Don't bite the hand that feeds you—especially if they're covered in Deborah Lippman nail polish and suffer from blogging-induced carpal tunnel. Franca Sozzani bashed bloggers on her own blog today, accusing them of irrelevancy, vanity, naïveté, and comparing them to an epidemic, a disease—a "viral cold."
"There are many questions about the invasion of fashion bloggers. Why are they so credited? Why do they sit in front row? Why does the Chamber of Italian Fashion thinks so highly of them, so much as to provide them with a driver during the shows as it's happened during menswear?
Ah, the ol' "framing your own questions as if they weren't your own trick. Also, what gives with the jealous insecurity, despite the years of great service she's provided for the industry? She really digs into it here:
"Are they important for Vogue? Do we need all these bloggers? They don't offer an opinion but only talk about themselves, take their own pictures wearing absurd outfits. What's the point? I don't even know who they are except a few names because they are so many and all the same, they are so worried about what to wear to get noticed that my eyes only see a crowd in the end."
Continue reading Sozzani's full post, and then our opinions, after the break:
"They want to be recognized during the shows. I see many of them because they tell me their names, or I ask, because they are sitting front row, but I forget quickly. They are the bloggers, like the veline, no one has a real name. It's a category. Anonymous, but real. They don't do much damage because they are like moths. They live only one night. If they last longer, it's not because they are better bloggers or their blog is more interesting. It's a trend and like it happens with all trends in fashion, it gets blown up out of proportion and creates many followers."
Yes, because the Internet is a "trend", and so are the people who use it to get excited about fashion (who oftentimes do it so much more effectively and elegantly than those who use plain old print). Sozzani continues,
"Still, it's an interesting phenomenon because it changes the approach to fashion. These aren't people who have been working in fashion too long to end up criticizing everything, the shows, and they don't have a background in fashion so they are not conditioned by their knowledge or interests. There comments are naif and enthusiastic. They don't hold a real importance in the business. Of course not."
What's naive is to think that bloggers don't affect business. We guarantee a shoe post on a super-popular blog that shows off how it looks on a slew of wearable outfits, and then links to a place to buy it online generates way more sales than if the same shoe was featured on a whole page in Vogue Italia. Sozzani attempts to backtrack a bit:
"Personally I would like to know their opinion to understand a new point of view and not just rely on journalists "who have been doing this for thirty years!"Not being biased at times helps to see what people who work in this industry miss.
"Non reliable opinions? It doesn't matter because what matters is having different opinions from all kinds of people with different backgrounds. Journalists can be harsh in their comments. These are partly personal opinions too. At the end if we are being honest, who comments and who buys? Who should we listen to; the buyer or the journalist? Why not a blogger?
"There some bloggers that are outstanding. Girls and boys who dictated their own style, at times circus like, but personal. They are original, they have invented a new way of communication.
"Not all trends are nice and not all bloggers are good, but so it's for designers and journalists. Time is needed to emerge, and when you make it, to resist. Time decides what's successful or not. What makes history. The blogger phenomenon is too young, too new.
"Lets wait a minute before acclaiming it or hating it. There are still a lot of people who don't know what blogger means, and none of us knows how it will evolve. It's still under observation. The only thing I can say with certitude it's that if it were a disease, we would call it a viral cold. An epidemic!"
Man, we are so tired of old-school editors unintentionally revealing how ancient and out of touch they are by positioning themselves and their publications as anti-blogger. The world of personal blogging might be big and chaotic, and while there are a fair share of vainglorious trend-machines out there, the medium itself has made fashion consumption something easy and fun to do—which is good for everyone! The Blogspots of the world can't compare to the Vogues of the world, but comparison isn't really the point when each fuels the other with readers and inspiration. Sozanni does agree that bloggers offer a different, non-industry (and thus, advertising-driven) point of view, and we have a feeling she's just annoyed because her car was once blocked by another car belonging to a fashion blogger, or that she was seated next to a Tumblrette instead of Anna Wintour at a show. But this all makes us wonder if the upper echelons of the fashion world are inhabited by too many loopy ladies with too much hair and not enough vision.