Marketing, Blogging & Editors

Bloggers seem to have put a fly in the proverbial ointment of late. We have “allegedly” disgruntled magazine editors with our appearances at shows (specifically the young Tavi at Couture Fashion Week) Questions are being asked on how our heads may be turned by free products that impede our true judgement of brands. The Cut Blog cited this quote, written by Robert Johnson at GQ,

“Bloggers are so attractive to the big design houses because they are so wide-eyed and obsessed, but they don’t have the critical faculties to know what’s good and what’s not. As soon as they’ve been invited to the shows, they can no longer criticise because then they won’t be invited back.”

Magazine editors have had to curb their true opinions to suit their advertising accounts for years. Do they have free reign to criticise a top fashion house’s show if that brand has a 4 page spread in the front of their magazine? The blanket statement, “they don’t have the critical faculties to know what’s good and what’s not,” is so sweeping and disparaging of a whole emerging industry that it is truly insulting. Here I do not refer to myself but to fellow bloggers that are also well respected journalists. Does that mean to say that what they write in print is worthy but the stuff on which they blog is not? I’m sure print journalists receive their fair share of free “gifts” from designers – do they have to declare this whenever mentioning their products in their writing?

Integrity and intelligence is the key. I was recently asked to take a look at some hosiery for a website. Everything was arranged the tights were on their way. I then received an email telling me which blog they’d like me to write my review on and how. I may have misinterpreted their email but I then felt I was being dictated to, so I declined their offer.

A brand that seems to have got it right is Stolen Thunder. Here in lies the irony and possible contradiction of this post. They asked for my address, they sent me one of their beautiful necklaces. There was no pressure, no demand, no compulsion to blog about them. For that very reason, they’ve made it on to my blog. Are they running the slickest marketing campaign out there? Their kindness, coupled with a lack of intimidation offers the most persuasive argument to post about their products. I love their jewellery, admire their marketing strategy and have chosen to blog about them. Does that mean I lack “critical faculties” or am I promoting a product the same way that the industry always has? A sample is received, it’s looked at, reviewed and if liked, written about. Just because I blog and am able to express my opinion more freely, does that mean my view is clouded? I would say not yet…but if I feel the fog descending, I’ll try and let you know.

14 Responses to “Marketing, Blogging & Editors” — Comments (RSS Feed)

  1. Marian Says...

    Succinctly put! I think the key as you said, is intelligence and integrity.

    Personally I am first and foremost a fashion writer,celebrity personal stylist and fashion stylist.

    My site has always been an expression of what I’m doing in my fashion work, my observations, loves etc.

    My belief is when someone writes amazing about something they don’t believe in, it shows.

    Also I think it is a mistake on any articles part to cluster the wheat and the chaff.

    With all folk, be they trained journalists like myself or not, they will be the bad mixed with the good. Are there some fashion bloggers who will decree that something not worth two cents is brilliant? Yes unfortunately there are. Does that mean all bloggers should be disregarded? No not by any means!!

    Personally no one could get me to write about what I don’t believe in. At the end it is as simple as that. I cannot in good conscience toot the horn of anything that I would not wear,eat,see,read etc.

    You post is well written, thank you for sharing.

  2. Random Fashion Coolness Says...

    Very well said Marian! Thanks for your insightful comment x

  3. rollergirl Says...

    Well said. I find when I read these articles that I am substituting ‘amateur’ for ‘blogger’ and then all becomes clear. The professionals aren’t happy with the ‘amateurs’ treading on their toes. Well, tough titty!

  4. Caroline, No. Says...

    I think it’s sour grapes. The closed little club of the fashion world is being opened up and they don’t like it.

  5. WendyB Says...

    I’m looking forward to discussing all this on my ethics panel at the Independent Fashion Blogger’s Evolving Influence conference during NY Fashion Week!

  6. joana Says...

    if only that would be the end of it. it’s absolutely ludicrous how a hat debacle can cause such trouble and apparently be “the fall from grace” of a person and i agree with everything you said in this post.

  7. Cate Says...

    Excellent post! I can’t read that “they don’t have the critical faculties to know what’s good and what’s not” quote without vomiting. Ah yes. We need to know the CORRECT WAY to HAVE AN OPINION. *lazer eyes*

  8. Janet Says...

    Great blog, you have demonstrated to a casual-fashion-page-turner like myself that the randomly cool world of fashion has an ‘Establishment’

  9. Madeleine Gallay Says...

    I’ve been a fashion buyer and just began blogging because, sigh, one needs to have a blog to point possible agents to. Not so strangely, its opened my eyes to what lies beneath this moment, this moment of bloggers and tweeters. Social media is powerful; so many set their facebook city to Tehran during the riots that it likely saved some lives. I’m just confused by the “them” or “is.” Some editorials are brilliantly done and readers gravitate to them. I’m as much in love with TheSilentStoryTeller’s blog as I am with British Vogue and I am delighted that BryanBoy has the enthusiasm and energy and sheer love of fashion mixed with a quirky sense of celebrityness. I don’t think it’s cute for Tavi to be at the Haute Couture shows but neither do I resent that. I do her hat and I adore everything that Stephen Jones does. The Haute Couture didn’t need the distraction and a working editor shouldn’t note the collection between the lovely bow, the lovely bow that almost poked John Galliano in their hasty conversation. Tavi is every-girl and it’s awful to see a bright child treated like a pet; the “she’s so adorable” comments are demeaning. She’s pithy and funny and this is wonderful for girls all over; it really isn’t so for adults. Bloggers are not entitled to privileges beyond that which their individual talent and readership dictate; the same for print editors. I’m stunned at the presumption that the fact of blogging should entitle one to more than a smile. It would, to me, disrespect the wonderfulness of the talented, such as this blog, such as, oh so many – the ones that we all have as links on the side because they’re really special.

    Blogging is divine. I am totally addicted to many, love LibertyLondonGirl, love Colin McDowell, love bloggers and hope to find a groovy style of my own.

    I came from buying and love everything about fashion, including its integrity. And professionalism, a fine seam and a certain intrinsic price reality. It’s such a wild moment and there are even bloggers that believe they should be included in the design process because “they” know what the customer wants. Quelle Horror.

  10. Random Fashion Coolness Says...

    There are some hugely insightful comments here! Thank you all so much as they are all read and very much appreciated x x

  11. Evolving Influence Recap! | Independent Fashion Bloggers Says...

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  13. Megan Granroth Says...

    Fantastic blogpost, I favorited your site so I can visit again in the near future, Cheers, Megan Granroth

  14. The Starling Says...

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Just discovered your blog, an now I’m hooked…

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