Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Economics of Tavi 101

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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?


  1. Nice discussion- definitely helped me understand a bit more about what's going on and why with the whole uproar sparked by the bow...can't wait to see what happens at the upcoming NY Fashion Week!

  2. Thanks Tanvi! I'm so excited about NYFW as well :)

  3. This is a brilliant article. I think my neck is sore from nodding at every sentence...

  4. thanks Coco :) I hope it's a little different to the other perspectives being thrown about!

  5. Interesting read, thank you for sharing your perspective! This really has been quite a heated debate, but people have been explaining their opinions really clearly, and I admire that.

  6. nice post..
    visit my blog and happy blogging

  7. Fantastic words Lola, the times are indeed changing - and people are certainly getting their feathers ruffled. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next 5 years, will the fashion blog eventually reign supreme?

  8. It definitely seems that Tavi has been caught in the whole crossfire. One comment I read somewhere really summed it up, "fashion journalists are just concerned people will realize it only takes an elementary education to do their job." I'm not quite that harsh on the industry, but I do think some journalists feel threatened.

  9. some great sentiments here! i can definitely understand where both sides are coming from, i think that both print media and digital media have their place though. i sincerely hope that tavi survives this industry (relatively) unscathed and that they don't try to turn her into something she's not

  10. "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... why can't the two enjoy a friendly oligopoly?"

    You are such a good writer!

  11. Thanks so much for your feedback girls!

    Thanks Rachel, coming from a writer, that means a lot to me :)

  12. great post! yeah I think it's a threat thing! time shall tell...

    thanks for all your comments too honey! you are a GEM! :)

    xxx BEL

  13. I think most of the fashion journalists are getting old...

  14. i like to think of bloggers as the more 'organic' voice of the fashion industry. you are right, there is hypocrisy with journalists criticizing bloggers, but it's simply because they feel threatened. hopefully there's room for all of us!
    xoxo alison

  15. I really like your take on bloggers/journalists, and of course all the crazy payola that accompanies publishing houses WAY more than bloggers. Great expose!


  16. wow, great post. very interesting


  17. I agree with you... they somehow don't understand yet that we all have to coexist and cooperate... it would be much easier for everybody.

    Just discovered your blog, I'm adding it to my blogroll. :)

  18. this is very well written!
    i can't say anything more... definitely agree on all points!

    wonderful blog!

    ♥ vanilla ice cream ♥

  19. Really great views Lola. I'm just reading a book in this topic (The New Rules of Marketing and PR) and I'm especially interested in the angles on the fashion industry. It is truly a revolution. Love your blog btw. I'm a new follower. xxx


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