Blogging Lessons Learned From Carine Roitfeld

Yesterday, Telegraph caught up with Carine Roitfeld, the former Vogue Paris editor and purveyor of all things Parisienne, to talk about her new publishing venture, CR, and her evolving influence in the fashion biz. But what I noticed to be especially interesting about the interview was Roitfeld's remarks about the “business” side to editorial, and how it's changed significantly in the magazine industry over her lifetime. As a professional in fashion editorial content, see how Carine's insight and experience can be useful to bloggers:

How Bloggers Have Changed The Fashion Game

First, she notes that the internet is responsible for the era of the super-editor. Like the 90's supermodels, images of these super-editors now are gracing the popular blogrolls and street style shots (even though some of them, like Roitfeld, are old enough to be grandmothers).

As she noted in the article, “People are very curious and they want to know everything. So before it was the supermodels or the photographers, and now it is the ‘super-editor.' Anna [Wintour of American Vogue] became a super-editor. Me, I have a strong character and a strong personality, but 10 years ago – before the blogs – nobody knew me.”

Carine Roitfeld Left Her Day Job, Too

In terms of the fashion industry, and editorial versus advertisements, she says that while working under the Vogue structure she did not have much freedom, “It's true, you are not free to do the project like we are doing today [with Mac]. You are not free to work with Karl Lagerfeld and the advertising. You are not free to help a designer. So now I can open all the perspective in front of me. I change job so I have a lot of possibility.” (Leaving your day job to pursue your own creativity, does this sound like any of you, fashion bloggers?)

How She Thinks Of Advertised Content Versus Editorial Content

Roitfeld notes there will be a difference with her new biannual glossy, CR Fashion Book, in terms of editorial and advertised content, “When I started 30 years ago at French Elle, we never do the shoot thinking if Jean Paul Gaultier was advertising or not. We were totally free,” she says. “But now I understand it is a business and you have to pay attention to the people who put money in your magazine. But there has to be a limit or otherwise you are not a journalist anymore. But this magazine is going to be totally different than what I was doing before, with a new dream team.”

“It is a lot of pressure that I put on myself. I could live very quietly, do advertising to earn money.” But even at an age where she could comfortably retire her career, she wants to continue pushing the limits she tells Telegraph. “The last Joan of Arc of fashion – it will be me.”

Roitfeld's career is one to be admired — what do you think about her opinion on advertisements versus editorial content?

[Image credit: Getty]

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12 Responses

  1. Deliver Me Diamonds

    It is so important to un-link editorial exposure and ad dollars! Fashion becomes boring if only the big advertisers are featured in the editorials. As bloggers we should be pushing discovery of new designers and visions and not following the herd.

    Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

    • Toni Styles

      I agree, we should be opening new doors and looking at things from oftentimes ignored angles. I’m quite drawn to blogs that bring something “different” (whatever it is): new, strange, refreshing! Too bad it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. <3

  2. TerranceJ

    Carine is surely my most favorite person in the industry. Her points, too, all share something that we as bloggers should take away with us: refreshing and original content is king. Period.

  3. Minerva Collection

    Great site …and interesting post. I find blogs interesting to read and are much more honest opinions ..I just hope as more and more big brands cotton on to promotion via blogs that the bloggers maintain their honesty.

  4. Alejandro L.

    Great insights. Super-editors is so spot on! The world can see more and know more of the creatives behind the fashion industry thanks to the internet and social media.

  5. Jade

    I think that advertising is definitely needed for fashion magazines, websites etc where the person/company running it has to pay to keep it all going. We wouldn’t expect anyone to work for nothing! But it’s a good idea to keep separate the advertising and the writing/editorial side of it – unless it’s a sponsored post. Eg, have the advertising pages/sections but let the writers have almost free reign with what designers and brands they feature and write about in the magazine/blog/website etc.

  6. Chantal

    Less advertising and more creativity sounds great. I have to laugh at the last quote though. I’m sure she isn’t the last Joan of Arc. Usually when I read editorials from the high profile fashion community regarding street fashion and bloggers I usually extract the idea that they feel threatened. That wasn’t the focus here but a smattering of martyr like comments makes me think it is there, underlying as usual. LOL.

  7. Alexandra

    I’ve always liked Carine and I wish her well in her new venture. I think the separation between advertised and editorial content should be obvious and this applies to fashion blogs as well as fashion magazines and other media.

    Personally I’d like to see more critical fashion editorial content in all fashion media; so many fashion/style blogs that I’ve visited over the past few years simply gush about this or that. The authors may indeed love the items they gush about but the content is so boring. Go out on a limb, ruffle a few feathers, don’t worry whether so-and-so will send you goodie bags or offer to cut you a cheque for your next advertorial. Praise when praise is due but never be afraid to be critical, it worked for the New York Times. You know what I mean.

  8. Kholá

    There is so much to learn from this woman. I have a real admiration for her from picking herself back up after leaving Vogue. Its as if she never felt the fall….if it can even be called that.

    Looking forward to CR Magazine too!