The future of fashion? Almost as up in the air as the future of magazines. Bloggers, advertorials, user-generated lookbooks; nowadays you’re almost as likely to see an everyday person in an ad campaign as you are to see a model.
At Thursday’s Fashion Group International panel discussion, Diane von Furstenberg stressed the importance of editors in the fashion industry and why they should continue to stand their ground and wield their experience over the everyday bloggers and twitterers:
“The Internet created this huge democratization and it means that things are more available, but it also means that editors are more needed,” DVF said. “It all started with Andy Warhol [and his 15-minutes of fame]. I can only imagine what [he] would have done with the Internet and Paris Hilton.”
Ken Downing, president of Neiman Marcus, agreed. “[People] want to know they are getting solid information. I often fear that we give away too much information. I think that mystique and magic are important to keep people coming back and wanting more.”
Should everyone have the right to report fashion news and dictate the latest trends? No, probably not. But that doesn’t mean that bloggers, twitter users, and the average consumer are necessarily wrong. While editors (of the more traditional variety) may have the long-term experience, they also have a tendency to be decidedly out of touch with the person actually purchasing the clothes.
The bottom line, as a fashion blog ourselves, we know first hand that we strive to give accurate and trustworthy editorial. But it’s still difficult to imagine a world where a blogger could be the next Anna Wintour; Tavi will never be Glenda Bailey.
But instead of lamenting about the decline of magazines, or the decline of the editor as the official word, we think time would be better spent finding those bloggers and online editors who value taste, fact, and quality as much as an editor at Vogue would.