Franca Sozzani trashes fashion bloggers - or does she?

Last Updated on July 19, 2022

Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Italian Vogue, has recently written a clever article about fashion bloggers. As is often the case with clever writing, many people took it the wrong way.

Franca Sozzani on fashion bloggers
Image from Franca Sozzani's blog

The problem: only Sozzani's negative sentiments about the fashion blogging phenomenon are echoing around the blogosphere. Yet more than half of her article speaks about fashion bloggers positively. She even concludes it in that vein!

This is the unheard-of criticism people are complaining about:

Are they important for Vogue? Do we need all these bloggers? They don't offer an opinion but only talk about themselves, take their own pictures wearing absurd outfits. What's the point? I don't even know who they are except a few names because they are so many and all the same, they are so worried about what to wear to get noticed that my eyes only see a crowd in the end.

They want to be recognized during the shows. I see many of them because they tell me their names, or I ask, because they are sitting front row, but I forget quickly. They are the bloggers, like the veline, no one has a real name. It's a category. Anonymous, but real.

Sozzani isn't talking about every fashion blogger in existence. She's talking about the part of fashion blogging that went wrong. The part that essentially became a popularity contest. The attention whoring. The vanity. The bragging. The need to have one billion blindly adoring followers. The same "it" items running standard everywhere you look.

It'd be easier to overlook such endeavors were they backed up by knowledge, but they're often not. Of course a Vogue editor who knows a thing or two about subjects such as fashion history, fashion theory, sociology of fashion etc. isn't going to stamp this with a seal of approval.

Fashion blogging exploded into a phenomenon because it brought uniqueness, creativity and self-expression. However, a good portion of it is completely homogenized today.

As a fashion blogger who notices these things, I can easily say I agree with Franca Sozzani.

The one thing I don't agree with, though, is this:

Still, it's an interesting phenomenon because it changes the approach to fashion. These aren't people who have been working in fashion too long to end up criticizing everything, the shows, and they don't have a background in fashion so they are not conditioned by their knowledge or interests. There comments are naif and enthusiastic. They don't hold a real importance in the business. Of course not.

Bloggers aren't important in the fashion business? Connie Wang at Refinery29 writes: We guarantee a shoe post on a super-popular blog that shows off how it looks on a slew of wearable outfits, and then links to a place to buy it online generates way more sales than if the same shoe was featured on a whole page in Vogue Italia.

Furthermore, there's a substantial difference between blogger promotion and magazine promotion. If a blogger promotes a product (brand), people can relate to it through a person that's familiar to them. You don't get that with a magazine. This approach is very well suited to our time when we want everything to be personal, personal, personal - if it's not, we just won't pay attention.

A practical example of how bloggers affect business is our beloved Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots. They spread like wildfire across the fashion blogosphere after they'd been seen on several major bloggers. Like it or not, the Litas are the "it" shoe of the season. Almost every other blogger has them and many versions are sold out. If that's not successful fashion blogger business/marketing, I don't know what is.

Sozzani speaks incredibly well of fashion bloggers in the rest of her article - the part that people seem to be ignoring on purpose. She appreciates bloggers for their new point of view, originality, personal style, different opinions and the fact they've invented a new way of communication. She concludes:

Lets wait a minute before acclaiming it or hating it. There are still a lot of people who don't know what blogger means, and none of us knows how it will evolve. It's still under observation. The only thing I can say with certitude it's that if it were a disease, we would call it a viral cold. An epidemic!

Fashion bloggers disease

Undoubtedly the most misappropriated part of the article are the last two sentences - disease, viral cold, epidemic. People are constantly quoting them out of context, which makes Sozzani look like a frustrated matron who has no idea about bloggers and their contribution to fashion. Why is that miles away from the truth? The woman writes a fashion blog herself!

Of course, like Anna Dello Russo, Sozzani is first and foremost a Vogue editor. When someone says her name, you're going to think "Vogue editor", not "fashion blogger". Nevertheless, she is one. And that's a good enough reason for me to believe she understands that fashion, internet and fashion blogging are closely intertwined today.

As for the disease references - if you look at them in context, you'll see that Sozzani isn't comparing fashion bloggers to illnesses. She's talking about how widespread the blogging phenomenon has become without a hint of negativity.

My conclusion is that everyone who thinks Franca Sozzani hates fashion bloggers needs to chill out. Chances are she gets them better than many of those complaining.

8 thoughts on “Franca Sozzani trashes fashion bloggers - or does she?”

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  2. And yet another great post about a pertinent topic. I agree with much of what you've said.
    I think the negative quotes make good headlines and that's why it's the nasty bits buzzing around the blog 0' sphere. I also think there's a bit of the old guard resenting the new guard, and some very good points about how our democracy of fashion isn't always coming from a proper fashion context. We'll get on anyhoo. As a fashion blogger who posts on a variety of subject I have to note the posts more often commented on are the personal outfit post. I think putting yourself outthere makes yourself part of a converastion, and that begins the fashion dialogue. As opposed to being dictated by an oftentimes clueless, and insider's club that may know something about fashion industry, but necessarily more about fashion
    the Citizen Rosebud

  3. Yes, I can see what you are saying, but reading her write up made me feel like I was a glutton for punishment. I generally object to her (all to familiar in the industry) attitude where the praise is vanishingly rare and criticism overwhelmingly abundant. It's just a habit, a tactic to compensate for insecurities that fashion industry is very sadly riddled with.
    I feel she is deluding herself - despite being a Vogue Editor, if she has a blog - she is a blogger. We all have jobs in real life, some of us have jobs a lot more responsible and awe-inspiring than editing a fashion magazine (I adore fashion and art but really don't like it when people think just because they made money from their good taste, that it somehow makes them holy).
    I think it is this hypocrisy and "high horse" that made everyone respond in this way, and that's kinda what happens in order to give arrogant people a bit of a reality check.
    She made a few valid points, but as far as who she is, you know how they say " If it looks like a frustrated matron, walks like a frustrated matron and talks like a frustrated matron - than it is a frustrated matron."...

    About fashion bloggers, of course I completely share her annoyance with vague, unoriginal attention whoring. This is the reason why after following countess fashion blogs, I continue to follow only yours. This is because you are personable, you speak with your readers, you post with clear intention and make it relevant, unique and interesting to yourself rather than focusing on "being the first to do something" or what not.
    I think this blog is a perfect example of what a fashion blog should be and I enjoy it very much :)
    Great post Eva, it is just so much nicer to approach drama and fashion through your eyes, otherwise I'd go insane :D

  4. I can totally relate to what you are saying. Everyone just went out there making angry comments about what Sozzani wrote. To some point, I understand her... I mean, numerous fashion blogs emerge each day and it is indeed frustrating the lack of variety and originality in them. But above all, the lack of quality. From design, to the writing, the pictures, etc. It may seem a little unfair for me to say this as I am just starting a new blog but I guess the thing is to try and make everything you do, different... always giving something that will differentiate you from others.
    My first post was actually about this whole controversy and I discovered your blog while looking for other posts regarding this issue to find out what the general opinion bloggers had on this. I must say I was completely thrilled as I scrolled down and kept reading what you had to say, I found it clever and objective and form now on I'll keep coming back for more. As I say in my post (which I hope you read someday), of course it's not all about credentials and titles but it is about being able to translate your own essence into everything you do.

  5. it's ok.

    it didn't bother me, because i don't find myself a fashion expert, and similar to her, with all my fancy degrees i don't like when amateurs attempt to do my work. and then as you said, some bloggers are professionals. so, alles gute.

  6. not all fashion bloggers are "style" bloggers. meaning not everyone takes pictures of themselves in ridiculous outfits.. this is something everyone needs to understand!

  7. točno to :) konačno je to netko rekao na glas i kak spada, a ja sam naravno u zaostatku kao i uvijek, al dobro... neka... nadoknadit ću ja to.

    i moj naklon za onaj post o 20 sarkastičnih naputaka kako postati fashion bloger :D lol. i da sam ga ja radila, Lita boots bi bile isto na 1 mjestu sprdnje jer mi ih je iskreno fkt puna kapa i više zgledaju ko kopita nego ko lijepe cipele. Iako je to sve stvar ukusa, i to kaj se meni ne sviđaju možda je nekome jednako apsurdno kao što je meni da bi ih netko nosio, ali, da si me ovim postovima oduševila, jesi :)

    Samo tako nastavi dalje :) članci su ti predobri, jasni, i prije svega pametni i s veoma jasnom porukom :)

    mah mah :)


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