny about the seeding, look at my last blog link below. I got a package from Fiat and I first debated whether to actually give them my address because I doubted I would do anything with it. I rarely follow up with pitches from PRs unless it benefits the readers, like a giveaway, or helps a charity (genuinely). But I took a look and I actually liked what I saw, the images fit with the aesthetics of my blog and there was a cute pink nail varnish I could give away. I introduced the post explaining that I don’t normally do these kinds of things and why I decided to this time. I wondered, did I really need to do that? But I think it’s good to state our positions if we want to maintain integrity. I’m big on transparency and want my readers to trust me so I think I’ll keep on along those lines. ♥
    .-= Denise @ Swelle´s last blog ..The Winner of the Fiat ‘500 Pink’ Nail Varnish is… =-.

  5. Sandra @ DebutanteClothing

    Congrats indeed! I love Suzy Menkes – she’s so smart and has such wit. I actually appreciated her comment about the naivete of bloggers and “seeding” because I can see how easy it is to cross the line. Even though I am clearly a vintage fashion blogger, I get pitched every single day for non-related events and products. However, in this case, it isn’t seeding but lazy PR practices. I think Suzy Menkes is an exception to her generation – she seems to have embraced new media and technology. Love her!

  6. M

    Suzy is amazing she seems to keep things balanced and open unlike many others in a similar position. Fashion bloggers might be influenced by seeding but fashion journalists might be influenced from advertising pressure, so even if sometimes it’s hard to escape the influence of marketing when writing a post it may be more honest than one coming from assignment. But in the end even driving on our way somewhere we are influenced by ads on the side of the road so it’s all about maintaining an honest voice you can be comfortable with. Btw you did great in the video!

  7. Jed

    I just have to say this. I think Jennine did something very extraordinary and visionary. To rally her peers in the fashion blogging community only show her desire to make everyone realize their full potential, myself included. I think IFB, this wonderful community she built, provided the kind of support mechanisms not present in other niche or industry for that matter. For that, fashion bloggers are lucky and privileged.

    I enjoyed watching the video and really made me more aware of how our independence as bloggers can be affected by advertisement and by influence from the very people we write/blog about.

    Kudos and more power!

  8. julia

    so interesting -great job Jennine, and I was particularly impressed by Suzy Menkes’ insightfulness and openness to the blogging community!
    .-= julia´s last blog ..Helping Haiti is Only a Click Away =-.

  9. Samuel Hernandez

    I really love giving and receiving gift baskets whenever there are special occasions. I order them directly from our local supplier,:-