If you work in fashion (or, maybe even if you don’t), you heard about the recent article from Vogue.com that put fashion bloggers and street style stars on blast and accusing them of ruining Milan Fashion Week because of their peacocking ways. An online conversation between Sally Singer, Alessandra Codinha, Nicole Phelps, and Sarah Mower casually discussing the week’s shows and events and distractions (bloggers) turned into a knock-down, drag out fight online this week.
From Singer: “Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style.”
From Mower: “the professional blogger bit, with the added aggression of the street photographer swarm who attend them, is horrible, but most of all, pathetic for these girls, when you watch how many times the desperate troll up and down outside shows, in traffic, risking accidents even, in hopes of being snapped.”
From Phelps (who I have long admired): “It’s not just sad for the women who preen for the cameras in borrowed clothes, it’s distressing, as well, to watch so many brands participate.”
From Codinha: “There’s not much I can add here beyond how funny it is that we even still call them “bloggers,” as so few of them even do that anymore. Rather than a celebration of any actual style, it seems to be all about turning up, looking ridiculous, posing, twitching in your seat as you check your social media feeds, fleeing, changing, repeating . . . It’s all pretty embarrassing—even more so when you consider what else is going on in the world. (Have you registered to vote yet? Don’t forget the debate on Monday!)”
While all the women are guilty of pretentious opinions (and some borderline bullying – ‘pathetic’ ‘desperate’?) Codinha’s was by far the most outrageous and offensive of them all. But I have some of my own questions about why Vogue.com would publish this casual conversation. Why the hell are these respectable fashion critics talking so much shit? It’s the middle of fashion month, do YOUR job. Why are you being so nasty toward other young women, and yes, there are some male bloggers too, who are hustling and earning their livelihood in a completely legitimate way? And lastly, with these opinions why would Vogue.com regularly publishe slideshow after slideshow of streetstyle snaps from streetstyle photographer Phil Oh? This one in particular from Milan Fashion Week includes images of editors: Rachael Wang, Alessandra Codinha, Jo Ellison, Anna Dello Russo, among others.
Obviously, being able to say you work at Vogue has a certain something implied in the title. Really, so does any print fashion publication. But, we all know there are many fame-hungry editors at these books doing the same trolling up and down the street to be photographed, and I also know from my PR days and consulting how many editors love free stuff, and won’t cover something unless they are gifted. And like Bryanboy said on Twitter he would have a bounty on his head if he revealed how many editors have told him they have to attend certain shows to fulfill advertiser duties. Vogue pages are filled with “editorials” from their advertisers. How many times has an Instagram supermodel (ahem, Kendall Jenner) been photographed for the magazine?
It’s literally been years since bloggers came on the scene. The same bloggers who have been featured in Vogue.com feautres, contributed to, and even currently grace an international cover of Vogue. Bloggers who currently run huge, successful businesses. The dialogue was so shocking, and not because I was personally offended (I run in and out of shows avoiding photographers because I am terribly shy. That’s my choice though.) but rather it’s just so outdated! Not to mention an incredibly arrogant and ridiculous position to make in a year where #imwithher is an incredibly powerful and prolific message circulating on social media in support of the first woman president running for office. Yes, Codinha, news to you clearly, but I didn’t forget the debate on Monday. I watched in horror with other non-writers.
I read a few of the responses to the original Vogue.com article, one from Fashionista which was honest and fair, and Susie Bubble who came guns blazin’ via Twitter, and also Leandra Medine’s on her site Man Repeller, who disguised her non-response with a post titled “Is Street Style Over” which was confusing. I would have thought as one of the first famous bloggers she would have more to say. What makes Vogue.com writers (exclusively digital writers, I might add) more of a writer than I am? Why am I a blogger and at Vogue.com you are a fashion writer? I too, have a degree in writing. And we all work in the digital space. Caroline Vreeland, the great-granddaughter of former Editor-in-Chief at Vogue came out in defense of the slandered when she said, “This certainly isn’t the Vogue voice my great-grandmother once stood for.” Well said, Caroline.
Image by Phil Oh via Vogue Instagram of blogger Shea Marie and model Caroline Vreeland