Whenever people request interviews from me or try to get a quotation on my opinion of blogs, I know what they’re trying to urge me to say and the direction they want to push me into. I’ll just say it. I really feel pressured to say ‘Fashion Blogs are going to take over traditional media.’ Fact is, I just don’t see it that way. It is strange that despite being an avid (aka obsessed) fashion blogger who consumes a lot of online fashion media (the links lists on this blog aren’t just for show, I do wade through a good 80% of it all…my optician is not pleased at all…), I’m not going to be waving the flag and say ‘Move over print, online has taken over!’. I’m sorry if I have disappointed those that feel this is the case.
Why not then? The image above gives a vague idea of the number of magazines I buy. Actually it’s ten times worse than that. With the money I spend on magazines, I calculated that I could have bought a pair of Pierre Hardy shoes with three month’s amount of magazine spend. That reads like one of those anti-smoking campaign taglines and I guess that demonstrates the level of my addiction to magazines. Scouring Borders like a crazy woman, popping into Clare de Rouen to hunt for back issues that I might have missed, checking TFS for magazine release dates and first glimpses. Quite simply, the physical act of flicking through a magazine, gorging on the text, studying the images with intent can’t be matched with clicking away at a screen. I even have a special sitting position for reading my magazines (legs bent and curled up to the side) and a special accompanying drink (Matcha green tea).
As someone who has never worked in traditional fashion media, oddly, it upsets me when bloggers attack mainstream media for being ‘behind the times’ and not ‘current’. In the early life of Style Bubble, a supposed professional journalist attacked the blog for having no standard of professional journalism. This upset me not because I thought my writing was good enough to be considered professional journalism but because the intentions of the blog had been totally mistaken. Please excuse me if you have already my views on this subject in interviews but it’s something I’ve needed to get off my chest for a while now. I do want to reconcile being both a mag addict and a blogger.
In plain language, a blog and a magazine are two separate entities. If I’m honest, Style Bubble probably couldn’t survive without the existence of magazines. They disseminate information and plant ideas into my head that I then expand upon in a more personal manner on the blog. Blogs like mine go about and spout off personal opinions, as opposed to professional opinions in a way that hopefully presents a unique voice amongst the thousands of fashion blogs out there. Trying to find a personal voice, stance and take on fashion is what I love about a blog and this is something that magazines lack. This is in no way a criticism to those that work in traditional fashion media. What they do is worlds away, in terms of the mass of content they have to deal with, the deadlines, the advertiser obligations and to discount what they do would be an absolute crime. If there are bloggers out there that have the gall to say their blog rivals a magazine, then I would be appalled to call myself a blogger. There is no way in hell that Style Bubble is comparable to an i-D, Another, 10 etc publications that push the boundaries of fashion content and general creativity.
Whoever had the idea to put it into people’s heads that there exists a ‘Blogs vs. Magazines’ war is severely deluded. It is clear that the two can be consumed at the same time. I should think that the majority of readers here consume both and if indeed people are strictly reading blogs only, then I will say they are missing out on content that simply cannot be reproduced by blogs. From a fiscal point of view, I commend blogs for researching, writing and producing their blogs purely as a passion as opposed to doing it for money. But what you pay for in a magazine has its joys. Those images that are imprinted into your head. I hardly think that a photo I botch up on Photoshop is going to have a 1000th of the impact a photo shot by Tim Walker has.
Yet at the same time, I can’t deny times are hard for my beloved print magazines. Titles folding, circulation figures are down and magazines looking to expand their content more and more online and even giving away their print content online (Nylon’s issue downloads). To say that ‘magazines are dying’ is a gross exaggeration and perhaps it is about a shift of content, to concentrate on the things that online media can’t produce. For me, these are beautiful editorials and the effects of which can only be felt when in physical contact with those glossy pages. Exclusive interviews that the majority of online media would be unable to obtain (I haven’t read an exclusive Martin Margiela interview on a blog as yet…).
So let’s just accept that online fashion media is here to stay but this shouldn’t mean a ‘Death to Magazines’ and perhaps the way to go forward and it’s already happening is to have the two working together in their online content. (Elle.com and Style.com blog rolling other blogs – mine included…. very flattering stuff!). If you have already banned magazine buying completely, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to revisit the pleasure of grabbing the newest issue of Vogue Italia and looking at the miles of editorials, marvelling at the stylings, the settings and the moods created. I’m off to Borders now….perhaps I’ll see some of you fellow mag-addicts there?