read | the importance of fashion bloggers

Alternatively titled, “Why Gavin Rajah Wouldn’t Get Into UCT” and “Get Off My FWIS”

As originally posted on The Urban Mavericks

IMG_8400In the land of ‘#OOTD’s, ‘#FWIS’s and flat lay Instagram posts, it’s really not that difficult to believe that fashion bloggers are vapid, little bimbos flashing around their free designer handbags and going to fancy parties to drink expensive champagne and talk about nothing in particular. And while this does happen on occasion, I think it’s incredibly naive to reduce fashion bloggers to that.

For the last year or so, people have started to distance themselves from the term “fashion blogger” or blogger whatsoever, and as someone who finally feels like they earned their blogger stripes, I was a little touched by this. Part of me wanted to scream, “Come on! You’re not that much better than me – we’re all bloggers here!”, but another part of me realised that maybe they’re right. Modern day bloggers far exceed that label – they’re influencers.

Why influencers? Because how many times do you see a magazine talk about a hot new trend/item/collection and just know they’re talking sponsored trash? Take a second, think about it.

Probably far too many to count – and that’s where the bloggers come in. Bloggers have the authenticity that comes with being a real human being – capable of liking or disliking whatever they want and no one can criticise them for it because their blog is their opinion, and they can use their platform to speak as honestly as they feel about whatever they want.

At the CTFC workshop on The Power Of Blogging, Robynne Kahn Tha Gawd dropped some serious knowledge on the industry, but she started with this: “The first rule about blogging is that there are no rules.” There is no prescribed way to act or blog, as there is in other avenues of fashion (such as traditional print media). Bloggers don’t have to post press releases, and say that everything about that runway show ‘was so amazing!’ or anything like that – and my goodness is it liberating.

That liberation is probably the quintessential difference between working in fashion and being a fashion blogger. I don’t have to worry about how my other clients/advertisers/PR will feel if I tweet, “Hey, Gavin, my love, we’ve seen this dress before” because I have the right as a free agent to say whatever I want. I have the responsibility as an interested human being in fashion who wants the industry to grow to be able to constructively criticise works. I have a voice, a platform, and I can influence people accordingly. Obviously, when you say it like that, it sounds like my inner-sociopath is having a field day, but all I mean is that I can use my personal experiences in life to give people a different outlook on things.

Fashion is not as fickle an industry as people would like to think, and that’s problem number 1. Fashion influences everything we do – from what we see to what we wear, so who wouldn’t want to influence fashion? When you look at the Leandra Medines and Chiara Ferragnis of the world, working with brand powerhouses whilst curating engaging content for their readers, it’s easier to see that blogging is less appearance and more aesthetic – it’s creating that which you want to reflect in the world and having your voice heard.

So the next time someone wants to judge you because you’re taking a photo of your shoes, stare them right in the eyes, prepare your best J. Cole voice and declare: “Get off my FWIS.”


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1 Comment

  1. Joy
    June 10, 2015 / 1:46 pm