Once upon a time there were fashion news media that were independent and influential, especially because they took the proper distance from that world and they were considered objective and impartial.
Fashion opinion leaders were the nightmare even of big fashion names with their fashion shows reviews and they were used to refuse gifts for Christmas.
Some of them were banned from fashion shows because of a bad review. Some magazines were “punished” by media cuts because they didn’t give the proper visibility to a specific brand.
Then the bloggers world exploded and those journalists complained about the paid collaboration between the digital girls and guys and fashion and luxury brands. Bloggers were badly judged despite the fact that they were clearly not journalists and not regulated by a specific code of conduct. They represented a brand new category.
Now fashion news media offer more often than in the past “sponsored contents” or “branded contents” in a very similar layout than the official news. This creates a certain confusion between what is reportage and what is collaboration.
Some journalists turned to bloggers on Snapchat unofficially advertising the latest trend or the coolest designer. Some of them started dancing at the parties and showing it on Instagram.
Some bloggers are clearly very clever business people who make money from new digital opportunities. They took advantage of a gap existing in the fashion world between press and celebrities and they worked for business and visibility. Very clear path and very well deserved.
On the fashion news media side the confusion runs high. The tradition media revenues are decreasing as the number of copies sold at the kiosks or by subscription. They need to increase the revenues and they started selling contents, they even tried to sell products.
The example set by Alexandra Schulman, editor-in-chief of Vogue UK should be seriously taken into consideration and further developed by others: Vogue Festival and Vogue merchandising. Great exclusive contents created by Vogue for Vogue followers and readers put on sale with a specific purpose: raise the revenues and the Vogue brand visibility.
A great example. Another one is Vogue Italia Franca Sozzani project in Dubai: 3 days of events and conversations and impactful dinners in a key region for fashion and luxury.
Instead of selling “sponsored contents” for other brands established fashion media should definitely exploit the power of their own brand in the industry and among the insiders through attention-getting and inspiring projects.
They should lead the pack instead of just being the mirror reflecting the allure of fashion brands.
Fashion news media shouldn’t walk the path of bloggers. They should instead work to raise their influence in an ever changing world.