Perhaps it's the amount at which blogger-slash-stylist-slash-photographer-slash-editor is clobbered in institutions such as VOGUE that has turned the rest of the world off bloggers in the fashion industry and multi-hyphenate individuals in general.
As someone who has loved fashion, has read VOGUE and has studied journalism for years, I've admired women in such roles. I personally discovered blogging before I graduated college and decided to pursue it myself. I've always applauded self-made individuals especially self-made young women. It's greatly disappointing and beyond hurtful to read an article that destructively criticizes what I do under a byline for an institution that is known for praising and championing women.
According to these VOGUE Editors, the so-called "Gatekeepers of Fashion," bloggers are "pathetic," "desperate," "heralding the death of style," and "looking for style" from girls in the front row is like "looking for romance" in strip clubs.
It's catty, absurd, rude, hypocritical and down right disrespectful. The article was less about Milan Fashion Week shows and more about hammering bloggers that worked their asses off to attend them and sit front row.
Mean Girls is a movie released in 2014, mostly popularized by its classic quotes and should not be used as a paradigm in 2016 by women in respected positions that are expected to have a mature pragmatic approach in their work and everything they do and say.
Since the Digital Age came about, there are lines that have been blurred in various range of fields. I understand that for a professional photographer, someone who thinks that iPhone snapshots validates the title "Photographer" in their Instagram bio is irritating. I also understand that for editors and publishers, the lack of journalistic ethical standards and horrible grammar from bloggers is very annoying.
But for individuals pursuing multiple avenues of work that hustle on every single role as if it were their full-time job, should their efforts be lessen in value? Is there a finite knowledge capacity for one person to excel? Is there a time limit to exploring and developing a career? Would individuals focusing on various channels of work mean they can only reach half of their potential compared to those who focus on one?
The answer is a big hell fucking no.
Bloggers have paved their way in the fashion industry to do something they love and inspire others to live out their dreams and create their own careers if they don't see it exist.
I do agree with one comment made that "it's beyond funny we even still call them 'bloggers,' as so few of them do that anymore." Bloggers are so much more than bloggers to begin with. We are our own stylist, editor, writer and creative director. Unlike these editors, we don't have a team 24/7, the funds and an office in Condé Nast with different departments that handle various parts of a story or an article before it comes to fruition. We do it all ourselves.
The days when the concept of "career" is based solely on the skill set we've honed in college, or even the one our current job is dependent on are far long gone. If you don't understand what one's career fully embodies as a whole before judging it, do your research. And if you're going to insult a community that has helped shape your institution with the likes of Susie Lau, Bryan Yambao and Chiara Ferragni, don't promote what you hate. And if you don't like street style photographs of bloggers so much, call Phil Oh and explain his job description.
Women in high positions such as these women should have refreshed and refined expertise especially in today's lighting speed change in fashion.
Multi-slash individuals rule.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Photography by Sworup Ranjit.