Will Blogs & Magazines Ever Understand Each Other?

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And is it okay if they don't?

In response to Suzy Menkes’s article “The Circus of Fashion” (and Jennine's post, If You're Going to Criticize Bloggers, At Least Make it Original), I was chatting with bloggers about the ideas in the article.  Courtney/Those Graces brought up a great question when she said,”Thoughts: another case of bloggers not understanding magazine editors and vice versa.

My response to Courtney was, “There's a reason blogs became popular, and it's because they weren't magazines.

In the last several years, there's been a big push for blogs to become more like magazines with high impact visuals, high-end clothing, and attracting large brand sponsorships.  As bloggers, we've turned ourselves into one-person magazines acting as writer, editor, photographer, graphic designer, stylist and more.

Somewhere along the way, magazines (and their accompanying websites) have recognized the power in blogging as well. They hire bloggers to produce content. They create blogger networks that provide event opportunities, editorial coverage, and product reviews. All have adopted a quick-as-lighting and personable approach to their online articles, as we all recognize the need to break the news in this digital age.

But all of this time we've been wondering, will fashion insiders, the magazine industry, and fashion blogging reach a middle ground? Will fashion insiders stop reacting so harshly to the successes of fashion bloggers? Will fashion bloggers strive for the same education, insight, and understanding of fashion that fashion journalists and editors have?

And maybe more importantly– does it matter?

I stopped reading magazines many years ago (mostly out of eco-guilt). This past year, I've started taking advantage of reading magazines again: subscriptions to Elle and Harper's Bazaar and picking up Vogue, In Style, or Nylon when traveling.  After 6 years of blogging, these subscriptions have been instrumental in shifting my perceptions of the fashion industry versus fashion blogging.  It's a monthly reminder that they are not the same medium and they do not share the same mission.

The success of bloggers came as a result– a NEED– to find people like us in our media outlets.  We wanted to know how the average young woman dressed for a new corporate job; we wanted to know how other mothers spent time on themselves without detracting from their family; we wanted to find others who were aging without compromising their personal style. Magazines are designed to appeal to the largest, broadest demographic; the allure of bloggers was that they could fill the needs of a smaller, more personal one.

As the landscape of blogging changes over the next few years, I hope to see a greater understanding between fashion insiders and bloggers: an end to the us versus them articles and a realization that there's space for both to coexist.

Have you felt there was a rift between fashion insiders and fashion bloggers? Do you think that the rivalry is a natural part of life, or do you think that it'll change in the upcoming years?  How do you think blogging's evolution will impact that

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11 Responses

  1. Monica

    As you mention they are different. When you look at blogs you want to see people just like you.

    There are magazines that have add bloggers to their online websites or you can upload your looks and you get feature. That is because people now want what is for real and magazines know that, so you join the trend or you dissapear.

    I don´t have a blog because I want to go editorial on a big magazine, I´m doing this for fun. Having a well written blog, being a leader and not a follower in trends will help you open doors at big magazines if that is your goal.

    http://thirtysomethingchic.wordpress.com

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  2. Bike Pretty

    I also stopped reading magazines many years ago, while I was still a fashion design student. Have you ever noticed how little *fashion* there is in a so-called fashion magazine?

    As long as bloggers are able to sell product, they aren’t going anywhere. Magazines are in a for-profit industry, but for some reason they pretend they’re not getting paid by the very companies they promote.

    Reply
  3. I AM TURQUOISE

    i think its a general trend we re facing in the recent years, people want to see people, not brands. theres a need for sincerity i guess:) i think people want to know there are many others out there just like them and we want to be inspired by those around us, not the “few lucky ones” like celebrities. and we want to know that the ones behind blogs aren’t paid to do what they’re doing, it creates a human touch to blogs. its all about the “sharing” culture as well. Thats why I think blogs and magazines will always be different. we approach each of these mediums with different purposes.

    http://iamturquoise.wordpress.com

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  4. Chelsey

    I often feel like larger publications and fashion insiders have a habit of looking down on bloggers. We can sometimes be seen as amateurs who just sit at a computer and write our thoughts without proofreading anything. Rivalry is common though, especially in the fashion industry. Bloggers have to fight the stereotype and prove we should be taken seriously, and fashion insiders have to fight the rapid growth of instantaneous news. I do believe this is starting to become an outdated point of view, though, and both sides are taming their egos. I’d ultimately love to work for a magazine like Nylon, but that’s not why I started my blog. Rather than feel like there’s a disconnect between blogs and magazines, I think magazine publications are slowly realizing that our blogs are essentially our resume. It’s almost a “preferred but not required” job prerequisite to have a blog when striving towards a career in the industry, because it can give companies a “try before you hire” feel. It’s just important for bloggers and fashion insiders alike to realize that we may love what we do, but we don’t know everything and can learn from one another.

    Reply
  5. Brieanna

    Blogs and magazines are two different mediums that have two very different purposes. I personally love blogs because of the real people behind them. Someone is showing their real style, what they wore to college or work and that is much more inspiring to me than what is picked out by someone at a magazine.

    Reply
  6. Khadijat Yussuff

    Personally, I tend to avoid magazines not out of disrespect, because I feel that there is very little being offered to me. The reason I started a blog (out of many) is because there wasn’t anything mentally stmulating about a magazine. I dont want to know how to make my man happy in bed, or that embarrassing thing that happened to some girl I don’t know in a random state. I don’t want to be told what to wear for dates, to school, or to parties. I can honestly say that I tried once or twice, but let’s be real: if my brain isn’t working, it’s not worth it. I now realize that there are many magazines in existence who portray fashion in a language other than “what’s hot or not” by putting it in a cultural context. These I have learned about more recently and respect a great deal. But putting fashion in a personal context is my job, and short of giving the world a bunch of pictures of pretty clothes, I want to be able to explain myself in terms of the fashion world, to create a true sense of individuality. No, I’m not always going to have the most creative outfits out there, but I can rest assured that I’m not producing the same content as anyone else either. Fashion magazines, in my opinion, regurgitate the same information, but tailor it to the audience they are targeting. And they’re generally impressionable young adults. Pretty and sexy gets boring real fast if it’s got nothing to show for it.

    Blog: Youth Savage

    ♥, Khadijat

    Reply
  7. Cynthia

    Like it or not, there are some things about fashion bloggers that can be annoying. More and more, I’m seeing either women who over-shop (I have to admit that I kind of fall into this category, but not to the crazy extreme that some others do) or their sites are cluttered with ads, with posts that are sponsored rather than true, honest reviews (no matter what their disclosure says. I can read between the lines, you know). In other words, the sponsored posts are nothing but advertorials with a slight slant towards personal opinion (but not really). This, I think, goes against what blogging was meant to be about. Blogging should be offering an opinion that differs from the mainstream (i.e. magazines). However, with blogging growing many writers are falling into the trap of freebies and money, so they’re grabbing any chance they can to get to the top.

    Thoughts?

    Cynthia
    http://www.delectablychic.com
    http://thecloset.delectablychic.com

    Reply
  8. AlittlebitUnique

    Personally, I don’t think blogs and magazines should understand each other. I love each platforms in different ways and don’t want either to loose what makes them unique and special. Magazines are all about loosing yourself and imagining a world like something out of a film, where as blogging is girls writing for other girls. It’s a lot more real and informative and connects women from all over the world!

    A little bit Unique

    x

    Reply
  9. stylonylon

    I think that fashion bloggers are being held to double standards. Not only are magazines getting paid for advertising by the very companies they promote (as Bike Pretty says above) but, as far as I know, they are not required nor expected to disclose gifts, samples and freebies they receive.

    The most important thing for fashion bloggers to remember is that their ability to sell product (again, as Bike Pretty says) will keep them relevant to, and their position secure in, the fashion industry. Bloggers inspire me to buy, and that is the crux!

    Actually, I posted on my blog about this last night – what fashion bloggers inspire me to buy. I’d love to hear who others are inspired by and what they’ve bought, so do stop by and leave a comment!

    http://www.stylonylon.com/2013/03/fashion-bloggers-that-inspire-me-to-buy.html

    Reply
  10. Sam

    I think many bloggers try to be like a magazine, I probably do myself too, and I think magazines are also starting to understand the growing importance of bloggers. Personally, I love to read magazines (mostly Vogue, but also titles such as Elle, Esquire, GQ and Vanity Fair) as well as reading all kinds of fashion blogs. I think I “understand” both magazines and my fellow bloggers. Call me naïve, but I actually think lots of bloggers do too and magazines are trying as well.

    Interesting article!

    Sam | http://www.justsammthing.com

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