“Today many of them are Web icons, trotting out their finery for scores of fans. But what they are parading as street style — once fashion’s last stronghold of true indie spirit — has lately been breached, infiltrated by tides of marketers, branding consultants and public relations gurus, all intent on persuading those women to step out in their wares.”
“These girls are definitely billboards for the brands,” said Tom Julian, a fashion branding specialist in New York City, one of a handful engaged in a particularly stealthy new form of product placement. “People still think street style is a voice of purity,” Mr. Julian said. “But I don’t think purity exists any more.”
“Few people realize that certain bloggers and seemingly random posers are modeling for a fee,” Mr. Saynt said. “But even those who are aware don’t always understand the degree to which we orchestrate these placements.”
These are just a few quotes pulled from a New York Times article published here earlier this week. After fashion week in New York this past week it has been shocking to all to see how many bloggers were sitting at the front row of shows. On top of that it was even more surprising to see how many of these bloggers were decked out in head to toe designer items (mostly gifted for the events we can assume). Blogging has become the P.R. fashion industry’s next target and it’s no surprise when they are becoming larger influences to people that are shopping then magazines are at times. However as Tom Julian stated above,”People still think street style is a voice of purity…..but I don’t think purity exists any more”, we have to wonder, is he right?
As a fashion blogger (and many other things) clothing and material has been my outlet for creativity my whole life. Vintage paired with knock off items from Forever 21/H&M, and everything else hand made or ebay/etsy’-ed. Not that I have anything against designer items (I simply can’t afford them) but when going through the street style photos from NYFW I’ve noticed a lack of anything non-labeled. Everyone had on the latest sunglasses, bags, heels, sweaters, skirts, and so on. It was depressing as a street style enthusiast to see that all of these “street style” photos looked like they could have easily fit into the centerfold for any glossy. Of course when your going to the shows you want to look your best, but since when did your best mean the designer’s best and only that? Your there to see the collections, not to sell them, right?
Has the allure for all things designer taken over the fashion bloggers original pursuit of embracing personal style? Are we all only wearing Goodwill threads until we can get our hands on something better? I for one hope not. The girl, or guy, who can pull of a thrifted pair of overalls looking like a million bucks AND themselves is enormously more interesting then that Kenzo sweater and sparkly skirt I’ve seen in 3 different versions already. Are we so concerned with being seen in the “right” things that we forgot how to dress ourselves uniquely anymore? Only time will tell but lets hope for the next Anna Piaggi to grace us soon with a slew of refreshing eyes and mind set. As for the fashion bloggers out there who are finding themselves in the predicament of being gifted items but not wanting to lose their integrity, don’t consider this an anti-industry rant so much as a re-evaluation of our goals as personal style bloggers. Genuine. Authenticity. Individuality. That’s what got us interested in style and fashion in the first place, let’s try not to forget.