In 1947, Harper’s Bazaar’s Editor-in-Chief Carmel Snow famously dubbed Christian Dior’s collection the “New Look”. And while it was Dior’s exceptional talent that created the new silhouette, it was Snow’s review that made everyone look and take note. In that context, the legitimacy of fashion journalism was cemented for a whole magazine-focused era that followed. An era that gradually came to an end with the rise of the internet and the increased popularity of digital media. This rapid advancement of the digital age saw fashion journalism evolving in other forms; it became present more and more as content on social media platforms like Instagram Tik Tok and Clubhouse or blogging sites. This shift of the medium inevitably changed the format -and quite frequently, influenced the message.
Today fashion journalists must learn to adapt to various new media formats. In a world where social media is the actual capital of fashion. fashion journalism that blends broadcast, print, photography, and web coverage across platforms has become the new norm,These multi-channel content creators, sometimes dubbed “the new wave of fashion criticism” are often influencers in their own right, with large social media followings and devoted fans. For them, it’s important that no one seems to be controlling the narrative, as opposed to the big conglomerates and omnipotent magazine editors of the past. With all this direct access to information, it’s at the creator’s wish how to tell a fashion story and to whom.
As we enter the age of the Metaverse, it’s becoming clear that fashion journalism is once more adapting to emerging technologies. The times are indeed challenging -and we wanted to explore how. This is the first of a series of interviews with fashion journalists, content creators, and tech insiders that aim to shed some light on the future of fashion journalism, if there is any. Today we catch up with Diane Pernet, the legendary fashion blogger, founder of the international ASVOFF film festival, and all-around innovator to discuss the above- and many more.
Are traditional fashion media currently irrelevant?
I think that would be going too far. Of course, their importance is nothing like it used to be with Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, podcasts and ClubHouse taking over. People do not research an individual’s importance by how many pages they had in a recent issue of Vogue, nor their accomplishments. All they want to know is how many followers they have and that is how they define an individual’s importance. This goes for influencers, individuals, and even as a measuring stick before booking a model.
Are social media platforms and groups actually replacing fashion media?
I guess it depends on which social media platforms. In the past decade online sites like BOF, for example, carried more weight in the industry than print publications like Vogue. This is something that has developed over the past decade. YouTubers are offering information free of advertising bias that is refreshing; it reflects how blogs used to be in the early days..
What makes fashion content innovative in 2021?
Technology and imaginative content creators. Digital fashion, gaming techniques, storytelling, collaborations.
How do you imagine fashion content will develop in the future? Are brands a part of it?
Brands are of course part of it. They want to see what is working via influencers, content creators, apps like Club House, which by the way I think has lost its luster once COVID19 lockdowns were over. Club House was working in the beginning and that meant, much like Snapchat and Tik Tok and Instagram, that other variations would soon follow. Now that Club House is open to everyone and not invitation-only,we will see how it will develop. You see, the audio-only format is already being copied by other social media platforms. I may be biased but we can also look at the success of fashion films in getting a brand’s world in front of a global public. There is a lot of room for improvement but fashion films are here to stay.
Submissions for ASVOFF 13 are open until July 31 on FilmFreeway/ASVOFF