Friday, 13 April 2012

Fashion Blogging Debate

The V&A Connect evening started with a quote by Franca Sozzani, the editor of Vogue Italia who was awarded last month with the Legion of Honour by French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Paris.

Fashion Bloggers

"Bloggers are like moths. They live for one night. It's a trend and like it happens with all trends in fashion, it gets blown up out of proportion. The blogger phenomenon is too young too new. Let's wait a minute before acclaiming it or hating it." Franca Sozzani

Her opinion has sparked controversy particularly now when even prominent brands such as Mulberry,  retailers such as Browns and magazines such as Vogue have their own blog(s). This itself is an acknowledgement of the power of bloggers.

Franca Sozzani receiving the Legion of Honour from President Sarkozy

V&A has gathered a panel of digital marketing and consulting experts to discuss how the internet and new media continue to challenge and change the way we discover, consume and engage with fashion.

Magazines use social media to promote their content and have a clearly defined strategy. Sarah Graham, digital marketing manager at Hearst Group, thinks the role of the editor is changing, he/she needs to be more of a marketeer and engage more and more with the audience.

V&A Connects

On the other hand, Michelle Sadlier  - who works for Karla Otto PR in digital marketing - says it's important to be as creative as you can when connecting with the consumer and to have a voice amidst the noise (because everyone is trying to connect and this can be overwhelming).

Paula Goldstein, digital creative director at Purple magazine, defends the online boutique as an 'organic' development from giving credits to bringing them to life so that people can actually buy immediately what they like. But Purple strives to maintain an  integrity according to the vision of its founder, Olivier Zahm.

Blog bar at London Fashion Week

Chris Morton, founder of Lyst, said nowadays there are different platforms for people to share what they like in a very authentic way. His online business certainly relies on this by connecting brands, bloggers and consumers without being overpowering. 

This evening was definitely food for thought with lots of insights about how bloggers are changing the dynamic of fashion, rebelling against the industry's establishment and being individual. 

My fashion blogger badge at London Fashion Week

But sadly it ended with the overall recognition that there is a prevailing fashion hierarchy: "until you get approval from the top, it's not going to happen." For emerging designers to succeed, they still need to be recognised by influential editors and stylists. 

Other related blog posts:
Power Stylists
'Erotic Chic' Fashion Images by Carine Roitfeld
Lagerfeld, Missoni and Birthday Thoughts