The Evolution of Fashion Journalism

14 12 2009

For the past ten years, Los Angeles Times fashion critic Booth Moore has been covering fashion shows in New York, Paris, and Milan. But at New York fashion week this year, she noticed that something was different. “Bloggers were the flavor of the month this season,” she says, noting the overwhelming presence of these hyper-intense fashion fans.

Known for their role behind computer screens, the bloggers upgraded this year to front row seats at once-exclusive runway shows like Dolce & Gabbana and Rodarte. These trendsetting, influential, and style-conscious members of generation Y seized the role of fashion editor, with the Internet as their stage.

Now, the number of colorful blogs and fashion forums has exceeded ten thousand, providing some stiff competition for traditional fashion magazines like Vogue and Elle. Fashionistas, such as Emily DeTomaso, 21, a design student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), rely on daily visits to these sites in order to keep up with the dynamic fashion industry.

As magazine circulation continues to plummet, some fear that our beloved Chanel-clad fashion editors are soon to get the boot. While there is no doubt that fashion magazines, like all media, are evolving, the surge in bloggers is not the source to blame.

“Blogging has nothing to do with the declining circulation of fashion magazines,” says Samir Husni, a professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi. “It is two hundred percent related to the economic crisis.” Read the rest of this entry »


InGenYFashion Steps Outside the Box!

2 12 2009

As a journalism student I have always enjoyed writing and reporting. In school, I always found that I had a greater ability to work with words than with numbers. In exploring the changing fashion industry, I could not help but think about the major shifts occurring in the field of journalism. It is no longer sufficient to only write print articles. Journalists need to be twitter-saavy, Facebook-oriented, and privy to the idea of photojournalism.

Seriously lacking in photography skills, I decided to take a stab at the whole “Sartorialist/Streetstyle” thing. So I spent the last couple of weeks on the streets of New York City, equipped with my digital camera, a notepad, and a pen. My goal was to seek out the most fashionable people.

I had a great time. Here is a slideshow of the stylishly creative individuals that I saw and photographed! (the first two images and the last images are courtesy of Google Images). Enjoy! (Make sure to turn up your volume!)

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The Immediacy of It All…..

28 11 2009

In recapping our discussion on fashion blogs and online forums, WWD’s Christina Roperti enlightened us with the concept of shifting roles when it comes to traditional fashion magazines making room for the fabulous web-based sources that we have all diverted our attention to this season. Interestingly enough, I found a great example which clearly illustrates the model that Roperti proposed.

Check out one of the blog posts on Fashionologie, “the online musings of a twenty-something American girl who wishes she could have a Freaky Friday incident and switch bodies with Phoebe Philo.” This awesome online source provided “insider wire,” with live updates from the Spring 2010 Rodarte Runway Show as it happened.

Talk about IMMEDIACY! A simple visit to the site, provided access to the show, not only as it happened, but even the action that took place 35 minutes prior!

“Rodarte’s Spring 2010 collection is scheduled to debut in about 35 minutes, and already clues to what we’ll be seeing are popping up from backstage. The hair is wrapped with netted wool, and the clothes are apparently the same texture, reports Grazia. Fashionista says the theme is ‘organic Native American’–the invites were made of sand–and the models are all tattooed.”

The rest of the post is complete with updates that include photos and completely detailed coverage of the show! It sounds like Roperti is onto something here, as blogs do seem to be the source to provide breaking news in fashion!

Check out the video from the Spring 2010 Rodarte Runway Show….(yes, it was available online the day of the show) 🙂

Co-Existence Leads to Shifting Roles

26 11 2009

Okay, so lets recap what we have learned so far.

1. There has been a definite rise in the prevalance of web based fashion trend forecasting. The amount of blogs on online fashion forums is infinite.

2. The Internet has provided more ACCESS to the fashion industry, which has facilitated the “democratization of fashion“. No longer is the dictation of fashion trends left in the hands of a few fashion editors. Everyday people all over the world can participate as a result of the instant dissemination of new fashions online.

3. Numbers 1 and 2 have left us asking the question “What is the fate of traditional fashion magazines?”

4. While Bruce Nussbaum of BusinessWeek and some other experts assume that fashion editors will soon have to give up their seats to fashion bloggers and forum creators, Jane Buckingham chooses to look at the issue from an alternate point of view.

5. Traditional fashion magazines and online blogs/forums can CO-EXIST.

Christina Roperti, the fashion assistant at Women’s Wear Daily, agrees with Mrs. Buckingham. However, her own personal experience in the fashion industry leads her to believe that co-existence will be accompanied by a shift in roles.

“Fashion magazines aren’t going to be breaking any news stories anymore. It’s all about online presence. I know at WWD, we’ve stepped up our online presence recently. We are always working on improvements to our site and we even Twitter now, as if printing daily isn’t enough! There’s much more of a demand and expectation for information now, and it is up to print media to figure out a way to satisfy that demand while still remaining relevant….I think that blogs may be the ones to break the news of a trend and magazines will be the source that interprets the trend in an artful way, as perhaps a more image-based medium since you cannot get the same effect from a photo shoot online as you can in a large magazine spread.”

A FIDM Student Weighs In……

24 11 2009

Emily DeTomaso recently received her AA degree in Merchandise Marketing and is currently working on a BS degree in Business Management. She attends the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in California, and naturally she LOVES all things fashion!

The Ohio native devotes the beginning of everyday to catching up on any fashion news.

“Just give me my morning coffee and my fashion blogs, and I’m set!”

Some of her favorite sites inlcude The Sartorialist, JakandJil, Sea of Shoes,, and She loves the newfound ability to just “pop on” one of these sites to draw inspiration and see what is happening in the industry. But interestingly she notes,

“I don’t think the day will ever come when I give up my subscriptions to magazines and go strictly web. Having the actual magazine in hand, reading the articles, dying over the editorials, and being inspired by models and photographers is something that I can’t get from a blog or a website. Flipping through page after page of fashion delight and glossy images is something that simply cannot be replaced. Both blogs and magazines have their individual purpose.”

I found myself in total agreement with Ms. DeTomaso. At the same time, I was brought back to Jane Buckingham’s inclination that the future of fashion holds a place for both blogs and fashion magazines. At this point, Jane better be correct, because if not, we will have some very disappointed fashionistas out there!

Fashion Magazines and Blogs Can Co-Exist!

22 11 2009

Last week I had the opportunity to chat with Jane Buckingham, the vice president of Trendera, a trend forecasting company in California. Originally from Manhattan, Buckingham attended Duke University and wrote her first book at age 17. Having spent her whole life looking at trends and watching what people were doing, she noticed the increasing prevalence of the Internet in everyday life.

Bruce Nussbaum’s assertion regarding the fate of traditional fashion magazines was still on my mind. That being the case, I was certain that it has lingered with all of the fashionistas out there, so I took it upon myself to bring Mrs. Buckingham in on the debate. She had some great insight, and for the fashion editors who are reading this (wishful thinking), it seems like you don’t have to discard your Chanel shoes yet…..

Like Booth Moore of the Los Angeles Times, whom I spoke with earlier (see previous post), Jane was keen to the changing fashion industry.

“The Internet has significantly changed things in a lot of ways. Everyone has access to runway fashion immediately, so they can start talking about things immediately. Also, the fact that everyone can comment on fashion trends is a huge deal. It used to be just editors that could comment and say what was significant, but now everyone can utilize online forums and blogs to donate their opinion.”

When I asked her about the fate of magazines, she calmly said,

“There may not be the need for as many magazines, but there will always be a few smart magazines out there. Fashion is beautiful and people will want to look at it and take it with them, in the same way that people are still reading books and not using the kindle.”

However, that does not mean that the Internet has not created implications for the fashion industry, in particular fashion editors. Buckingham believes that you can’t spite change, and more importantly you must NOT ignore it.

“The increasing presence of the Internet makes it so that editors have to be smarter. Now, they have to provide more value to their opinions.”

Ultimately, as a trend forecaster herself, Buckingham sees a world of co-existence when it comes to online forums/blogs and traditional fashion magazines.

“It is great that there are both online forums and traditional magazines. Forums provide us with a lot of information from a diverse group of people and magazines can serve as the filter.”

What a great way to look at it! Don’t you think?

Brooke Bomber:’s Forum Moderator

15 11 2009

GenYFashion-Brooke BomberGenYFashion-Brooke BomberGenYFashion-Brooke Bomber

Last week when I spoke with Yuri Lee, the creator of, I asked her if she could put me in contact with some of the site’s top users. Just a few days later, I heard from Lookbook’s forum moderator, Brook Bomber.

The 24-year-old, Columbus, Ohio native, says,

“Fashion is something that I’ve really had to learn to deal with. If anything, my basic idea of fashion stems from an anti-fashion ideal. I was born an identical twin, you could say I used fashion from a very young age as a tool to set myself apart from the carbon copy of myself….I’d say that the aesthetics, the idea of letting someone know what you are all about upon first glance, is what truly intrigues me when it comes to fashion. I really love the way that, through our exteriors, we can manipulate people’s reactions to ourselves.”

Bomber has been a member of the fashion forum since May, 2009. As moderator, she sorts through the site’s photographs, making sure that they adhere to the rules set up by the community. When it comes to advantages of online forums as opposed to traditional magazines Bomber says,

“In both print and online fashion mediums, it is really all about the model and the photograph. The major difference we have here is that’s idea of fashion comes from anyone who has access to the website–either as a contributing model, or one who contributes hype. Fashion magazines might be showcasing what is coming next in fashion that might still be unattainable for the average person, while sticks more to a everyday, pedestrian idea of what is ‘in’.”

To me, this sounds very much like the “democraticization of fashion,” a concept that LA Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore explained last week.

Overall, when it comes to the changing fashion industry, Bomber sees positive things happening, especially when it comes to the presence of

“One thing I have personally noticed, is that you see more affordable, current fashion in chain stores. A lot of designers are making lines for the everyday woman that are available, even all the way out here in the ‘cornfields’ of the midwest. What massive online communities for fashion, like, have really shown is that a lot of women can afford to buy Vogue and drool over the editorials, but it’s much more appealing for us to be able to afford what we are lusting after.”

Bomber’s thoughts made me think a lot about Kristine Shine’s “Why Y Women,” and the results of the current study conducted by Radar Research. Perhaps we could look at the availability of more affordable fashion as the industry’s response to online fashion forum activity and the desire of individual contributors. It makes sense, doesn’t it?