The Rise of Fashion Bloggers and Journalists

During Fashion Forward talk shows, Paul Tierney, a freelance journalist, Elaine Lloyd-Jones, Editor at Grazia Middle East, and Tala Samman who is a popular blogger and contributor for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Grazia Middle East, discuss a topic much favorite to us and themed The Rise of the Fashion Bloggers: Print vs. Digital, and How to make it as a Fashion Journalist.

Paul Tierney opened the discussion by explaining how being a fashion blogger was unthinkable 10 years ago. According to panelists, being a fashion blogger 5 years ago was also very different from now.

However, fashion blogging evolved and now is very big, with some bloggers being celebrities in their own right. Just think about Susie Bubble – she is among the most popular bloggers today, with nearly 50, 000 fans on her Facebook account. Moreover, she is capable of influencing the style of a lot of people. Think Mark Faber and the gold market here!

“A few bloggers are as influential as magazine editors today – they are experts, they have agents, some of them have even their own fashion lines,” commented Elaine Lloyd-Jones.  While print media has always had its fans, online magazines and fashion blogs are here since recently, but with the intention to stay.

So, is there a threat to print media? No, according to Elaine, magazine editors are respected by the industry. While a fashion blogger can rise into fame for several years and then get back into being no one, magazine editors and journalists have been around for 20-30 years. And all this time, they are getting only better and better.

“It is not bloggers, but technology pushes the industry forward and online”, says Elaine, who has over 10 years of experience in the magazine industry. As an Editor for Grazia Middle East, she has not only enlisted guest editors such as Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, but she has also developed the Grazia Style Awards. Few years ago, there were no bloggers, and everything happened the old-fashion way.

Paul Tierney, a successful journalist with more than 20 years of experience, says that five years ago, he got irritated by fashion bloggers. They were only a bunch of people with little understanding of fashion and style, and with access to technology and the Internet. But the industry have changed, so blogging has also improved. Tierney teaches short courses in fashion journalism and three times a year, he comes to teach in Dubai. And besides being a tutor at London College of Fashion, he also writes for Grazia Middle East and works as an assistant editor for the new directional fashion magazine PonyStep.

The prestigious and internationally recognized London College of Fashion takes part in the second season of this year’s Fashion Forward. As a regular provider of short fashion courses in Dubai, London College of Fashion is familiar not only with the fastest growing areas of fashion globally, but also with the leading trends in the Middle East.

Originally founded in 1906 the LCF is among the first professional fashion educational institutions and is currently among the few to specialize also in fashion research and consultancy. Besides fashion design, styling, sewing skills and garment production, LCF offers education in all industry spheres from fashion photography and digital fashion to marketing and communications.

Graduate from the London College of Fashion, Tala Samman, says she went online at college. Starting her writing as a diary, she continued and her blog, MyFashDiary.com has been nominated by Ahlan!, Marie Claire, UK Blog, as well as at the Twitter Awards. She remembers that at that time, there weren’t many bloggers. In fact, there were no online fashion magazines and only a few bloggers in the Middle East. However, DubaiChronicle.com was 3 years old already.

Today, there are many online platforms for young journalists. The market is getting bigger and bigger and more people are trying to become fashion bloggers. And while some magazine journalists are afraid bloggers will take over, this won’t happen, at least for the next several years. Online media may be big, but people still prefer magazines over websites. It’s simply more enjoyable to flip the pages of your favourite magazine than browsing through the web, searching for information.

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