This year quite a few fashion bloggers celebrated 10 years of blogging; Grechen's Closet and J'Adore Couture are just a few. While more than a few bloggers have burnt out, many bloggers have stayed in it for the long haul.
How do you know if YOU stayed in it for the long haul? Well, a good sign is you have blogged for several years. As an “old school” blogger, you've seen quite a few things happen over the years. Here are just a few!
Brands definitely did not want to work with fashion bloggers.
Fashion brands have historically tried to over-control their image. In the early days, bloggers were pirates. Bloggers blogged about whatever they wanted. Bloggers said whatever they wanted. Bloggers didn't have “relationships” with brands (because the brands didn't want to work with them). Brands lived in fear that a blogger would say something “negative” about them, so they tried to ignore bloggers as much as possible. In the early days a few brands experimented with bloggers, like Chanel invited a group of bloggers to visit Coco Chanel's residence at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.
Above is the photo Betsy from Fashion is Spinach took on the infamous staircase.
Fashion Weeks definitely did not consider bloggers “press.”
In the early days, I had enough naiveté and quite a bit of self-importance, because you know, my blog had 500 visitors a day, therefore I was internet famous! When my town, San Francisco, hosted a fashion week, I knew it was time to “arrive” on the fashion scene. In 2007, I applied for a press pass and they promptly denied me. Their logic, ANYONE could start a blog. Yes, anyone CAN start a blog, but how many blogs actually have readers?
Everyone took photos of themselves in the mirror or with a crappy camera.
Susie Bubble did it. We all did it. We didn't have BOYFRIENDS to take our photos!
Coutorture was a blogger network.
Over the years, Coutorture has had many iterations, a fashion news site, a celebrity fashion blog, now it's just absorbed into POPSUGAR. But before it was acquired in 2007, it was the first network for fashion bloggers to share content.
View From the Fourth Row was the only “fashion insider” who blogged.
Nowadays it seems that every former editor has a blog. Models have blogs. Designers have blogs. Everyone in the fashion industry dabbles in the ol' nerd log eventually. But back in the day, fashion bloggers were just nerds (myself included) we weren't allowed in the fashion industry. The only one who blogged was the anonymous blogger, View From the Fourth Row which was kind of like the Conde Elevator of its day. Snippy, snarky and brutally honest this blogger said what no one dares to say about the fashion industry today.
You blogged anonymously at one point.
In the early days of the internet, people were afraid. They feared axe murderers would find out you existed and want to kill you. They feared their boss would find out you blogged during work hours and fire you. They feared their friends would find out they were not actually fans of Sex and The City, but of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or both!). Even though that fear doesn't exist today since we all peruse the internet, many blogs started out anonymously. Sasha Wilkins, the blogger behind Liberty London Girl, penned anonymously for years.
You submitted outfit photos to wardrobe_remix.
Before there were any “OOTD” communities (Lookbook.nu) there was wardrobe_remix, founded by beloved ex-blogger Tricia Royal. It's how a lot of personal style bloggers got their first followers.
You loved Style Bytes.
One of the first super-star personal style bloggers was Agathe Molvik, the Norwegian girl with a pig. She was one of the first bloggers who had a boyfriend photograph editorialized outfit of the day shots until one day she abruptly stopped blogging. She recently cofounded a blog, so we'll see how that goes!
You had a Myspace profile.
Before Twitter was popular and Facebook was open to the public, everyone used MySpace to discover other bloggers, designers, photographers, you name it.
Your Technorati ranking meant something.
Now for the most nerdy thing ever. Technorati. Technorati ranked you based on how many sites linked to you. The more sites linked to you the better your score. It was one of the first public stat sites that bloggers based their credentials on. Whatever happened to that?
What do you remember from back in the early days of fashion blogging?
[Screenshots created using the Web Archive.]