It was the roundtable heard around the world — or the fashion world, at least — when Vogue editors weighed in on the blogger phenomenon this past Fashion Month in a conversation that felt very redolent of 2009. “Pathetic,” “desperate,” and “distressing” were some of the words they used to describe bloggers and influencers outside the shows.
At a street-style panel at Facebook and Instagram HQ last night — hosted by the Friends of the Costume Institute and moderated by Eva Chen — some of the bloggers had a chance to respond. Chen brought up “a certain publication [which] took it upon themselves to have certain words about the entire blogging/street style [community.] It was pretty derogatory toward the industry,” she said, “and I feel like we should address that question, just because it would be poor journalism if I didn’t.”
Leandra Medine, the founder of Man Repeller, had some words for the editors in question. “People who are getting paid to wear clothes are doing nothing
so different from a magazine getting paid by an advertiser to put
clothes on one of their models,” she said. “My perspective is: Just let them live.
They’re not getting in your way; they’re not stopping you from getting
your job done. They’re literally just trying to make a buck like you
But she added that she understood why legacy media has been so threatened by the blogger phenomenon. “The fashion system is such that if you didn’t pay your dues back in the
day, you didn’t get to accelerate. The front-row seat indicated you had
worked extremely hard for a [long] period of time, and you were now
warranted to sit in this seat.” For the first few seasons that she was
covering the shows, she felt strange about being in the front row ahead of many seasoned print editors, but now she feels like she “deserves” the spot, she said.
Added Garance Doré, who was also on the panel: “There is no more filter — people choose who to follow, and they give the right to anyone to have power. [Once], magazines were deciding what was good style, and today everything is shifting. I think it’s an interesting time and it’s very difficult. It’s very disturbing to people who used to guard style, and decide what was good or bad. There used to be five voices; now there are a million.”
Bryanboy, who was not on the panel but was sitting in the audience, weighed in as well. “What I was really curious about was whether [the piece] was intentional, as in, it was calculated,” he said. “If they really thought about it, or if the comments were in passing, in a roundtable, and they didn’t know that it was going to go viral, in a way. I mean it’s 2016, it’s not 2008 where we’ve had this conversation multiple times. I feel like we should move on and not have these conversations anymore.” On that last point, we’re definitely with him.