A lot has been discussed in the past week about the antiquated debate of fashion bloggers versus fashion journalists. My general feeling, is that it's basically a game of the pot calling the kettle black. Fashion journalists have accused some of online's most publicised bloggers of being "sell outs" and mouth pieces for public relation consultants. To me this is the height of hypocrisy, magazines have long been chained to advertising dollars, journalists' words at the beck and call of their editors and editors scramble to feed their readers advertisements disguised as genuine articles and so the cycle continues.
For the most part I think journalists have their Stella McCartney knickers in a knot because they do not understand the online world, the free flow of information and user generated content. For too long they have controlled the ship, they liked their absolute advantage over fashion content, now they too must navigate the murky waters. Magazines once operated under monopolistic competition, they understood one another and knew the game like the back of their hands. They can see fashion bloggers forming a comparative advantage over the online narrative and did not anticipate their own slip.
The print media are suffering from what is called adaptive expectations, this basically denotes that ones views of the future are depicted by assuming past trends and errors will continue. If only journalists could be more dynamic and understand that if they let go of the golden rope, they would be able to change and grow with the online world. By holding onto their tried and true methods they are risking defeat. The online world has opened up a raft of new opportunities, the barriers to entry are extremely low and so a lot of new players have entered the game.
It seemed that both bloggers and journalists were playing nice, until a simple bow construed the view of certain editor. The bow in question belonged to none other than Tavi of Style Rookie, a seemingly unstoppable force in the fashion world. I would liken Tavi to that of an asymmetric shock. Her establishment into the online world created a minor stir, but once she stepped over that invisible line into the tangible fashion industry, her bow acted like a satirical noose to the print media and editors alike. The bevy of bloggers now vying for their precious advertising dollars have caused a raucous.
No longer will the two be divvied up like first class and economy. Both forms of media serve different and very important purposes. It's high time the market and readers had access to a wider variety of content. Although in the short term a flood of information may decrease quality, the market will correct itself and return to a fashionable equilibrium. Until then, why can't the two enjoy a friendly oligopoly?