There’s no denying the popularity of blogs, especially those dedicated to fashion. With page views well into the millions and legions – hundreds, even thousands – of fans and loyal followers, it isn’t surprising that some favorite bloggers have catapulted into the limelight. Many have turned their blogs into lucrative brand names and businesses. They sit and mingle with the mighty editrixes of glossy magazines at the front row of fashion weeks all over the world.
As print publishing goes the way of typewriters, blogs continue to magnify their influence in the fashion industry – the new fashion authorities and magazines, if you will. Advertisers and brands understand the immense marketing potential of working with a blog – they can get an immediate response through a simple post in addition to possible sales.
Take, for instance, Swedish blogger Elin Kling of Style by Kling. Not only has she created her own magazine dubbed, Style By, she has collaborated with H&M and designed capsule collections that have sold out within a matter of hours. Designer Amy Smilovic of Tibi also tapped Kling to style their fashion show last season. Did I mention she has her own clothing line called NOWHERE? What hasn’t this lady done?
Although many up and coming bloggers dream of reaching the ranks of Fashion Toast, BryanBoy, The Blonde Salad, Style Scrapbook, Atlantic-Pacific, The Glamourai, et al., there has been a growing backlash in regards to the fashion blogger lifestyle.
Sites like GOMI have become breeding grounds for negative commentary about the very blogs that we are all familiar with. Terms like shallow, vapid, and fake are common.
A few excerpts: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
About Chloe of Chloe Conspiracy: “I can’t relate to Chloe Conspiracy much (I’m not petite, and I don’t do a lot of designer clothing/shoes unless it’s on mega-sale), but I find her adorable. In her ‘about’ section, she has this funny video/gif of her shoes changing every second. She clearly has a sense of humor about herself, and I appreciate that in a blogger.”
About Blair Eadie (Atlantic-Pacific) and Casey: “Casey snapped a few pics of Blair, and then they discussed anti-aging potions and the power of sunglasses/not smiling over cocktails later. Why would they discuss that, you ask? Because somewhere between taking off her ubiquitous sunglasses and actually smiling for a photo instead of faux-pouting, Atlantic-Pacific morphed into Mary Rambin’s Aunt Blair. I’ll drink to that. A votre sante! *nose in air”.
About Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere: “178 comments on that lackluster bedroom post, and all but maybe 10 have linked back to themselves after leaving a vapid “love it!!!!!!” I wonder if she ever feels like her blog is just a forum for other social-climbing bloggers to springboard into marginal fame of their own. Actually, on second thought, I doubt it bothers her. Hits are hits in the eyes of sponsors, I suppose.”
The controversy regarding Jane Aldridge, the blogger behind Sea of Shoes, has added fuel to the fire. Many have questioned and ridiculed her parents’ “investment” of $70,000 towards her blog to keep the supply of – what else – shoes coming. There are several forums on GOMI (some dedicated entirely to “fashion bloggers we love to hate”) that want to know how, exactly, do fashion bloggers have all this money to spend on pricey designer clothing.
Some have attributed it to bloggers being born rich and privileged, while others believe bloggers have sugar daddies of some sort. Such topics have expanded to the resentment readers feel from following popular blogs. There’s this need of keeping up and remaining trendy by buying whatever the blogger is wearing or collaging on to their wish lists.
Although a few of the discussions are filled with constructive criticisms – changing design layouts, minimizing the number of outfit photos, posting new types of content – there are plenty of discussions putting bloggers down on a much more personal level.
With the Internet the way it is, it’s expected that some comments will stem from just plain hatred. Ever read the comments section on articles from Yahoo!, The Wall Street Journal, or Huffington Post? Some warranted, some completely over the line, harsh, and incredibly offensive. The forums and comments section on GOMI can be no less different.
Now that these types of feedback are coming to light and bloggers themselves, along with online fashion communities, are encouraging debates about the pros and cons of such sites, there are a couple main questions being posed:
Since a blogger is considered a public figure, should they expect to receive both positive and negative comments?
It’s understandable, and only human, for many to not always share the same feelings towards a particular blog/blogger/style. Everyone is entitled to their opinion(s) and has the right to voice them, however the line between saying something constructive and destructive is rather thin. There is a difference between: “That dress isn’t highlighting your best assets” vs. “You look fat.”