Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Democracy in Fashion: A Ramble

I have had over a hundred conversations with many friends and colleagues over the sudden “bastardization” of fashion on the web.  A few oppose, a great number are for it all, while some believe that our generation has seen nothing yet. As part of the ‘pro-internet’ movement I happily embrace all things digital media.  There is a freshness and excitement that I can’t quite put my finger on.  Maybe it’s because this sudden flooding of information feeds my A.D.D. tendencies? As of late I find myself getting caught up in certain social media circles discussing the democratization of fashion.  What is luxury? In the battle of Retail versus E-tail who will surface as champion? What the hell is and Edvertorial? And will it truly threaten the clout of a great glossy? And what of crowdsourcing (a great example being Imran Ahmed of BoF and his collaboration with Bill Amberg)? If I as a consumer can demand a certain item or design, then why do I need trend forecasting? Or better yet what will become of the ‘Top Ten Things You Must Have But Can’t Afford This Season’ list?

So yes, the playing field is open. Democratic? Perhaps. Well certainly now more than ever before. There are debates, hits, loves and likes. You can click your appreciation or rant about it on your personal web page like I am doing now. You can forward it to friends, tweet clues and gossip creating mass hysteria and giggles.  Thanks to the Internet my beloved obsession has now become a three dimensional environment that I can touch and participate in. If this is the future then hell I am all for it!

The fear that glossies will die, I think, is a little premature. As someone that is constantly battling financial woes, in school and currently unemployed I will still purchase my mags. Mind you my taste is refined! But the love of the medium is still there. As I think with most in the business, the love for a beautiful still image will forever exist. I for one need more than just a scan.  The creation of niche magazines is obviously a plus. Highly covetable bi-annuals printed few and far between create a buzz and further it as a must-have. One only has to look at the general shit show that is the music industry to realize that the interwebs is going nowhere fast. Fashion insiders, some of you sit and bitch about bloggers that line the front row, or for knowing little or nothing at all. And yet we drive your business! So instead of all the whining, why not embrace us? Feed our insatiable appetites of knowing everything now! The power you hold in your hands is dizzying!

I love that fashion has evolved from two seasons to a daily creative occurrence. By developing an informative and creative strategies magazines can create a vibrant community both online and in the real world.  All this and build loyalty while constantly developing a genuine interest and culture. Market the covetable, feed my lust for the finer things in life but educate me as well. From behind the scenes to historical what have yous. I’m famished!

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