When fashion blogging was born in the early noughties no one could have predicted the impact those posts, written in darken bedrooms and squeezed out over lunch hours, would have on the very industry they were discussing. Today the term ‘fashion blogger’ is so widely and heavily used, everyone seems to knows someone who has dabbled in it. So, the time was ripe for an industry insider to put together a tome dedicated to the fashion bloggers who we should be keeping our tabs open for.
Editor of District MTV, William Oliver put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keys) for Prestel’s latest book, Style Feed: The World’s Top Fashion Blogs, dedicated to the very craft. Oliver collaborated with Susie Lau (who, if you’ve been living in a cave for the last five years, is the fashion champion behind Style Bubble) and pulled together a list of blogs they felt had contributed to making the blogging network, the buzz-worthy and crucial part of the industry it is today.
And of course, the big guns who we bookmark and check religiously are all there. Teenage Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie; multi-colour obsessive Fred Butler Style; snap-happy Face Hunter; achingly-hip Hypebeast; and the hilarious and gorgeous Man Repeller. But alongside this troupe of now media experts are the slightly lesser known commentators who range from fashion-obsessive students to wannabe-designers, all of whom deserve their time in the spotlight. As Susie Lau puts, “Style Feed isn’t a hard-line ranking system, but a celebration of blogs we feel have longevity as valid voices in the ever-noisy world of fashion media, and as inspirational forces to be reckoned with.”
How did the book first come about?
The publishers, Prestel, had produced a book purely focused on self style bloggers a couple of years ago and the feedback had been really good. We wanted to do something that took that idea but really brought it up to date and looked at the evolution that style blogs had gone through. I wanted to make something that gave credit to the people that were using the platform, and the concept of blogging itself, to do something new; whether that was visual or added to the established notion of fashion or style journalism.
What sort of presence had bloggers previously had in your working life?
As a writer and editor I had worked with a couple on projects but ultimately I suppose that a whole host of blogs had become a natural source of information and inspiration. As blogs are, generally, entirely self propelled, the content can be more consistent than we had previously been used to in monthly style publications. People who use blogs as a way of communicating are focused on one or a couple of aspects of what they are writing about and therefore can become, in many ways, much more informed than a lot of ‘journalists’.
Did writing the book change your opinion on bloggers?
Before I started writing the book I definitely hadn’t considered blogs as such a pivotal point and iconic point in summing up the way our society works now. Blogs and bloggers, not only within fashion, have come under fire but really I think that is about people being afraid of change. Whatever anyone says, the way we consume information has, and continues to, change around us and blogging is right on top of that. Blogging is genuinely at the forefront of that shift. I remember when people thought blogging would fade away. I think now we are aware that it may evolve, but that instantaneous, or very personal, aspect that comes from a blog is something that is now integral to society.
What are your thoughts on the fashion journalists versus fashion bloggers debate?
I don’t think there is one anymore, that notion almost feels redundant to me now, which good. I in no way say that I was a pioneer of blogging. I have never run one myself and when they first evolved I was definitely wary. They have established themselves though and have proved their credibility far beyond their means, considering most were, and often still are, started by one person with a laptop. Blogs are one thing and magazines/publications are another. It is a different sort of writing, a different form of information and inspiration, that is conveyed in both formats. I do think that we are now in a position where this is pretty widely understood and the due credit is given to both. We are also in a position where blogs are often viewed as a first stepping stone into a really tough industry. A lot of bloggers become journalists, editors, stylists and photographers. And magazines regularly collaborate with bloggers. That in itself is the answer really.
What’s the future of blogging?
I don’t think there can be a prediction of the future of blogging. It will be technology that changes and the way we communicate that information will almost definitely change with it.
Snap up a copy of the beautiful book, here.