{iStyle} Blogs make fashion go hi-lo, Pt. I

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By: Jenn Ortiz, guest blogger

This March, during Paris Fashion Week, Britt Aboutaleb of Fashionista mused over the blogger seating arrangements at fashion shows. While usually, but not always, bloggers were given press seating, this time there was subsection within press for online media. This, she explained, placed bloggers along the likes of online editors from Elle, Glamour, etc. At other shows, bloggers were given their own front-row section, just like Conde Nast and other publisher sections. She then wondered, “are the days of acting like bloggers aren’t real media members finally over?”

Yes, they are. Whether some people like it or not, blogs are valid media.

They are so valid, that you now see bloggers being signed as models and editors, being given book deals, and photographing ad campaigns. Street-style photo blogging and the focus on what is going on “outside the tent” is cooler and given more style credit than what goes on in the audience inside the tent. If you take a look at Lucky Magazine’s June issue, you might notice that a certain spread on purses looks like something that might appear on The Sartorialist or JaknJill. Bloggers are regularly featured in Teen Vogue and Lucky Magazine as authors, editors, and ones to watch. In fact, one could possibly argue that blogs are more valid and honest than most other forms of fashion media. Most bloggers do not have to answer to an editor or an investor. Therefore, they have the ability to be honest and express their opinions, as well as dish unconfirmed rumors without fearing backlash from any advertisers pulling out.

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Blogging is a very inexpensive way to reach out and connect to readers. Blogs and microblogs, like twitter, keep readers connected and current in a way that has never been possible before. Want to know what Anna Wintour said at the 92nd St. Y? Just log on to The Cut (NY Mag’s blog) the morning after, or for real-time updates  log on to The Cut’s twitter (@CutBlog). Fashion bloggers tweeted and blogged from their Blackberries and iPhones during the runway shows, faster than any magazine, news show, or the common fashion website could put together a spread on a show. The only thing more immediate would be directly streaming video directly from the show, but that costs money. Besides, who has time to watch a whole fashion show live anyway? That also means a reader would have to focus their attention, and let’s face it, the attention span and tolerance has lowered in the present day.

So what’s a magazine to do? Well, many magazines have begun to twitter and blog, too. They really couldn’t afford not to. In her Tuesday evening interview, Ms. Wintour admitted to having forced Andre Leon Talley into blogging, kicking and screaming. (Supposedly, he now loves it.) The New York Times now has a twitter account for the Moment, which recently tweeted live during the Grace Jones performance at Matthew Williamson. The list of magazines and editors that have begun to blog goes on and on.

Image belongs to The Sartorialist

There is one thing that traditional media entering the blogosphere should understand. In blogging, community is important to survive. It’s okay to re-blog some information seen elsewhere; in fact, it’s highly desired to be linked and re-blogged. That is exactly how a blog gets more readers and maintains relevance. This means that if you don’t read blog A, you’ll still likely see part of the same story from Blog A on Blog X, Y, and Z. In fashion, that means that more and more readers get information faster. The sense of community also gives blogs additional weight. If you piss off one, you might piss them all off. Then again, that could land you on CNN and sell some magazines.

In sum, bloggers are entering fashion and fashion is entering the blogosphere. Consider the line officially blurred.

Related CNN article here.

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Jenn Ortiz is a graduate of the University of Florida with degrees in History and Latin American Studies with hopes to pursue a PhD in Child Development. She believes there is beauty in everything around us; from the inside out, outside in. She currently runs {Bits of Beauty}, a place you just feel good about.

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