(Source: The Zoe Report)
News coverage specifically for fashion practically quadruples for Fashion Week. Fashion Week is the biggest event in the industry that always draws the most attention to see what is going to be “in” for next season. It receives heavy media coverage in every city including New York, London, Milan and Paris. The front row of these shows is usually reserved for the fashion elite: the editors, photographers, designers, etc. The idea that fashion bloggers could be in front row seats along with people who have worked hard for years in the industry and have, in a sense, “earned” their seats, is a concept that is subverting the traditional system. It is also a concept that the industry has to wrap its head around, because the bloggers are here to stay. The fashion industry once viewed bloggers as amateur fans trying to create names for themselves but through brand partnerships, agents and front row tickets to the industry’s biggest runway shows, bloggers are not only recognized as legitimate sources of information but as some of the most prominent voices in the business.
Industry professionals are also coming to terms with this. Kelly Cutrone was quoted in The New York Times saying, “Do I think, as a publicist, that I now have to have my eye on some kid who’s writing a blog in Oklahoma as much as I do on an editor from Vogue? Absolutely. Because once they write something on the Internet, it’s never coming down. And it’s the first thing a designer is going to see.” The existence of bloggers among other prominent fashion innovators is crucial to the development of the modern industry. It also shows the relevance of the Internet to the industry.
There are several aspects of blogging that seem to raise relevant questions and concerns regarding the future of the fashion industry. As Wilson points out, “Blogs are posting images and reviews of collections before the last model exits the runway, while magazine editors are still jockeying to feature those clothes in issues that will be published months later.” Not only has the industry suddenly become instantaneous in regard to posting online, but it brings in to question the future of the magazine industry. The fact that this was discussed in a New York Times article is interesting because it is a traditional media source (a newspaper) but they are also one of the most visited websites on the Internet. In addition, it is one of the go-to sources for fashion and fashion week coverage. They also have Thursday and Sunday style sections in their papers, so they are clearly an important voice in the industry. The challenge presented to more traditional news sources will be how to cater to an audience that expects instant gratification.