This week, a particularly poisonous arrow has come straight from the New York Post, with yet another boring, well-trodden article that appears to be entirely about how much more important the author is than anyone else attending Fashion Week. Or even walking in the streets within her vicinity.
The article opens with a tale of how a poor, poor fashion editor was accidently run into by teens with selfie sticks – and goes on to draw a confusing comparison between these teens and fashion bloggers with 1 million followers that sit in the front row of NYFW (presumably in front of her).
The writer declares that Insta-fame is “the new American Dream – making tons of cash in exchange for their narcissism,” and opines that “it’s no wonder people are trying to cash in on clicks instead of talent.” It’s a repeated motif: that bloggers with millions of followers have no talent. But is that entirely true?
Taking a look at the writer’s Instagram feed reveals a blurry, not particularly well-curated view of her fashion world – and she’s supposedly a digital strategist, and fashion editor at Elle US, according to her LinkedIn. The thing is, it’s incredibly hard to generate a perfectly designed and curated digital feed, filled with inspirational images that appeal to a mass market and grow your followers at staggering rates. Sure, there are some fakers out there. But regardless of whether the followers are fake, they’ve surely crafted some exceptional digital spaces on Instagram and beyond.
Isn’t it dismissive and arrogant to assume these people are untalented? When they can (and do) develop a flawless and on-trend brand better than Faran and I combined? Isn’t this what digital strategists like Faran and I try to do for the various outlets we work for?
Just because they’re building a personal empire rather than a company one, doesn’t make it any less worthwhile.
These bloggers aren’t devoid of talent – and they certainly aren’t sitting in the front row with a selfie stick “knocking over cranky fashion editors”. In fact, at MSFW last week, the most annoying and non-professional people I encountered in the front row over six full days were some very well-known celebrities talking loudly, ignoring the show and taking endless “narcissistic” Snapchats. Not bloggers.
The article wraps with the following: “With great style comes great responsibility. We’ve got to reward creativity instead of makeup contouring. We’ve got to supplement the posing with pioneering innovation.”
I wholeheartedly agree – and some of the most innovative, creative people I see promoting the local fashion industry at fashion week, time after time, are bloggers.
They also may be the only ones buying your magazine, Faran.
Follow Bianca’s non-curated, mostly untalented journey through the Instagram world at @_thesecondrow.