Fashion is very fickle; attention spans are ridiculously short in this part of the world. Right after a trend takes off, the authorities in the industry have tired of the very ideas they marketed to consumers a mere thirty seconds ago. Heidi wasn’t lying when she warned aspiring fashion designers that: “One day you’re in, the next you’re out.” But this time, there are more articles and blog posts alluding to fashion/style blogs’ potential demise. Even fashion blogging power couple Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) and Garance Doré have voiced their thoughts about the changing landscape of style blogging.
Is the space over saturated? Perhaps. Will the street style blogging trend die? There might be an impending bubble burst, but I doubt it will happen any time soon. Are readers itching and clamoring to find something new and exciting and different? Definitely. They want to see the motivation, intentions, and ideas behind the style, behind the blog; that it has actually been injected with real personality (the most terribly obvious, considering the circumstances). Something more genuine and impactful than superficial posts begging for insincere comments or the typical "follow me, I’ll follow you back!” (commence eye rolls and sighs). Preetma Singh, who has been snapped many times for street style blogs during fashion week, wrote an article for The Genteel about the loss of authenticity and uniqueness of street style photography. Does this loss of realness also encompass the many fashion blogs that we come across today?
Where has the true appreciation for style and individual point-of-views gone? It’s possible that the initial motivations for starting a blog have gotten muddled due to this search for fortune and fame. With newfound access to designer goods and lucrative ad campaigns, is it at all surprising? It’s become a popularity contest to see who can get the most fans/followers and comments/likes in the hopes of being in brands’ radars. Unless, of course, turning a blog into a business was the objective to begin with.
There isn’t anything wrong with wanting sponsorships, gifted merchandise, and brand project collaborations. It simply lies in the way it’s presented. There is a line, albeit a very fine one, that bloggers have to be aware of especially when it comes to staying true to their voice. It can easily turn into plain old advertising, which leaves readers wondering what happened to the more personal perspectives that initially drew them in.
Cue The Man Repeller. Within a few short months, Leandra Medine’s unabashed, take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards personal style catapulted her into fashion icon status. Although some might say it’s unfair since she has the funds to support her extravagant designer wares, it’s her unique point of view (the “it” factor) that always remains clear, consistent, and keeps readers coming back for more. Just compare her first posts with her current ones, and you’ll see what I mean. The TMR blog – along with the accompanying Twitter and Instagram accounts – constantly overflow with Medine’s outgoing personality.
Call it inspired by my previous post on personal style and the interactions/thoughts received on the topic; I’m beginning to sense that many feel exasperated just trying to remain in the know and on trend along with the very people they are inspired by or aspire to be. Rather than celebrating and sharing unique angles on fashion and style, it’s changed into a race to see who’s the first person to have the latest “it”. A showdown of who wore it best. Fashion peacocking. This then feeds into the stereotype that people in fashion only do one thing: shop.
Still though, there are bound to be gems amidst those only looking to become overnight sensations. The more thought provoking – either visually, through storytelling, or through authentic personality – the more staying power.