A Blogger and an Editor Walk Into a Bar: a #VogueHatesBloggers Round Table

When the entire “Vogue hates bloggers” controversy came out last week, I had a lot of thoughts about the topic.

What is the best way to tackle the issue of blogging, media consumption, and fashion in 2016? I have huge respect for the publishing industry and I’m a blogger. So while discussing the issue with an editor friend of mine, she noted that we should just do that – talk about it.

Bryan Boy (Bryan Yambao) is one of the bloggers who spoke out after the controversy, posting this photo on Instagram with the caption: "#FoundMyFuckYouCoat #NotSponsored #IBuyNotBorrow"

Bryan Boy (Bryan Yambao) is one of the bloggers who spoke out after the controversy, posting this photo on Instagram with the caption: “#FoundMyFuckYouCoat #NotSponsored #IBuyNotBorrow”

Jessie Sardina is a editor of a major lifestyle publication in the US and has been a personal friend for a few years. We sat down over some ramen bowls last week and had an unfiltered conversation about the topic (unfiltered, but edited for length), blogger and editor.

Jessie: “So, who came out first [with the blogging bashing]? Was it Vogue?”

Molly: “Yes, it was Vogue. It was the Milan Fashion Week roundup. They said that bloggers were ruining fashion… that street style has ruined fashion, and bloggers cause accidents, they’re pathetic, and they need to get new jobs, etc.”

J: “Street style to me is really interesting because it’s become the circus surrounding fashion week. No one is really interested in what happened at the shows anymore. I would be interested to see Women’s Wear Daily, how their views have changed – how their page views have changed.”

M: “Right.”

J: “I think the spectacle is really obnoxious. Like ‘what can I put on my body that will get me the most attention’?”

M: “I think [that’s] what’s obnoxious, which they’re calling ‘peacock-ing.’”

J: “Yeah, and that’s something that bloggers started.”

M: “I don’t think bloggers started it. I mean who’s the queen of peacock-ing? Anna Dello Russo.”

J: “Yeah, true…”

M: “She’s a Vogue editor. I think blaming bloggers for ‘causing accidents,’ is also crazy. Like Anna Wintour has never stopped traffic.”

J: “Is there really documented cases of this? Are we going to talk about street style as a dangerous epidemic? I mean, come on.”

M: “I think all the points they’ve made, in this specific article, were not accurate. I think that those comments – that started this whole thing – were inaccurate and fairly hypocritical.”

J: “Yeah, absolutely.”

M: “Because they also blamed bloggers for -”

J: “Borrowing clothes.”

M: “Yeah, borrowing clothes. Which, who invented that? Let’s be honest. ‘If you’re paid to wear this in street style, well that’s not real.’ Let’s not pretend that Vogue isn’t loyal to its advertisers. Let’s not pretend that none of your editorials have never been affected by who’s buying into your magazine.”

J: “That’s true. I think that in any industry, the problem here is that there will always be people in every group that make it hard for everyone else.”

M: “Absolutely.”

J: “I think that Chiara Ferragni, she is a blogger. She has turned it into a major business venture. And I think that’s the best case scenario for bloggers. But I think there are a lot of bloggers who think, ‘Oh, wow! I can use my influence to get free shit.’ It becomes a vicious cycle.”

M: “Oh, absolutely. I feel like the root of this is that there are, like you said, in any industry there are people who you know, ‘pee in the pool’ for everyone else.”

J: “Yeah.”

M: “I do this part-time. I don’t blog for a full-time career. I’m friends with bloggers who do this for their livelihood. They have one million followers, two million followers, whatever. I’m friends with those people and one of them is the hardest working woman I know. She discloses when things are sponsored and works hard to put out things that also aren’t sponsored.”

J: “Yeah, of course.”

M: “…She’s running a business. What I think the difference is that there are bloggers and then there are Instagram bloggers.”

J: “OH, totally.”

M: “Those are the girls who have two million followers, they don’t even have a website.”

J: “I think the gripe that most people in traditional fashion media have is what’s most annoying to us is when you show up to an event, you know if you’re covering this event it’s going to be hours of working with an art director. You’re going to spend an hour at least researching, writing copy, etc. It’s a long process. To know that another guest that’s there could be a blogger and their contribution is going to be snapping a photo or Snapchatting – it’s like, especially working in print, we are so sad to see people lose appreciation for the print medium. Bloggers are changing the way that people digest media.”

M: “You’re absolutely right.”

J: “Especially in fashion.”

M: “I think that’s scary to people, for sure. I for one, I know so many incredible editors – you included – I have a lot of respect for them. I understand where they’re coming from. I think the kicker is, how much of this is “bloggers fault?” The digital revolution, the fact that people are digesting media like this, that’s not necessarily blogger’s fault. Because they’re independents [its easier to adapt], it takes a lot more to mobilize an entire company to go digital. It’s a lot easier for them to start creating and working in a new digital sphere.”

J: “They also can reach very niche audiences. You can go, as a brand, to go to someone with a specific following and say ‘we are trying to convey this to our brand, how are you going to do that’?” I commend that.”

M: “I think a lot of it is this grander scale of digital and how we consume media that’s affecting the world, and right now it’s bloggers that are at the forefront. Not as a whole, but in fashion specifically they’re at the forefront of that. Clearly, I don’t feel like editors and all bloggers are on par. Don’t get me wrong. I respect so many of these editors, I just think their anger is misplaced.”

J: “Oh for sure. I think they’re basing their views on the movement, on the digital revolution, and the personal experiences they’ve had. Which is fair.”

M: “That’s fair.”

J: “But don’t say bloggers are heralding the demise of fashion. I will say I think there are bloggers out there that are putting every item of free and loaned clothing on their body and taking their Canon and boyfriend out in an alleyway and calling it street style.”

M: “Oh, absolutely. I know them.”

J: “…that’s not street style to me. It’s not inventive or interesting. It’s not content.”

M: “I think, again what it boils down to is that there are good and bad people in every profession. Good bloggers who are doing incredible things and hustling really hard. And you know, those ‘bad’ bloggers who just have an Instagram. There are good editors who strive to put out incredible content and they have impeccable writing skills. There are also editors out there, I’m sure, who will only write about stuff they get for free, too. It goes both ways.”

J: “Yeah.”

M: “I feel like the hammer is just coming down on bloggers specifically, because it’s such a new part of the industry.”

J: “Oh, absolutely.”

M: “It’s so interesting they would knock street style. If you go to Vogue.com, their front page is Paris street style, Milan street style…”

J: “Oh, mmhmm!”

M: “That’s so hypocritical.”

J: “You can find pictures of any one of their editors.”

M: “Yeah! Like their editors don’t pose for street style.”

J: “Ridiculous.”

M: “Those comments were so unprecedented.”

J: “I think in regards to New York Fashion week, what’s discouraging to me would be carving my name out as a new designer. How do you do that among all the peacock-ing that’s happening outside?”

M: “Absolutely.”

J: “There are people that don’t even go to the shows. They just go up and down the side walk.”

M: “There are a ton of bloggers who do that, that’s fair. There will always be a place for editors and traditional media – I think it will fall on them to cover not only the Michael Kors show because he’s one of your advertisers, but doing your part as well and covering those new designers.”

J: “I think both parties can learn from each other.”

M: “Absolutely!”

J: “I think bloggers can learn from you know, editorial coverage and how to better convey that message. How to conduct yourself as far as best practices. But editors need to start thinking about their audiences differently and think about the way their audience is consuming media. At the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie. There’s a reason that people are going to blogs instead of going to the corner store and buying a magazine.”

M: “I did just drop $60 on glossy’s yesterday.”

J: “Oh, yeah, totally.”

Anna Dello Russo, a Vogue editor, is guilty of being one of the original "peacock-ers." She is not one of the editors who contributed to the now infamous article.

Anna Dello Russo, a Vogue editor, is guilty of being one of the original “peacock-ers.” She is not one of the editors who contributed to the now infamous article.

M: “But you know what’s interesting? I ordered four print magazines yesterday, but I ordered Business of Fashion, Another Man, LOVE Magazine, and CR Book. Those are the ones doing well and are interesting to read. They’ve adapted. They have social media stars in their pages and they’re doing more. There’s a mold Vogue is in, and other magazines are getting ‘hip to the scene’ a lot faster.”

J: “Yeah, it’s… I don’t know, I think we’re going to see a lot of change. This year there was more street style than I’ve ever seen before. I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s norm-core.”

M: “I think that’s also huge. What’s in style right now is ath-leisure and norm-core. Dressing normally. I think if the 80s were to come back with all that opulence you’d be looking more at runways.”

J: “Oh, for sure.”

M: “It depends on what’s trending. Sneakers and jeans are what’s trending! You won’t catch that on a runway necessarily. The other thing I thought was so funny was they bashed social media influencers SO hard… who was on your September cover?”

J: “Mmhmm.”

M: “Kendall Jenner. Really? You gave Kim [Kardashian] a cover.”

J: “Kendall Jenner who would not be a model if it weren’t for her sister. She’s… yeah. She’s beautiful, she’s gorgeous. But whatever.”

M: “I respect your [Vogue] decision, you thought she would sell covers. It’s all about selling the magazine. But, let’s call a spade a spade. You put her on the cover because she has 60 million Instagram followers.”

J: “Oh, yeah! Younger people are smart. In any industry, the internet has changed the way that people get acclaimed.”

M: “[mutters]…Stupid chopsticks.”

J: “Now, a good selfie can make you a model.”

M: “Yeah, Shawn Mendes was a Vine star.”

J: “Like, YouTubers. They sell out auditoriums. In any industry, there’s going to be an old guard versus new guard point of view. The way things used to be versus kids on the Internet. People are going to have words to say about them. It won’t die down until it becomes normal.”

M: “Yeah, until this all becomes much more normal. This ramen is delicious. I’m not editing that out. That’s getting transcribed.”

J: “If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s the state of the ramen.”

M: “I think we both have a pretty similar opinion.”

J: “Yeah, I think in the past I would’ve been much more harsh. Because it’s frustrating to be a young editor and be confronted with people who think they can do your job, better and easier.”

M: “They don’t see the work that goes into it.”

J: “Yeah, they don’t understand.”

M: “Absolutely.”

J: “Everyone wants to be a blogger.For sure.”

M: “Good ones and bad ones.”

J: “There’s good editors and bad editors.”

M: “It boils down again to just being good and bad in both professions.”

J: “And the bad ones are ruining it.”

M: “Because this is so new, we have to pay more attention to who we’re choosing to work with.”

J: “Yeah, and you know, industries change.”

M: “It’s not 2009, it’s not a fad.”

J: “Yeah, it’s here.”

M: “It’s happening.”

J: “It’s all happening. Let’s end it there.”

M: “Good idea. It’s all happening. This ramen was delicious. Disclaimer -”

J: “We paid for our own lunch.”

7 thoughts on “A Blogger and an Editor Walk Into a Bar: a #VogueHatesBloggers Round Table

  1. THIS WAS very interesting to read! I agree that they shouldn’t just bash bloggers, as a JOURNALISM student who also blogs I can appreciate the difference between the two. As media evolves, people enjoy reading blogs in addition to print and online publications.

    • There is enough room for both industries, and as Jessie pointed out – they can learn from each other!

  2. What a fun peek into your conversation. (I love the pic of that lady giving the side eye to Anna Della Russo. lol) I appreciate anyone who works hard! I’ve worked for print publications and now I run a blog, and both are equally tough work. If I see anybody hustling, they’ll get my respect. <3
    xoxo, erin | sandsunandmessybuns.com

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