Fashion columnists and critics thrive off a good hen-fight but nothing seems to ruffle their feathers more than to see their patch of the garden being strutted by a fashionable young peacock. Such was the case when the legendary Suzy Menkes, Fashion Critic for the International Herald Tribune decided to pen her article “The Circus of Fashion” in which she focused her pecking upon the world of fashion blogging, suggesting that for the most part we weren’t critics but simply self-publicists. It’s definitely an article well worth reading, if you haven’t already done so and Suzy’s point is a significant one but is it right? Are the majority of fashion bloggers simply self-publicists?
I don’t have a problem with admitting that I’m something of a peacock and though many are still in denial, I think that most other fashion bloggers are birds of a similar feather. We love to strut our latest plumage in pictures and share it with our public exclaiming ‘look at me!’ Yes vanity is our favourite sin and we want to share ourselves with all who’ll look upon us. But if you look through the peacock’s eyes, you’ll see that there’s more to the show than simply the display, as our raison d’être is to gain followers.
It’s a simple rule of fashion blogging, the more followers you have the more access you’ll gain to fashions’ elite and the greater the revenue you’ll make from advertisers wanting to place their products upon your pages. Successful bloggers have the fashion world at their feet, they get front row at the top shows, advance previews of the latest collections and a healthy income from advertisers. And the way that they got to be in that position in just a few short years was through self-publicity.
So personally, I savour the role of being a self-publicist “Hi, I’m Dominique, I’m a self-publicist.” It’s beyond my control just as much as wearing the most dazzling dress to a party is at the heart of any woman’s fashion dream. I don’t deny that fashion blogging is a peacock’s game, we want your attention, but it’s also still in its infancy. In time, I have no doubt that more advanced forms of fashion blogging will develop, just as surely as the success of printed magazines and newspapers declines. So for any fashion critics reading, understand this, “We’re here, we blog, get used to it.” And yes, it’s all about me.