Blog is a Dirty Word

How did we get here and why don’t we change it?


When I read Suzy Menkes’ “The Circus of Fashion” last week in T Magazine, my initial response was mild outrage. Mild because there was a deluge of factual evidence that I couldn’t argue–fashion week is becoming a circus and street-style elicited outfits may have something to do with that. Outrage, however, because reducing an entire generation of sprouting professionals (the bloggers) to the perpetual black (well, actually neon) sheep of fashion just doesn’t seem very open minded.

On the one hand, Menkes is right. Fashion is changing and it is doing so quickly. The indusry no longer belongs to the upper echelon dwellers exclusively and has made room for the amateur groupies to carve their own gold stud-laden paths. Sometimes these paths lead to interesting, innovative movements but sometimes too, they don’t.

On the other hand, Menkes is right again. With a myriad of photographers moonlighting as paparazzi, waiting ambitiously to catch the familiar faces of the plethora of websites that have allegedly made them famous, it seems street style is our generation’s newest contribution to the phenomenon of reality star culture. The photos are inspiring, the clothes are magnificent and the conversation street style has incited is vital for the fashion dialogue–but this is only when authenticity bleeds through. In the current climate, it might seem like “getting the shot” is less about the credibility factor and more about how far along the spectrum of crazy a subject can sway. But then again, style is also a function of personality. If the girl has got the proverbial balls to strap live vertebrae to her head and loves how she looks, well, good for her.

Where my opinion differs from Menkes’ rests in her perception of bloggers, both of the personal and street style variety. She writes that “the celebrity circus of people who are famous just for being famous” are most prevalently known for their blogs. It doesn’t seem quite fair to peg the bloggers that have actually become “famous” as such just for being famous. When I think Tavi Gevinson or Susie Bubble or Emily Weiss or on the street spectrum, Tommy Ton, I think recognition based on the merit of astounding work.

Lincoln Center and The Tuilerie Gardens are also mentioned–in the context, as infested zones depriving whatever might be left of the true spirit of fashion week. Most of the supremely sought after shows and hot tickets in town don’t really take place at the allotted Fashion Week Zones, though. And the denizens of those off-site shows are presumably there with a seat assignment for good reason, aren’t they? Lincoln Center has become something of a haven for aspiring bloggers who spend their fashion weeks ardently hustling (which is too, notable and worthy of respect) through the fountains in the name of recognition. But like all writers do not write with the same pen (how would Hemingway have felt if he were shepherded into a group among the likes of, say, E.L. James?), all bloggers do not type with the same keyboard.

And even if we did, it’s impossible to deny that the world is changing. Traditional fashion jobs are few and far between. Maybe Menkes just doesn’t get it, which is fine. She doesn’t have to. But the hunger and supply for editorship hasn’t dwindled in spite of more unfortunate circumstances for the demand. There is a reason, after all, that Gen. Y–which is only becoming more important as we get older and begin pushing and stimulating our economy–has been dubbed the entrepreneurial generation. Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own. Sure, the training isn’t traditional but my generation is brilliant; we are over-educated and often over-qualified for the jobs that we do take. Tradition and innovation have little to do with one another and in the battle of success and relevance between the former and latter, the latter has proven itself quite victorious.

Maybe too, we should gear the flack more closely toward our environment. The consequences of living in 2013 are vastly different than they were in the 80s or 90s and even early aughts because of the hyper-speed at which we consume information. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now Vine (which has made watching runway shows from the comfort of wherever 4G functions through the vantage point of showgoers possible) are not going to disappear. They’re just going to grow, and advance, and continue obstructing the boundaries of privacy until the residual backlash starts and we’re forced to recoil, hungry for the same brand of nostalgia that Menkes recalls.

And I really do understand where she is coming from. She is the rare fashion partisan who has subsisted long enough to observe and shrewdly, unapologetically comment on the evolution of fashion week and that which occurs outside the velvet ropes. Noting the previous formula as one that worked, how could she possibly accept the democratization of something so historically exclusive with overwhelming positivity? This is my generation, my vocation, my moment that she is reprimanding, and I, too, have a sincere problem with the notion that front row squatting may be based less on excellence in trade and more on social following density.

But what upset me most about the piece wasn’t even really her fault–it is the cynicism and skepticism that has made a home for itself in the field of blogging.

Last week, because of a comment on my favorite beauty product (which I have been purchasing–not being gifted–every two months for the last three years,) and the response to it, (“we get it, you’re sponsored by X,”), I found myself wondering if we, the bloggers, have entered an era where we can’t like anything without having our motives questioned.

Yes, I concluded. Unfortunately we have.

It has always been the subjectivity of fashion blogging that resonates so well. The raw portrayal of an unedited opinion will likely always command ample attention but there are only really a handful of bloggers who have been able to canon true influence and respect. It is at the point where readers can smell the sponsorship that integrity gets lost. And in this day and age, it seems that sprouting blogs are founded on principles of self-aggrandizement.

I think that the forebears of blogging are to blame.

It’s a standard that we set. In a profession so new, where the thick is run by fresh indwellers trying to figure it out themselves, it is only the trial and error formula that can set real rules. We never should have accepted gifts in the first place. We shouldn’t have bragged about the free trips, and cool events and recognition from our industry heroes. We’ve painted a picture portraying the circumstances of blogging that is inaccurate.

But like in everything else, Darwinism will always prevail. The strong will continue to survive and the weak will eventually begin to wean off. The question is, what will make us strong? It seems like the blogging landscape must tackle some serious change. We as a collective elicit the mockery (no matter how arguable it might be) that we garner and the puddle of cynicism and skepticism that has manifested around us exists reactively.

It’s not fair to abate our influence, but the question of respect should be canvassed. How can we really assume that we will cull the respect we think we deserve if we don’t even respect our own brands?

Photo by Ashley Rowe

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  • brilliant

    • On the one hand, Menkes is right. Fashion is changing and it is doing so quickly. The indusry no longer belongs to the upper echelon dwellers exclusively and has made room for the amateur groupies to carve their own gold stud-laden paths. Sometimes these paths lead to interesting, innovative movements but sometimes too, they don’t.

  • charli

    really love this!

  • Joana Gomes

    fashion week sometimes is a circus, but i think we can’t reduce a whole industry to what happens twice (or more if you count couture and menswear) a year. i think this post is really interesting and makes a very good point, because not all fashionistas are created equal

  • Agreed. I have rarely been “gifted” an item to blog about and even then- I am still honest about the product,

  • Excellent!!!

  • kcomekarolina

    i love reading you!

    xoxo from rome


  • Danny

    But what’s the alternative? How do you make a living as a blogger, then? Journalists are housed by their publishers…. Bloggers by their… Sponsors. (??)

    • Leandra Medine

      Publishing houses are supported by their sponsors–advertisers–and that is why journalists can get paid.

      • Great article and an excellent point here, which suggests that Ms. Menkes is being something of a hypocrite. Advertising departments could certainly lean on the writers at their newspapers to bias their coverage – which would almost certainly be opaque to the reader. In that sense bloggers are doing a favor to their reader when they brag about goodies – at least the potential for bias is readily apparent!

        Transparency, excellence, and integrity are what we have to strive for – and I honestly believe that in the long run, people can smell that, and will vote with their feet. Or their clicks. Lotta mixed metaphors but I hope you get my point ….

        • Except that journalists writing for newspapers are not writing about the companies that advertise with them except in specific circumstances. They are not beholden to them, while bloggers are essentially deriving their income from the people they talk about. It’s one of the reasons why a lot of newspaper houses have strict rules about accepting gifts. It ALWAYS presupposes an obligation to report in a certain way.

          • Are you saying it’s impossible for the advertising department of a paper to influence journalists, just because they forbid gifts? Because I think that’s a bit naive. Let’s take the NYT (which by the way I read every day, and love). Let’s imagine that they take advertising money from Saks (just to take a famous example, not to pick on Saks specifically).

            Saks has started carrying a new designer. Might they not “suggest” that the NYT style editor look into that new designer? Maybe write an article about him or her? The editor (or journalist) is to a certain extent free to do so or not – the paper is also free to hire somebody else – and Saks is free to take their advertising dollars elsewhere. Ultimately the paper features the designer – was that merit, or the influence of money? This is what I mean by opaque.

            You really think scenarios like this have never occurred, at any point in history? Replace Saks and the NYT with a big-brand beauty mag and face cream company. Editors at Allure, Lucky, etc. have never made a secret of the fact that they’re deluged with samples and gifts. I agree with you completely that this biases (consciously or subconsciously) reporting – I just think it’s not fair to single out bloggers.

            BTW, I have no sponsors or advertisers, and I’ve never gotten any goodies! 😉

          • Umm, Cathy Horne is LEGENDARY for her less than favourable reviews. I believe she’s been banned from no less than 3 shows, and wears this fact as a badge of honour. Those brands continue to shill their shit in the NYT. Of COURSE a company is allowed to take their ad money elsewhere, but they would be losing out on the clout that the NYT brings to the table. It’s in their best interest to stay. No one likes a sore loser, and it would be detrimental to their brand to pull out because they didn’t like a review. Not to mention that editorials and opinion pieces are always clearly marked as such.

          • As I tried to indicate, my point is not about any one journalist or publication in particular – many have great integrity, and again, I am a big fan of the NYT. Just saying that being in traditional media does not make someone immune to the influence of swag. And that they do get it, as both I and others have pointed out.

          • But then they get fired.

          • No, they don’t get fired! It’s sometimes considered part of their job. It depends on the situation. Read Jean Godfrey-June in Lucky magazine, who talks openly about the freebies she gets from companies. But she’s transparent about it, and it’s up to the individual reader to decide how or whether that affects the integrity of her reviews.

            An important point here, and a major problem with Ms. Menkes article, is that we need to be focusing on the integrity of each individual writer, and not stereotyping a group.

          • A magazine is an entirely different beast from a newspaper! Magazines are not news, and they’ve never tried to be, especially in fashion. The purpose of a fashion magazine is to sell product. If you want your product sold, you put it in a magazine. It has never been a secret that things worked that way, but newspapers are different. That’s why you have so and so “editors”. They don’t call themselves journalists.

          • Well, perhaps some blogs are “magazines” and some are “newspapers” (the internet versions). I think we all agree (I hope) that the important thing is honesty – if you take samples or sponsorships, you must make that obvious to the reader.

          • I’ve never thought of the style pages of a paper as news. I confess that I read them first, and enjoy them most – but never thought of them as news. I’m sure the writing of Ms. Horn (and others like her) is unbiased (and informed, intelligent, valuable, etc.), but it’s still just her(or their) opinion of a particular designer or show.

          • The Fashion Informer

            “Opinions are inherently editorial.” That pretty much sums it up.

            And while I don’t call into question Cathy Horyn’s editorial integrity, she seems to have her favorite designers just like every other fashion writer/critic does. Or is it just a coincidence that she rarely, if ever, gives a negative review to Narciso Rodriguez, Karl Lagerfeld or Azzedine Alaia yet consistently rakes others (like Vera Wang) over the proverbial coals, sometimes for being too creative. (As if a designer could be too creative. WTF?)

            Criticism is just one person’s opinion and opinions are subjective. Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion journalist Robin Givhan just did a great piece that touches upon this – and on the fashion week circus in general – over at The Cut:


          • Guest

            I think this is why honesty & integrity are SO important in this field (the style field, which I would more broadly call art) – because it’s much harder to differentiate biased opinion from honest opinion, than it is to differentiate biased opinion from objective fact.

          • Agreed. I was possibly a little too excited the first time I posted, but that’s basically what I mean. I think that bloggers and magazines are different because magazines are beholden to boards and stakeholders. Bloggers aren’t. There’s no one to make sure bloggers are doing shady things BTS, and more than a few bloggers have already been caught. (Not that all bloggers are shady. Most definitely aren’t)

          • The Fashion Informer

            So you don’t think brands that advertise in T or WSJ. or other newspaper style mags want their product sold? That’s why those magazines exist, to lure in luxury advertisers. And I would imagine, despite the ban on newspaper staffers accepting gifts, that they’re also more likely to shoot (or over) an advertising brand than a non-advertising brand, and that there may even be a specific ratio in place for how many advertisers vs. non-advertisers they can feature.

          • charlotteparler

            I work in advertising at a publishing house–total separation of church and state. Don’t even sit on the same floor.

            I think what Leandra is trying to get across is authenticity is everything. Don’t shill, be honest, and you’ll gain respect.

          • I think this is what we’re all trying to get across. Additionally, I am trying to suggest that elitism and stereotyping are bad, and should be avoided.

          • charlotteparler

            Totally agree with you on stereotyping.

          • The Fashion Informer

            I’m not sure which publishing house you work for Charlotte, but I was at Vogue (marketing) for three years and the ad and edit departments are definitely on the same floor (as they are at most Condé mags today). Can’t speak for the other big publishing firms.

          • charlotteparler

            Definitely can’t speak for every publishing firm! Apologies–didn’t mean to imply that. Out of curiosity, do they interact a lot?

            I don’t work at a big publishing house but I know that when we do sponsored content there is always a massive disclaimer. Also, when sponsored content is done right it’s just part of the editorial not “advertorial.” (shudder)

            I think MR’s the case study for amazing brand collaborations that feel seamless because she actually likes the brand–authenticity is everything no matter who you write for.

          • The Fashion Informer

            No, there’s not much interaction on a day-to-day basis and all advertorial content has to be clearly labeled as such, as per ASME rules. If there was content that skewed too “editorial” in the way it was written, the ME another higher-up on the editorial side gave it a once-over to make sure readers wouldn’t mistake it for edit.

            That said, there’s definitely more interaction now than when I started in magazines, when advertising and edit weren’t even on the same floor (and I was in the edit features dept then and couldn’t even tell you who our publisher was). KInd of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, if you will.

            I also know, having been on on both sides of the fence, that magazine editors still routinely accept gifts (sometimes very expensive gifts) just like bloggers do but that editors aren’t required to divulge that to readers. And that it’s not unusual for magazines – large and small – to do huge fawning profiles of designers who are major advertisers (and/or feature their products in editorial spreads to the exclusion of folks who don’t advertise). That’s pretty standard operating procedure these days, along with having to shoot a designer’s look head-to-toe (which is why all fashion content looks pretty much the same from mag to mag; stylists aren’t given nearly as much freedom as they used to be back in the (Diana Vreeland/Liz Tilberis) day.

          • How do you forget the road ?

          • And the denizens of those off-site shows are presumably there with a seat assignment for good reason, aren’t they?

        • The Fashion Informer

          Advertising departments do lean on their writers to bias their coverage. Remember a few years ago when (I think it was) Vanity Fair did that huge feature on Ralph Lauren that opened the well following a 25-page Ralph Lauren advertising section? You think that was a coinkidink? Or when David Yurman is featured in page after page of a fashion spread in a magazine in which he advertises heavily? Or when an entire issue of The Gentlewoman does story after story featuring only brands advertising in that issue? Please… There used to be a separation of church and state (when I started at Conde Nast many moons ago, the editorial and advertising sides of the magazines weren’t even on the same floor and I could not have told you the name of my publisher). But those days are looong gone, my friend.

      • Annie

        Has anyone seen the latest Vogue? Tom Ford got into bed with somebody over there…

      • Just coming to say this and to point out how heavily fashion magazines are influenced by advertisers. Do they need to disclose why that Prada dress is on the cover? Nope. If sponsorships weaken bloggers’ credibility, it should weaken Vogue’s too.

      • The Fashion Informer

        Yes, but many editors and journalists also accept free gifts, just like bloggers do, only they’re not compelled to report it to their readers (this I know having worked on both the magazine publishing and blogging sides of the fence for years). It’s hugely hypocritical. And isn’t using an advertiser’s clothing/accessories/beauty products in a magazine story the same as doing a sponsored post (but again, the magazine doesn’t have to point out that they’re featuring an advertiser in their editorial content)? Just sayin’.

        I think you made some excellent points in this post, Leandra. I only wish you had a good top editor to help you make them a bit more coherently. (Call me, we’ll tawk.)

      • generating clicks, apparently.

    • What kind of journalists are you think of?


    I wrote an article about the very same topic today – I mentioned you in my blog too. Its funny how this is coming up now; I think this is due to the fact, that it is coming to an overload of streetstyle pics and stars. I do agree with you on most points, but I also feel that many bloggers just write about their – not even individual – style to become famous and to get invited to shows, to get photographed by the hoards of photographers in front of the shows. And that is something that I am suspicious about too. I wish there were more bloggers out there who write the way you write, in a witty and skilled way, and who are taking themselves – and fashion not too serious, like you do. Here is the link to my article, in case you are interested to read it.

    Keep up your work, I think you’re brilliant!

  • Thanks for standing up for the validity and brilliance of today’s bloggers. We ARE brilliant and overqualified for the jobs out there and the fact that we can create what we want to be and do deserves a lot of merit! Isn’t that what living to your fullest is all about? Bravo to us all!

  • claudia

    not until i started using IG more did i realize how much some of the bloggers actually get for free and it really turns me off. Great piece of writing!!!

  • Was fully prepared to hate everything you had to say today on this topic. Truly thought, as one of the cool kids, you’d play like the rest and advocate “exclusivity” (kill me).

    I’m feeling this, though.
    Definitely helping with the flashbacks to grade school nerdism that articles like Suzy’s were evoking.

  • Henry Medine

    Leandra Medine

    Best read yet become you now have the full confidence to voice your opinion against opposition while still keeping your perspective open to their side of the argument. While doing so, you also did your best to keep your argument objective and logical; was a pleasure to read from a political standpoint

    Your brother

    • I totally agree. While you must have been very defensive and, I can imagine, personally attacked by Menkes’ piece you took your time, thought about it and came back with a response that questions both sides of the story. What you have written isn’t biased but stand ups for what you believe in and what you love to write about. So well argued and very inspirational.

    • Sarah

      Here, here! An articulate piece of journalism that puts the efforts of other journalists (mentioning no names…) to shame. Thanks for writing such an interesting piece.

    • The question is, what will make us strong?

  • As I understand it many fashion magazines are gifted clothes and products for mentions. There’s no disclosure from them or their staff that the products are gifted, but everyone makes the assumptions that bloggers are only hawking products that they are gifted. If only!

    Traditional media is changing, bloggers are not to blame. If you have to blame someone, blame the readers. they now have the opportunity to follow who they choose and it may not be someone with a degree in English. It may just be the person with good taste and the ability to share it.

  • Dira

    My god, this reminds me why I follow you, specifically YOU as opposed to so many other bloggers. Exquisitely written, replete with voice and confidence. You da you da best.

    • Dira

      I personally believe that blogging, which I think your blog serves as a great example of, has contributed to feminism (i.e. the “MAN REPELLER”), the democratization of fashion, and as the by-product of the two, the shift in the industry from judging fashion by its cult value to its exhibition value. On the latter, refer to Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art.

  • Kelley Mullarkey

    “We never should have accepted gifts in the first place. We shouldn’t have bragged about the free trips, and cool events and recognition from our industry heroes. We’ve painted a picture portraying the circumstances of blogging that is inaccurate.”

    Absolutely. If blogging shall prevail and pave the way and demand to be respected and treated as a credited source, there needs to be a code of ethics, after all. All great journalists know this. An industry cannot sustain without one in the long run. It may get away with it from time to time, but for true longevity it must adapt as well.

    • Scrap NYFW

      Halla! my thoughts exactly. There’s need for a certain code…of something.

  • Alyssa Lapid

    Thank you for this! There is too much cynicism and, to some extent, disdain for bloggers. While Suzy had valid arguments, someone (aka you) had to put blogging into perspective. A lot of bloggers just keep mum when “attacked” and i think it’s rather unfair to be dismissed as frivolous the whole blogging community.

    Also, I like that fashion is now accessible and not, as you said, reserved for just the upper echelons. In fact, people in the industry should be happy that there are blogs sprouting everywhere! Blogs are a manifestation of the interest in the industry and that’s always a good thing (and it definitely doesn’t mean that it’s dying).

    and while I get that it’s different to review/critique a collection based on photos alone as opposed to tactile experiences of even just seeing the pieces flow live, I think it’s great thing that even if most of us don’t have a certificate from Parsons we can still give adequate commentaries on the collections/pieces. And you know what, I think it’s precisely because of the bloggers/blogs/real time updates that we are allowed to do just that – these/you guys allow us to keep informed, to have a working knowledge on fashion now minus the expensive fashion education.

    I’m now rambling. Point is, I love that you commented on the article. More power to my favorite blogger! 🙂


  • Heather Patton

    This is an interesting look at the state of blogging. It’s still such a new thing, even for those of us who have been at it for the better part of 10 years (on and off, anyway, for me). I think that as long as people are still churning out great content (like you!), inspiring imagery, and are staying honest about their motives, things will be fine.

    As for sponsors, I think as long as bloggers are honest about their sponsors and affiliations, it shouldn’t be a problem for readers. Many of us are stuck with the ability to be great writers/editors/photographers, but with an economy that doesn’t have room for us. That Master’s degree in English Comp. on the wall in front of me is going to atrophy if I don’t find something to do that’s worthwhile, and blogging is a great way for me to express myself, and maybe…just maybe…someday parlay it into a “real” job, or at least make enough money to buy some new shoes once in awhile. But for now, the prospect of getting to control what I write and how I write it, from the comfort of home, is hard to resist.

    Speaking of “real” jobs…I have college papers to grade. Sigh…off I go, into the abyss of sentence fragments and the wrong use of their/there/they’re.

  • Reptilia

    You are completely right!


  • I too read the The Circus of Fashion and was also struck with mixed feelings. On the positive side I thought it very refreshing that both you and Suzy have an internal drive for excellence and you both made important points. In the end it’s a business and the strongest, smartest, and most stylish voices will stand out from the rest of the pack. Many of us hope to be in that number, myself included. Over all I felt inspired by both articles to keep the bar high.

  • Marine

    Great post! Leandra you rule!

  • Thank you Leandra. Thank you for being honest and writing so well about something that’s hard to talk about.

    I started blogging (about anything really) way back in 2001, when I got my first high speed internet connection. At the time, I quickly understood how it allowed me to express myself in a way that I couldn’t before. I started my personal style blog Style playground nearly three years ago now. At the time, I was studying Fashion Design in Paris but I wasn’t happy with my life. I was stuck in studies that wouldn’t lead anywhere and I’ve had awful glimpses of the fashion world through internships. My dreams were pretty much crashed but my blog allowed me to express myself and to meet people that shared the same interest as me.

    Quickly, I was surprised to be approached by brands and PR agencies and I was over the moon. When I was at school, I was bullied because I was the weird one, dressing up in a strange way, and suddenly brands wanted to work with me? I was daydreaming. Thankfully, I got wiser with time and I now only work on projects that I find innovative for both parts.

    Blogging is probably one of the best things that happened to me. As you said, I created my dream job because I couldn’t find one.
    Sadly, more and more people are drawn to blogging for the freebies and the so called fame, and I find this really sad but I want to believe that this trend won’t last for a long time.

    One more thing before I leave (otherwise I’ll turn my comment into a novel), I think it is pretty reducing to put all bloggers in the same bag. We all blog for different reasons… And we don’t pretend to be journalists or editors. We just blog. And we offer a different take on the subject.

  • Lateybirdy

    My Google Reader account has started failing me when it comes to the fashion bundle. For me, most of the “fashion bloggers” have become self-advertisers or just plain “advertisers”. Putting aside Leandra (‘cos she is the queen of bloggers), the self-picture-taking self-and-bf-showing blogs either bore me or don’t do anything to me. I wonder why those girls don’t write at all. Or even worse, if they do end up actually writing something it is about this brand we must check out or this website we must shop at ($$$ if you know what I mean).

    Fashion blogging got more heat from the printed press because of bloggers who are paid to wear a brand’s item to fashion shows and this might be the extension of the same problem. They accuse print media to belittle bloggers but are they really to be blamed when those working in the print media sweat their asses off to publish an article about Alexander Wang and a fashion blogger does nothing but put on what they are told to put on and just pose? I have no intention of undermining the amount of work they put in their blogs. I am just saying that a fashion blog should not consist of only self pictures, it should have some variety, some writing.

    I think you are completely right in saying that some bloggers have contributed to the “circus”. But again, you are also right in saying that the good will rise above the shenanigans.

    yes I too write a blog. And no I am not “sponsored” far from it.

  • I totally agree with the fact that this generation has a great entrepreneurial spirit. I think it’s really important because being an entrepreneur it’s like ten times harder than finding a job that adjusts to your needs.

    I think that if a blog has equal content of promoting brands, and fresh ideas that promote discussion, then it’s OK to “brag” about gifts and trips. As long as bloggers can stay true to their opinions and preferences.We should never forget what is important about blogs, its about ideas from people who readers can relate to because somehow fashion seems more reachable this way, it’s no longer perceived like a different universe only accessible to a few people.

  • Ivana Džidić

    interesting article

  • I think just that the world is changing, so the style icon, the fashion system and all the communication and journalism… Don’t see the change, it’s like to hide in the past!

  • Scrap NYFW

    I have never attended fashion week- I leave on the opposite side of the world where the ills of fashion week are yet to be. But I gained interest to the events thanks to the erst bloggers and for that I hold them in regard.

    Having said that, I have to say I have come to detest the overexposure to fashion-more so NYFW. I have reached a point of “when will NYFW end so we can move on to London, Paris, Milan” to me these still hold on that which drew me on to fashion in the first place: the rarity of creation so genius. I do not live in New York, nor does my city/country compare in anyway to yours but I have to say that there has been overexposure to the American Fashion week it repels (and not in a good man repeller way, it is just annoying).

    I personally take issue with the commercialization of NYFW. This show is largely a “look at me” show than any of the other shows on the calender. And perhaps that is why Suzy, a Brit, has bile with bloggers. How do you explain a person granted privilege of front low coverage turning an entire blog post on themselves? I find it disrespectful to the writing community and the fashion world at large.

    Lastly, the past week saw me remove a couple of blogs from my bloglovin feed because. on account of NYFW only, their entire wardrobes changes to ridiculous circus costumes. whatever happened to being true to your being? Isn’t that why you got the event invite in the first place?what’s up with everyone trying to look like ADR all over sudden?

  • Domonique

    If your blog had sound you’d hearing me offering you a round of applause. You make genuine agreeable points and I couldn’t agree more with the point you made in regards to certain blogger’s having became famous due to their actual talent. I think somewhere along the lines this has been forgotten.


  • I read the article at the airport this week-end and I was just waiting for your comment on the subject. I agree with you that there is so much truth in what she said – even though I don’t attend fashion weeks so I cannot say much about how it goes down – but also agree with you about the fact that she clearly underestimates the work of bloggers. You quoted a few super talented fashion bloggers, but I think we can add many, many to the list. Even though it’s true that sometimes, many blogs lack originality, it would be unfair to underestimate all the energy and hard work which goes into a blog. People take time to pick up their outfits, take beautiful shots of them, write meaningful articles etc. An increasing number of bloggers are making quality work, sometimes really close to the work of journalists or stylists and it just seemed dishonest to me to reduce them to the sentence “people being famous just for being famous”. Bloggers are more than a Paris Hilton, sorry!

  • LouisaECohen

    Here here! Couldn’t have said it better myself… “There is a reason, after all, that Gen. Y–which is only becoming more important as we get older and begin pushing and stimulating our economy–has been dubbed the entrepreneurial generation. Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own. Sure, the training isn’t traditional but my generation is brilliant; we are over-educated and often over-qualified for the jobs that we do take. Tradition and innovation have little to do with one another and in the battle of success and relevance between the former and latter, the latter has proven itself quite victorious.”

    • postscript


      Hear, hear is an expression used as a short, repeated form of hear him, hear him. It represents a listener’s agreement with the point being made by a speaker. In recent usage it has often been re-analysed as here, here, although this is incorrect.

  • Elvira

    Really interesting point of view, people like us who are not so directly in this world need fresh and honest words like these, so, thank you, well done!

  • Charlotte

    Not quite the point, but I really like how you agree to disagree without being rude. It shows your talent as a writer who uses a contemporary medium, such as a blog, to share it with the world. I strongly believe that a lot of bloggers have broadened my horizon. The brush off the positive influence of your words, and the ones of many other great bloggers, seems very small minded.

    The article of Menkes wouldn’t have been so wrong if she would have bothered to recognize, or better said refer, her article to a particular part of the so called ‘blogosphere’. I have to agree with a comment below, where Dira rightfully states that you are not like the majority out there. Who knows, maybe Menkes feels the same way but simply overlooked that fact because she wanted to make a point.

    But then, the rule quality over quantity still applies. Readers know exactly where to look for information, articles and inspiration. (I can’t help but wonder who is to judge or question someones motivation to read a particular blog). But it somehow seems strange to me that Menkes, who is known for being a journalist, made a point with such a narrow point of view.

    Yes, as you said above, a lot of the bloggers do not have/had a professional career as writers or journalists. But I am convinced that with this particular article Menkes has proven that sometimes, that might not be enough.

  • S.H.

    While Ms. Menkes’ piece comes off sounding somewhat grumpy and nostalgic, I have to say it was right on. Fashion, fashion weeks, and most blogs have become so boring. I feel like I am seeing the same 10 images over and over. As a journalist (finance not fashion), I have seen in the 10 years of working in the industry that as quickly as information consumption speeds up, there is also a proportional narrowing of sources and information. There’s a lot more information to sift through, but its the same voices that are telling the story. Mainstream journalism went through this, and it looks like fashion journalism/blogging is going through the same crisis.

    I have no problems with bloggers taking products, I have an expense account and I have been on enough dinners/drinks/etc…with sources in finance to know that journalists are expected to take their fair share of freebies (its building relationships to an extent), but guess what? When I write a story, its not about me and there is substance and knowledge behind it. What fashion bloggers miss entirely is substance and intelligent commentary, the ability to write about something that is not about ME.

    I’ve been an avid consumer of fashion blogs for years. Today, I read just a couple blogs, and MR is one of them because it is editorially above par and with magazine quality writing. Honestly, I don’t care what someone wearing outside the Lincoln Center is wearing, I just want to read something smart.

    • Your point about content is a good one. The proliferation of look-at-my-outfit blogs has occurred largely because …. people look at them (and advertising dollars + readership = opportunities, in all journalism). The phenomenon will diminish when people stop looking. They’ll never go away entirely, nor should they, in my opinion, in a field of endeavor that is largely about the visual.

      What I wonder is, what really drives the success of this format? Is it because that’s what people want, or because there’s not much else available? Or a little of both? How many people are interested in the history of fashion & style? What percentage of people with an internet connection really want intelligent content, and how many people just want to look?

    • Voza

      I like your point S.H., the about me subject is boring. I don’t really care about people being sponsored. Let’s say that a brand send products to Leandra, she tries them and like them. Why wouldn’t she say she likes them if she always does say she likes this and that all the time, even when she writes so brilliantly, it is all about what she likes (or dislikes). I believe that’s the real problem with blogs, and in that point Mrs Menkes is right, we usually liked something because it was good, with blogs it’s all good just because bloggers like it. Even Garance Doré trying so hard to be different from the crowd because she doesn’t accept gifts (and is French), also Garance work looks always like she is making her way to the next project, of being recognised and valued. Is she to blame? I don’t think so. She as other smart bloggers are trying to stay and that’s hard work. Why Man repeller started to write in addition of showing her interesting closet? Because Leandra is so smart to be critical to her work and I hope she realised nobody would dare to be critic if she didn’t invite them to be. We are living in a new world where the secret formulas of Fashion had been revealed to normal people (thanks bloggers). Let the crow enjoy the recently found access to the so coveted fashion spheres while it lasts. Fashion is always a nonconformist animal and while all these people are getting distracted by the flashes and the discussion, I am sure the animal in question is moving quietly away to a new secret place. I am so looking forward to seeing it.

    • How do you forget the road ?

  • SylviaETC

    Hi Leandra,

    Great article! i say Article because it doesn’t take long to realize you have made it because of your merit too … the content of your posts is always so well-constructed, based on sources, fully thought-through and inspiring! You have undoubtedly an entrepreneurship spirit and something to say, your voice. Taking the conversation the other way around, there are also good and bad fashion journalists. I really like Susy Menkes and i think it’s great she tackles the fashion circus issue as a sociological phenomenon but there shouldn’t be room for generalizing on all bloggers.

    PS: Loving your fashion week outfits, très cool & très chic!!



  • Alexandra

    While reading about flamingos, your impressive run on sentences, and general take on personal style is great – your longer pieces of late are such a treat. Wonderfully written.

  • glue

    Amazing article Loo. Proud of you, this is why you stand out & will continue to do so. Sorry for ending that sentence w a preposition.

  • Somebody from Somewhere
  • Gabrielle

    “What Suzy says about Sally, tells more about Suzy than about Sally” 😉 Keep calm and blog on, xxx

  • Very inspiring Leandra, thank your for sharing. When you say “Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own” that really hit home with me, this is something I have struggled with for the past 3 years, as a result I am currently trying to “make my own dream job” Which is no easy task and nothing to laugh about..

    • Eva

      Totally agree with you, I’m trying to do the same thing at the moment after a really bad experience at my previous job and it’s really hard but totally worth it!

  • Nina //

    Great article! I am too curious in what direction the blogging movement goes.

    X. Nina

  • Bea

    The skewed dynamics between brand and blogger, mixed together and dropped into the vat we call “the world as we know it today” contribute to the circus situation we are seeing. These arrangements helped establish blogging as an industry in itself. They legitimized and monetized “amateur expert” opinions and proved that for a hardworking, savvy, and lucky few, they could make their living doing what they had always loved.

    However, it is easier for a brand to be a patron than a partner, bestowing bloggers with gifts. The chimes of the masses as they echo out the same unspoken press release and wear the same gifted dress, to the detriment of their content quality, often drown out those blogs with quality content, and that can lead to negative generalizations about bloggers.

    I feel the most “legitimate” bloggers forge a collaborative relationship with brands, where whatever product emerges truly feels like a 50/50 effort. If this isn’t done via a joint collection or something tangible, it’s probably done with some kickass writing. Maybe to that point, brands have to do their part and stop perceiving bloggers as another distribution channel in their marketing plans – albert a better dressed one. Bloggers should respect the brands, but brands must respect that a “c/o” strategy isn’t going to work.

    On another note, we are the entrepreneurial generation but we are also the narcissistic generation. We feel entitled to recognition, to praise, to free things. While some of us put in the hours and the time to get the jobs we wanted, others of us are content to do whatever it takes to be admired. And you know, that’s OK. But then what are you doing at Fashion Week?

    Perhaps there needs to be better recognition overall of the splintered industry blogging has become. Brands, the media, etc need to engage with blogs according to their niche, rather than blast them with the same umbrella strategies, assumptions, and perceptions. Why are everyday-fashion bloggers going to Fashion Week? Why are industry-insiders or bloggers with a journalistic bent being gifted the same thing as everyone else?

    Let the bloggers with a talent for real criticism and good writing be invited to express their opinions. Let the bloggers who would rather let their outfits speak for themselves share their vision. But don’t make the mistake of thinking they are the same. As a blogger, what partnerships will help you with your long-term vision? As a brand, which of those groups makes the most sense for you to reach out to?

    Though it goes without saying that you, Leandra, are a class of your own. And I’m sorry this was so long!

  • Thank fuck for this – finally someone with some real stance in the fashion industry has stuck up for us! I too have been thrown into the LFW circus, which is busier and more oversubscribed than ever this season, and every time I’ve mentioned the word ‘blogger’ a look of disgust has been thrown my way. We work hard to get where we are during LFW, possibly even harder than the publications because of the vast number of bloggers out there and we deserve a little more respect than most of the LFW attendees and PRs are willing to give.

  • Kelley

    Completely. I love blogs as much as the next person who reads them but if they (blogs) want to be treated and valued as a respected outlet (which I believe they should be) and not taken as a joke something needs to change. It’s almost as if bloggers have a sense of style and then they suddently tailor their values and aesthetic to the brands that send them free gifts. It’s not even so much the design aesthetic switch up that concerns me as much as the ethical stand point. Some of these bloggers aren’t even aware that they brands they have so quickly jumped on board with support organizations and political parties that conflict with their own individual beliefs.

    Just like with publications and newspapers, there should be a clear voice and honest boundaries.

    I think time will tell and separate great creative minds like yours from a sea of fame hungry followers and will allow our generation to be seen as pioneers we really are.

  • Karen

    Bloggers are riding out into west, charting new territories and there are lots of new rules and new guidelines being created and expected from the crowds that support and follow them. The truely great ones in both writing and style expertise (thrown in with a small dose of good ole timing of the market) have risen and can now themselves be refined by convention. The danger for any artist expolorer is in hubris and smugness thusly is Ms. Menkes. Do not mind her, Leandre, she just wants you to get off her lawn.

  • Felicity

    She wrote, “…even those with so-called street style have lost their individuality.”. I don’t think that’s entirely true. Certain bloggers – such as yourself and Susie Bubble – have remained very true to themselves and actually have quite distinctive styles that stay fairly inimitable. There are many others that I can think of (but obviously won’t name) that unfortunately have, however – usually the less “high fashion” bloggers. I’m sick to the back teeth of seeing the same ombre hair, the same pair of Topshop, or JC, or Acne, boots the same reviews of every over hyped beauty product going (MOROCCAN OIL’S NOT THAT GOOD GUYS). I just think it’s a shame for her to tar everyone with the same brush.

    I’ve never really seen why some people have such a problem with bloggers carving out a career/making any sort of living for themselves – blogging takes time and effort (and this is coming from someone who does it on a very small scale, as a hobby) and, as you mentioned, the job market is tough and this generation is largely over qualified. What IS a problem is a blogger endorsing something that they don’t believe in. That’s something I do take issue with – you can tell when a blogger has been paid to do a sponsored post, even more so when their heart’s not in it. That irritates me, because it’s not being true to their blog, themselves, or their readers. For the record, I don’t for one minute think that’s you.

  • Bloggers/Stylists have this incredible ability to filter runway looks into something more tangible for us hard working individuals who save our money and spend it according to “what would TMR buy?” (or, maybe just me). You have transduced the designer house into an outlet for personal expression with your whimsicality and fearlessness, demonstrating to us the need to not be fearful of investing in a piece of designer fashion, not only for the sheer exuberance of opening that UPS box, but the feeling of love for ourself. Striking a balance of personal style with the slippery slope of accessibility & urban chic is truly not easy when there are bills that need to get paid and work that needs to be taken care of.

    The articles undercurrent of slight resentment is targeted by the sense of animosity these journalists feel due to the success of bloggers. I get it, they worked hard and have shed blood, sweat and countless tears to achieve the level of noteriety that you have attained within a few years. Why, because your emphasis continues to be on the the expression and celebration of self. It is incredibly difficult to find our place in society, it’s so refreshing when someone (TMR) comes along and doesn’t take it so seriously.

    C’mon, I dare any other journalist to comment on how wearing overalls correlates with the facilitation of urinary continence…

  • Yes, Yes, a thousand times yes.
    This piece has totally budded beautifully from yesterday’s post. This was
    exactly what needed to be addressed. And, you took the high road – Menkes’
    piece – although I respect her greatly – was somewhat of a bash, laced with a
    bit of ignorance. I think it comes down to a few things.

    1. old world vs. new: this goes
    in the same category of those who believe texting is a wholly inadequate form
    of communication (somewhat old) and those who have grown up with the notion of
    decoding those anti-phone call blurbs (newer). I think the older generation is
    always scared in a way for what’s next. After all, we’re all trying to make a

    2. You were respectfully quick in acknowledging what she had questioned and

    * (some not all) bloggers are
    becoming walking advertisements (ultimately covering that “be seen”
    mentality that translates to style that is not genuine)

    * the changing face of fashion
    due to online medias is creating a circus (and that may not be fully horrible)

    But what really was good was your
    ability to then respectfully deride comments and prove your side with success
    stories built from qualified people. I think it was important that you noted
    that Tavi Gevinson is really nothing short of a hero and a prodigy child,
    rather than the portrayal of her as the “Girl Who’s Bow Blocked the Front

    So I think it really comes down
    to, in this era of millions of bloggers, is who has created a unique destination.
    That’s what it is: the best blogs have become destinations, platforms. They
    have become more than a digital diary, they have become (and continue to
    become) a media platform for interesting content that is interactive and thought-provoking.
    I think what much of blogging has lost in the past few years was the dialogue
    of blogging being drowned out by a mass of monologues.

    See all these thought-filled
    comments? Leandra, this is a destination. You go, girl. You rock.

  • Cassie Dny


  • I just published a very long-winded post about the state of fashion blogging, inspired by another piece focused on the fatshion blogosphere. I’m glad more conversations about these dynamics are taking place, because it is unfair to completely dismiss a growing field dominated by primarily by bright young women. That said, many of the criticisms of it are more than valid and deserve to be considered seriously. I’m more curious to hear what bloggers and readers think than what old-school fashion industry folks think.

  • Cassie Dny

    Sorry, I pressed the post button before I actually wrote anything!

    I totally agree with you on the democratisation of fashion through blogging – I think it’s great that teenagers can be style icons as much as celebrities with millions of dollars to drop on the latest haute couture. I also think you’re dead on with the Hemingway/E L James analogy – yeah, some bloggers might be writing posts for the money or sponsorship rather than out of true love for the product or the designer. My favourite bloggers are ones who take DIY and high street and some interesting pieces and combine them to make their own style of high fashion.

    Fashion is an elite business, always has been, and opening it up to anyone who has the internet and the ability to string a sentence together can only be a good thing. Yeah, it might mean that you have to sift through some dross to get to the really good stuff, but it’s better than “taste” being handed to us on a silver platter with a very high price tag.

  • Allegra

    well, well, well, what shall I say? It’s like my grandpa comes along with his “there’s but one science”-attitude, he just doesn’t get it but you know what? He doesn’t have to. We (whether active bloggers or “passive” readers) are – like you said – a new generation and that’s a good thing but as every other generation before we have to face criticism (just think of the history of cinema and television, the feminist movement, the Madonna era or as Menkes said the good old grundy Nirvana days — new eras were rarely welcomed in the past, that as a fact just didn’t change, even in the oh so open minded days of 2013) and again, that’s a good thing because that’s what will separate the wheat from the chaff, I guess.
    I, too, think Menkes kinda forgets in a slightly stubborn way about the fact that those “black crows” of the 90s were as extraordinary, unusual and outstanding (why should people wonder about funerals then?) as today’s “peacocks”.

    But on the other hand, I must say, she’s also got a point there, which sat heavy in my stomach for some time now, that is: for me, blogging became such a hot thing because ordinary girls and boys (if we think of “über-stylish” Bryanboy) were showing what to wear on ordinary days whether they/their parents had a pocket full of money or their boyfriends had a fancy camera or not, they just did it and it worked out — but as their blog grew, it slightly got out of control: some lost their individuality for the sake of paid trips, tons of clothes and all. They sold their souls and well, who wouldn’t? Clothes, around the world trips for free, being BFFs with various designers and sitting front row – sounds like a dream come true like over night. But that’s too easy. In fact, I think that’s not what blogging should be about. It’s about the girls/boys next doors who present their very own interpretation of the latest trends (or not) and fashion as such. And still, I know, it won’t work without sponsors/advertisers because it doesn’t work for huge magazines or newspapers either.

    So the thing is, blogging’s still such a new phenomenon — even if it doesn’t really feel that way, for me at least — and maybe it’s quite a little bit too hyped atm like, you know, everyone’s starting a blog right now, but it will reach a plateau in time. And, dear Leandra, thanks for the impact, yes, there are bloggers who really got somewhere and do work hard — one just can’t let it go. Not even if it’s Menkes – wheat and chaff, you know 😉

    xx, A.

  • Leandra, I’ve been a long time follower, but not much for commenting. I have always admired your very honest POV and very creative and individualized style. I love that you seem like you would be the same person IRL as you are on this blog. I love that you came from a place that wasn’t so fashion forward (prior to a break up I believe?) to a place where you could express yourself through fashion.

    I really have to comment here because I love this post. It is by far my favorite of yours to date. You make some excellent points. I am no “big name blogger”. I don’t have sponsors, but I have received c/o items. I have never been to NYFW or even NYC for that matter (though it is very much on the bucket list). I have dabbled in some Colorado Fashion Week and fashion shows (where I live), but not by invitation. I have only been blogging for almost two years and just recently hit 100,000 views. Point being, my blog is nothing near the popularity or relevance of yours or anyone else in this realm. But I still love my blog. And I love blogging. And I love the likeminded community that I have become a part of. And I do follow bigger blogs and admire their fashion–whether it is c/o or not. And I do also follow teeny blogs like mine that have yet to reach any “potential”, if ever. And I love all of it.

    When I tell people here in the Square State that I am a fashion blogger (only for hobby–I have a full time job in a law office), they look at me like I have a third eye. Some have said it is conceited, some think I am just doing it for free stuff or to someday be one of those “big bloggers”. I don’t really care what people think of it or me or my blog. I like doing it so I am going to continue. I have heard similar arguments and articles like this before (when Tavi wore that hat in the front row . . .) and I think really? Fashion and style is supposed to be all encompassing. It is supposed to fuel creativity and be a fun getaway from the drab reality of black suits or pencil skirt and blouse motif. It is supposed to be fun and pretty. While I agree that her article had some good points, it drives me nuts that there is no longer “room for more”. It seems that NYFW is turning from “anyone is welcome to enjoy the splendor of these designers and their designs” back to the elite bunch only. Which is sad because there might be some miniscule minion like myself that just wants for one day to feel like she can be part of something big, even if in the scope of things she’s really not. And it seems cruel to take that from people. But that’s just me. and my ranting. At any rate, keep up the good work. I love when you write posts like this.

  • monkeyshines

    amazing outwear layering!


  • sandy

    The reason why your blog is so different then most of the others, is the fact that it’s heartfelt, and despite the fact that you definitely will try and make a living out of it (which is normal) you have a real talent in writing. When other bloggers will try and look their best on all pictures (and only that) and brag about themselves, you will always be on another level, where you’ll even make fun of yourself for one and also make an effort in the quality of the text. And THAT’s what will, on the long run, make a différence, because one can feel the work and the real talent behind that.
    Fashion and the fashion world have become the new royalty, and obviously a lot of people with a lot of personal agendas will try and make the best of it, but at the end of the day, the real talented ones will stand out, and you’re definitely one of them!

  • evelyn gorman

    I can only say – I agree with Henry Medine’s every word. Good job Leandra Medine!

  • She’s an old hat who can see times are changing. And perhaps her relevence too. And as what people who are afraid always do, they attack, offend, but from fear. She’s trying to establish herself as a fashion snob, a member of an protected, self-created, possibly, fashion elistism club. Of course there isn’t one. Or maybe there was one before (before internet). But she she wishes and hopes there is and will be for a very, very long time.

    She’s 69 years old. Of course she misses times passed.

    Excellent writing as usual, you. Dignified, professional (as always) when, yes, it would have been so easy to give in to emotions and include a couple of smarmy sentences directed at Ms. Menkes (and no one would put it against you either, I’m quite sure of that).

    I did like one teensy bit of her article though. Understated chic is très chic for me. But I like all things french. Well, the nice bits anyway. 🙂

  • Tami Von Zalez

    Thought provoking! I believe there are many bloggers, like myself, that use this platform as a creative outlet. We are under the radar so we don’t have to sell anything or seek a sponsorship. We enjoy sharing images and ideas from around the world.

  • Pam

    Love this about our generation, very true.

  • “My generation is Briliiant” …
    You know what, I love to read your opinion on this article – Couldn’t agree more !

    x D

  • Great article, while I get where Menkes is coming from, I think she needs to realize that the fashion world is evolving like anything else. I think that some bloggers are just walking/talking advertisement but a few like MR are educated about fashion and can contribute to that world as much as any insider. I’m a personal style blogger and like you said I have no way of working in this industry, so my blog is my outlet. But in all honesty I really don’t care about what anyone was wearing outside the Lincoln center I usually just go on and check out the collections of the designers I like. Would I love to one day experience fashion week? Totally! And you would not find me wearing a Margiela head piece. I don’t think that this world should only be available to a select few.

  • Sophia

    Thank you for this entry. Thank you!

  • thank you for this!! might just be my fave post from you so far… speak for us bloggers!

  • Rebeca Tannous

    “Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own. Sure, the training isn’t traditional but my generation is brilliant; we are over-educated and often over-qualified for the jobs that we do take. ”

    Well said.

  • Marie Klara

    wow! amazing blog!
    lots of love,

  • Overmycloset

    There’s a perverse intuituive side on fashion that can’t be compared to scientific knowledge. It is mot a mere equation of “the more you do it the more you know it/ are good at it”. The somewhat visceral side doesn’t translate solely into one’s experience, graduation, etc. I understand that Menkes lived it the the first person, but in a past tense, It must be a strange feeling for her, but that’s just what it is. There will be always the Editors, the fashionistas, the actresses/singers (nobody picks on that?!) and yes, the bloggers.
    Great abstraction of yours, do continue blogging and evolving on that fashion-path.

  • Chloé

    always a pleasure to read

  • I feel people in the industry are always so judgemental of bloggers. It is so unfair for the people growing up in this generation who aspire to be in the fashion industry. We have nothing from how fashion was “before” to compare it to, and we are not all after the same thing. To group us all in a big pool of people who have no business being the industry is so wrong. I blog because I like to practice writing and I like to get feedback on my outfits. I do not plan on this being my career, but I enjoy it and it makes me happy. Isn’t that reason enough to continue doing it?

  • Great piece of writing, I always find myself clinging on to every word! haha

  • Tatiana Leon

    Great article! The line between blogger and journalist is becoming increasingly obscured. In certain instances they are synonymous which is an issues for both parties vying for respect and credibility.

  • Camille

    If that article had not singled out the likes of Susie Lau – who incidentally has done more for emerging talent in the fashion industry in her few short years of ‘blogging’ than most of Menkes’ pairs have in a lifetime – I would have 100% agreed with her . That said, her poor choice of examples to illustrate the point she is rightfully trying to make tells me that is unaware of the changing dynamics within the world of fashion journalism.

    All eggs, one basket. As a trained journalist, she should know better.

    In the meantime, it’s only because of assertive bloggers who think on their [oh-so-stylish they have been captured on instagram] feet, like yourself, and strong, opinionated blogposts, like this one, that I am able to hold my head high when stating that I too am a blogger. There is still hope. The rest is down to what kind of blogger you want to become: team it-girl or team quill-girl..


    • Amanda

      Let´s all keep brilliant Susie Lau away! VERY TRUE!

  • Lauren

    you tell them, girl!


  • the one thing that she definitely got right is the french mastery of understated chic, which pitted against some of the over the top outfits that have become de rigeur at fashion weeks of late, are more inspiring than ever.


    • Leandra Medine

      Your comments make me so happy–the one of my Valentine’s Day post (Vaj Mahal) especially.

  • Krystina

    Blogging has lost its honesty. Bloggers are being bought-out. It used to be about, “look what I can do for so little” and now a blog looks just like a page from a fashion magazine.

  • Emily Samuels

    to paraphrase Mims, this is why you’re hot. brilliant read. i’m very glad to be a part of the Leandra generation!

  • MissWhoeverYouAre

    I rarely (never) comment on your posts – I’m a lurker – but I feel compelled to state some form of an opinion. I’ve been blogging now for seven years and while I’m not jetting off to Paris and Milan or being quoted in the Times, I’ve seen the shift in the blogosphere and fashion in general. When I began, I was a college sophomore who dreamed of going to shows or simply stepping inside the tents at Bryant Park. Back then, I saw crowds on the steps of Bryant Park but they were mostly to try to see a celeb here or there. No one was standing on the street with a bird on their head and neon fur jacket. Now, you can’t walk up to Lincoln Center without seeing some poor girl in heels too high and a pom pom necklace (bloggers and magazine editors alike).

    1. “…we are over-educated and often over-qualified for the jobs that we do take.” As a fellow Gen Y-er, I’m actually shocked at the state of the entry level folks I’ve been seeing as of late. Yes, we may be highly educated but, for some reason, young folks lack the drive to want to learn or even do small tasks. I see what older employees mean when they say Gen Y is entitled. Over-qualified? I don’t think that’s true. Over confident, absolutely. Luckily you say often and not always. Between horrible writing, lack of proper presentation skills, and overall laziness it’s a bit much to say we’re over-qualified. Not a Gen Y basher (in fact I tend to get angry when I hear all sorts of articles calling us lazy which is ironic I’m now doing it) but that line struck me as odd. We are very motivated and very entrepreneurial (to your point) but the egos tend to get the best of us.

    2. There are some bloggers who are famous for being famous. They don’t write anything of value (if they write at all). Simply post a photo of what they wore to the show and state that the collection was “beautiful” or “chic.” The one reason why I’ve come to enjoy your site is because you have an opinion and it’s well written. Not every blogger does that. And eventually (hopefully) there will be a shift as brands, consumers, and bloggers get smarter.

    3. Lastly, I completely understand what you mean in terms having your motives questioned but I think it depends on who the blogger is. Some have become notorious shillwhores and everything is sponsored, thus making it hard for the readers to differentiate what’s true love and what is being paid for. I understand that bloggers have to make money but if it has to be done tastefully and in moderation.

    I think this is a case where the few badly dressed apples make it harder for more credible or hard working bloggers to be taken seriously.

    • Janet Bailey

      I really enjoyed your response. As a fellow Gen Y-er as well it disgusts me at how so many people have become famous overnight for truly not having any individuality or personal opinion but rather enough money to shell out to buy the next ‘it’ bag. It’s no longer about the true sense of personal style but rather whatever they can get for free. The amount of bloggers I see with the exact same purse over and over again makes me question if they even have any idea of what a timeless piece is. What gave these people the idea that they had a greater value for fashion than the rest of us, because from what I can see I value my own opinion a hell of a lot more than 99% of theirs any day. The problem is ego and someone or something needs to bring them back to reality instead of giving them 5000 likes on a photo which ultimately perpetuates the dilemma.

    • I’ve been thinking about your third point in taking in sponsored things.

      Do you think the critiques will tone down if bloggers come clean to what they’re sponsoring at the moment? They utter without hesitant on the things they sponsored to differentiate what they’re wearing. Do you think this will have an effect on blog readers to understand that not only bloggers post blogs to exhibit their cocks, but also they, in abstract, want something in return (sponsorships, ads profits)?

    • LA

      Yes, there are so many badly dressed bloggers out there and people comment: Beautiful! Stunning!! You are beautiful!! And you know they look stupid. I am also so tired of Chiara and her over-worship the blogging world wants to give her.

  • Em

    Fashion is suppose to be a form of personal expression; I don’t think it’s fair of the Times to say that we shouldn’t all be allowed to be critics/we are undermining the fashion elites’ abilities to basically determine trends for us. Of course there is a place for that, but now WE can decide what we like on an individual basis.

  • Ella

    I think it’s mostly about it: there are two types of bloggers – the ones who do this just for the fame and the glamurous life, with shitty content (they don’t care about being clever as long as people like whatever the crap they post) and the ones who actually have good content. I’d, for sure, put Leandra in the second ground. Content is very solid and intelligent here at Man Repeller, after all.

    The thing is not about being an apple polisher, but about why Leandra felt the need to write so. First of all, because she wanted to express her opinions and bla bla bla, but that’s just the obvious. But, more important than that, as being a part of the (minor) group with a blog that really explores the possibility internet has given, she obviously felt oppressed by Suzy’s text that was making a reference to the first group I said in the last paragraph, the ones that don’t really care about content at all. It’s natural and, with a pooly thought example, we could talk about how in the French revolution not all Jacobins agreed with robespierre’s crazy killing “solutions”, even though they were still Jacobins and believed in the same principles. Same with bloggers – they all make the same thing, ones do it well and other not. However, we keep generalizing the jacobins as the crazy extremists who wanted to kill all the guys against them – because those crazy ones were majority -, just as Suzy generalized all the bloggers like the “bad” ones, also because there are more of them than of “good” bloggers. She’s generalizing way too much and oppresing who should be respected.

    My thoughts are basically this, and I think this is a very intelligent discussion. Thanks for sharing your opinion, Leandra – it was nice to see how a good blogger felt about what S.M. wrote.

  • Sarah E

    great take on her article!! it was a pleasure to read


  • I don’t really know how much gifting or advertising of the gifting you do, but do you plan to decline them in the future because “we never should have accepted gifts in the first place?” Not calling you out, just wondering….It seems to be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

  • ivanazitrone

    “Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own”
    This is true. Thats how development works, right??
    My Grandfather used to have a radio repair shop, but who needs that nowadays??

    Jobs develop with the industry. Suzy Menkes is just being nostalgic. That’s ok.
    My Grandfather talks about the good old times a lot too.

  • Lydia Armstrong

    This is the best post I’ve seen on your blog in a long time.

  • Sketch42

    You are really both right. The last time I went to a fashion show, I wrote about the “fashion clowns” on my blog. She called it a circus. We both know its become a joke, a parody, as you so often call it. What’s funny, is that I think I, like most people, have becomecompletely numbed to fashion week. I cant stand seeing it on my Instagram feed – (10 pictures, from every editor/blogger, all blurry and at the same show). I have no interest in the shows. It’s become such a zoo.

    On the other hand, obviously I think blogs are great. As a concept. But in practice- its a constant battle to stay fresh, relevant and critically astute. The whole appeal of blogging is that it isn’t about the mainstream, its just one person speaking, so you expect the opinions to be sharp and honest. Instead, you get posts that are hesitant, that are guarded. Because the blogger just represents herself, she’s vulnerable, and so its hard to critisize honestly when you are standing alone, because the backlash will be harsh. Most bloggers are trying so hard to be so glossy and professional now. The rawness is gone.

    I’ve also noticed that so many bloggers are really just glorified instagram accounts. With huge followings on instagram (that they may or may not have payed for) and very little actual content on their sites. It’s interesting to see where this is going. It really is. But like you said, something will happen, survival of the fittest.

    This was a fabulous piece of writing Leandra. Really.

    • Tatiana

      You are absolutely right about this. Very well said. I think Leandra does a great job at being open, honest, and controversial – and I think we can all learn from that.

  • Sketch42

    Oh, also, Im pretty sure, you or any other of the top tier bloggers could get a gig writing for any publication you wanted. So, its by YOUR choice that you are a “blogger” and not a “journalist.” I honestly think that in 20 years you might be running Vogue.

  • elly

    You should condense this and send it as a letter to the editor. It would be interesting to hear Suzy Menkes’ rebuttal, and I’m sure the dialogue between you and Menkes would be at least amusing, if not thought provoking.

  • MGF


    Suzy M : 0 / Leandra M : 1.

    Thank you for popping up. I feel desperate with almost all the bloggers (so fade, so posé, no swag enough). A very few keep attracting attention (That s darwinism): the ones with a writing style. You re on top of the list.

  • MGF

    BTW, I prefer fashion circus with panache, than fashion in the upper-snob seriousness

  • rachel

    This was my favorite post you have written so far. I’m a college student living in New York, and although I’m not a famous fashion contributor or a commonly photographed pedestrian, I do sincerely care about fashion, along with discussions like these and keeping an open mind to new ideas. That being said, I also feel like this past fashion week was an all-out circus. I became increasingly tired of the gaudiness (that Menke’s also described) worn by beautiful men and women who flocked to photographers and congested instagram with photos that all looked the same. The ‘unexpected’ bright pattern clashing and other street trends worn were repetitive and expected, muddled into the same thing, despite everyone having their individual online voice. I gained a lot of respect for you, however, when you questioned if bloggers should accept gifts or be seated in the front row of fashion shows. Of course, it is a lot of people’s dream (honestly, including mine) to be treated this way, and I even wouldn’t know what I would do if I were offered gifts to post on my blog, but when I read most posts by users (Rumi Neely comes to mind) it all seems so unrelatable. The point of a fashion blog is to inspire the readers and create discussions (please tell me if I’m wrong), but too many times I’ve seen bloggers become more celebrity and gaudy than inspirational and grounded. Maybe I’m just bitter because I can’t afford all of the clothes that would get me noticed by photographers and internet bloggers. But I don’t want to start a blog about being a poor college student, then start getting invited to fashion shows for being an inspirational internet idol. I’d rather earn my way into these shows and pictures, and not by dressing outrageously.

    • Shawnee Rajala

      I like this. And I can relate oh so much.

      • rachel


    • B

      I completely agree. I cringe so much when I see girls (read: bloggers) making outfit changes and lingering around outside shows. Rumi Neely takes beautiful images but what irritates me about her blog is that it’s all so unattainable and trivial (?). I don’t just want visual pleasure, I want something that is actually intellectual.

  • Carolina Melo

    Leandra, I also read the article this Sunday, and had the exact same thought. There are, unfortunately some thuth in it but with all due respect to Menkes, as it happens in any other business area, there is in fashion and in blogging – just a new media outlet- a not so sucessful bunch, as there is in art, in finances… I do believe that the blogging revolution created newer, modern, and faster response from the public to fashion, in a way that many fashion medias cannot do. For this consequence the “circus of fashion” should be welcome and celebrated!!!! I, for one, fell inspired by most of the bloggers I follow. Is a matter of a educated public, and uneducated offers. There is all type of stuff out there, and, as we do it in a store, we just need to find the good ones in the bunch.

  • Lindsey via Vegas

    Beautifully written. You presented both sides of the article (what an educated person should do).

    I will have to say your boasting of Gen-Y as being ” we are over-educated and often over-qualified for the jobs that we do take.” as little silly. I am a Gen X person and find that most generations are feeling that way (..over qualified..) because of the current economy. I am okay with boasting, but to quote Tyler Durden, ” you are not a unique snowflake.”

    Again, well written and look forward to your future posts.

  • Leandra,

    This is such a delightful response to a problematic article by Ms. Menkes. Both the Menkes piece and yours illustrate the growing divide between the status quo and the vox populi when it comes to the spectacle of fashion. One problem statement that I have with the Menkes piece is that she tries to imply there should be a standard for the way the audience is to respond via mode of dress to the attendance of a fashion show. For example, in the last part of her critique, she presents three delightful editors as paragons of “understated” charm – and associates their nationality with the reason why they are able to pull of a look that she has deemed appropriate. The time for such ethnocentrism has passed. I, for one, am happy that I am a blogger who takes part – mostly virtually – in a discussion with diverse people who are too wise to buy into the elitist diatribe that states there are only certain people who can partake of couture fashion, or any fashion, experiences.

    It is a good thing when our favorite bloggers attend, lead, facilitate, and organize blogger meet-ups and product launches at public venues. One such example is your opening, in 2012, of Tony Duquette for COACH on Rodeo Drive. Your appearance there, and at other venues, is one example of how bloggers are influential, and quite frankly, the presence of bloggers at these kinds of events only serves to legitimize those events as a new marketing genre that caters to members of non-traditional media.

    Please read more of my thoughts on this subject, here:

  • ExquisiteAna

    You’re right, Fashion Week has really become some sort of city circus

  • I think Menkes devalues the intelligence of both the fashion blogger and their reader. Is she suggesting that because you have made fashion more accessible that you have diluted the industry? I think not.

  • Leandra, your following and influence is not by accident or design. It is because of your genius with words and your style which basically gives a big middle finger to the fashion industry of old. I’m probably old enough to be your mum and live on the other side of the world but your coverage of NYFW had me hanging out for your next post. That’s keeping the industry real in my books.

  • Kiersten ECD

    Not often do I feel compelled to comment but this is an incredible piece writing. Thank you!

  • rj

    Great post and I have to say the same for Suzy Menkes’ article. There are many valid points, this idea of a fashion circus has been swirling around for awhile. Bloggers weren’t always accepted with open arms. However I believe that the relevant bloggers with valid opinions, will survive. Whereas blogs that post mere photos of their “courtesy of” will eventually dwindle away, I call them fantasy blogs. What would be more interesting to see is not how high your heels can go, but how these products are created. The love, effort, thought and brilliance it took to create something from nothing. We may never truly see the process from inception to retail, but for those who know, its a wonderful thing to see and experience. I believe you understand where she is coming from, which is absolutely admirable. Yes, fashion is ever changing and, like many of your readers, we are all excited to see what the new direction will be.

  • pytinpty

    Leandra, you will most definitely survive. Your blog is one of the few, if not the only one, with style AND substance.

  • so well said!

  • Shawnee Rajala

    THIS. This is why I continue to read…content and true personal style. Brilliant, Leandra. Bravo!

  • annette

    brava! well said!

  • First off, love that coat! it’s really great how you topped off your suit with it!

    Second, it really amazes me how far bloggers have come and how important they are to promote and spread fashion so its readily accessible.

  • the queen of the universe

    this is why i come to you–because you make me laugh and you make me ponder that which often repels me. ah fashion!-to each her/his own! that is the joy of it. the good, the bad and the “when is that going on sale?” i am imagining a westside story with crows vs peacocks and yet the song remains the same: “there’s a place for us.” just keep doing what you do so amazingly, lass. call it as you see it. as for the fashion circus, i’m just grateful it’s a traveling show.

  • fashionablecollections

    I wrote this on my friend Gabby’s blog but I think it applies here as well:

    wow, I of course TOTALLY missed this article on NYT but just read it, omg I LOVE it. It’s like whoever wrote that totally gets how I feel. Honestly I could not care less about going to Lincoln Center this year (as you well know) and am sort of shocked at how ridiculous it has become. The amount of people taking photographs is insane. I mean, I like looking at the photographs that are taken online but I’d much rather snap a photo of someone I actually really care about (ala Emma Watson). As I continue to blog I often think about what it means to be a blogger and I think I started it for the completely WRONG reasons. Like the article mentioned I wanted to go to fashion week so I started it with the hopes that maybe I would get invited. For me it’s taken a totally different turn now. I think of it more as a diary and while I do get free stuff on occasion, I refuse to promote anything, or put anything, on my blog that I don’t believe in. I sometimes get emails about receiving a free gown to wear on my blog, and I think to myself, really? do these people see what I’m doing? I don’t think I’ve worn a gown since my sweet sixteen. For me, my blog, has really become more of an artistic outlet and something to get my mind off of the daily grind of actual work (yes some of us bloggers out there do have full time jobs that we cannot miss for things like fashion week). i want to be able to look back on my blog in the future and be proud of what I’ve written and created. I often quote books that I’m reading as well because hey in the future I want to remember what I read and loved! Not even going to lie, when I heard fashion week was approaching I got a tad annoyed because I knew it would be all that was on the blogs for the coming weeks.I posted yesterday a blog entry entitled “london” and someone wrote omg you fooled me I thought you were at London fashion week. Sorry to disappoint everyone, I was writing about my BFs dog

  • The Provoker

    This is suuuuch a good piece Leandra, I agree full heartedly in that it’s changed and I’m so glad someone as big as Suzy finally did a proper piece on this. It’s crazy and you know, as cynical as I am and not to sound rude to anyone who loves fashion, it seems that in the end, those who can’t be deemed as a circus freak or fashion freak are those who wear edited looks with a few designer pieces. Once again, money dictates what taste can be like, so those who have taste and have money well, they’re lucky. Obviously there are many exceptions, but in the end, a phillip lim pashli will be more likely to be shot than a faux leather asos one with redundant studs along the sides.

  • Jackie B

    Just powering through a huge build up of the last 2 month’s of fashion mags. Elle, Vogue, Nylon, Instyle, etc..all showing almost the exact same looks in the fashion spreads in the back. Same Louis Vuitton check dresses, same Alex Wang cut out dress, same Marc Jacobs bold stripe. And the article calls out bloggers for wearing the same looks? Shame.

  • Sara

    I just really like you. Keep it up, sista.

  • Wind-up bird

    I have noticed an increase in what I’ll call general negativity popping up more often in this blog than I had observed previously. It is omnipresent across the Internet, there is always someone trying to prove some irrelevent point to themselves, but I never really expected to see much of that here, if only because most people congregate in this blog as a result of a shared sense of slightly off-beat individuality. If a reader disagrees with your or another reader’s opinion I fully approve a well thought-out response, but I’m not a huge fan of insulting another person to make yourself seem clever (I saw a tweet a few weeks back comparing you to an anorexic man, all in an effort to promote some other blog, and found it absolutely distasteful, untrue, and quite selfish in terms of negative self-promotion). I really want to say that I hope you don’t lose faith in your readers, or people in general, because for every person that puts you down to further themselves there are a myriad of others that respect your work and what it does for the empowerment of the individual.

    Abigail A. McGee

  • Lucero

    Eloquently and accurately said, Ms. Medine

  • You know, your (awesome) post reminds me of a conversation that happens in my hometown a lot. I live in Austin, and let me tell you, the debate about what’s “really” Austin and which “outsiders” are ruining it, and how much people miss “old” Austin rages hot and heavy around here. And a lot of people consider themselves native Austinites because they came here for college or moved here for their first job 7 years ago.
    Oddly enough, I find the most ardent and overzealous Austinites are the ones that are transplants. They think that there’s some sort of checklist to being a native – eating at the right food trucks, frequenting the right dive bars, shopping at the right vintage stores, etc. So the debate continues on who’s ruining Austin and who’s making it great and who’s really an Austinite.

    As a native Austinite and a fashion blogger, I can tell you this with the confidence and ease of a Texan; it’s all gonna be okay. People are gonna bitch and nitpick because they are worried and insecure about their position. But as I tell anyone that complains to me about the Californians ruining Austin “just scoot over and make some room. We can all have a good time here.” It may not be the best analogy but it hold true for fashion blogging and fashion week. People get tetchy because they are nervous about their place in the landscape, and no one wants to get ousted as a fake. So they point the finger at others for “ruining” it. But you know what? Just give it a bit of time. We’ll all sort ourselves out and make room for everyone. Believe me 🙂

    • Will comment on this column and all the other posts in a moment, but wanted to reply specifically to this spot-on post about Austin. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about — if you substitute “New Orleans” for “Austin” and, perhaps, “New York” for “California.” Because what you describe above is precisely what was going on when I returned to my college hometown 20 years later. I was back there for two years prior to Katrina and one year after and a BIG part of my reason to leave was because of the incessant bickering about “who was REALLY authentic/committed to NOLA versus who was a poser, blah blah blah.”

      What I admire MOST about your comment is the “cockeyed optimist” take you settled on for yourself. There are not a lot of people anywhere — Austin, New Orleans…or in the mass of rabid individualists circling Lincoln Center during Fashion Week.

      So… good for YOU! Your upbeat approach just made my day! Thank you for that. Keep it up…

      • Aww thank you so much sir! I’m glad to offer a spot of optimism and laidback Texas POV to this thread.

  • Naiwen

    Fashion bloggers dress up to be photographed because they have to advertise their sites, and there’s no more efficient means than that. Nobody has the ad budget to splurge. Besides, when the effect can be the equivalent of a multi-million dollar ad campaign, why not?

    Fashion editors/ journalists need to dress up for pretty much the same reason and more: Most best-selling fashion rags don’t cover avant garde fashion. The advice they give is practical and plebeian, because mass market consumer fashion ultimately has to be worn, which makes them pretty indistinguishable. The display of the editors’ personal taste endows the fares of a practical publication a sense of higher style. On the other hand, Anna Wintour and Caroline Issa don’t have to overdress, because their publications do so and with taste. And yet, nothing communicates as effectively as a striking image, and in the days of an overabundance of media choices, I think it’s practically a job requirement for the editor/ journalist of any non-academic media to be able to dress for the camera.

    Before the internet turned fashion into a popular pursuit and mass entertainment, Suzy Menkes was an obscure name, however well-respected she was by fellow fashion journos. She has the influence and the station to rant today precisely because there’s this crowd of people who adore fashion enough to want to jump the ropes and be part of it, and the internet made it all possible.

    She rants, because the bloggers are making “high” fashion what it is: Exquisite and expensive consumer goods. It has a lot of artistic elements in it, true. But it’s ultimately consumer goods. It’s not pure art. The fashion journalists of yore needed to feign seriousness, because fundamentally it’s a job not very different from gadget or restaurant review, except in this case, the reviewers can hardly afford the goods being reviewed; the “critical distance” helps make the embarrassment of not being rich enough less of an emotional hurdle. The bloggers are essentially representatives of the target consumers, consumers who want to and can afford and appreciate it as goods.

    She’s ranting also because, I sense, she’s unhappy about the bloggers’ not having to climb the ladders and kiss the ass of meaner older editors to get ahead. She seems to think creating and maintaining a blog’s popularity and influence is a job as easy as just getting out of bed and putting on the showiest clothes and that’s it.

    Dear Ms. Men Repeller: You do so much more than the venerable Menkes does, and you’re capable of so much more, so don’t mind her. She’s old, so let her rant. You rock. And rock on. 🙂

  • Janet Bailey

    Thank you so much for making a point about the integrity and sincerity of blogging and how a great deal of authentication has been lost to the bloggers hungry for fame and recognition rather than their true beliefs and context. I don’t usually like to point fingers but such blogs like TheBlondeSalad and said others make me sick to my stomach to read because everything has been gifted and it’s no longer style but the blogger has become a coat hanger for whatever company will throw a $2000 purse or coat at her. I love your rawness and realist vocation, you are truly inspiring and make me realize my place is in the comments section not the blogging section. Thank you and goodnight Leandra!

  • rosy_hues

    Best blog post I’ve ever read…glad you do ‘blog’…


  • Oppossite Lipstick
  • Sometimes when reading the blogs of big bloggers its inevitable to think whether they were being sponsored or not…I feel that the bigger you get the less connected you are to your audience because the readers start seeing you as someone who is ‘higher up’ in the world of fashion and not someone you can easily relate to, like a friend. And when bloggers start wearing only designer and expensive clothing its easy to lose your audience completely as the majority of us do not have endless pits as our bank accounts…its so important for bloggers to remain sincere and relatable, just by doing small acts like replying to comments or visiting a follower’s blog and commenting can really make a large impact.

  • Ropa De Tallas Grandes

    The raw portrayal of an unedited opinion will likely always command
    ample attention but there are only really a handful of bloggers who have
    been able to canon true influence and respect. Interesting sharing.

    Ropa De Tallas Grandes

  • Patri

    I personally think that your mention to Darwin sums up my opinion about the blogger phenomenon. I am a regular blog reader and I find myself tired of some of them pretty often, just because they become boring and repetitive. No one has the answer to what makes some blogs strong enough to survive, but after a good time following them, I can see that good work and professional skills will prevail. Your blog, for example, is one of the few that I look forward to read, not only to see some pictures; and the ones that are created to get free bags or sponsors are easily identified.

    As for the great Menkes’ opinion, I respect that, but I think that some “oldschool” professionals are unable to open their minds to new ways of work, and that happens not only in the fashion industry, but in every other profession. The young ones have the right to find our new paths to success, and we have the obligation to ask for respect about it.

    Best wishes from Spain

  • This is one of those moments, I just can’t help but comment.
    Both pieces are right in their own way.
    She might be right on her points but totally wrong to generalise.
    We agree on one thing is that the strong ones will last but those bloggers that have lost the sense of what blogging should do.

  • you are phenomenal. thank you!

  • La Peccata Minuta

    As a Dominican who just went through her first fashion week, I can only say: thank you. I appreciate that your were able to say yes, it was absolutely crazy to see women in stilettos in the midst of Nemo. But hey, that’s their prerogative. It is unfair to judge and to lump into one category an entire group, filled with diverse talent, capable of much more than just standing around, freezing in the cold, hoping to get their picture taken. The first day there I said “blogger” when asked what I worked in…..and saw how the person balked. After that, I stuck with writer.
    Thank you Leandra, you inspire me more and more with every article.

  • ticeisnice

    this was excellent! and just like you said, i also find a lot of this to be true in the art and design world.

    finally more substance on the internet. keep it coming

  • maria

    As a simple regular woman and fan of fashion and reader of few fashion blogs I think fashion has always been a circus. The reason people who read and look at fashion online like street style is that it is immediate, individualistic, creative and attainable on some level, where as editorial fashion while lovely to browse is outrageously priced and even the magazines are too expensive. Fashion should be fun it’s not brain surgery for goodness sake. Let us see what we like read the funny people, enjoy the variety and the strong shall persevere as ever and always!

  • amy

    best piece I’ve read on here. nice

  • ECC

    you were on project runway. please post about it!!! which is relevant to this post beeecaaauuse………has to … do with fashion…….

  • Street Fashion PARIS

    The colors are amazing!!! so catchy!!!

  • You’re being too easy on Ms. Menkes. The article could have been written 2 years ago. In her reference to Tavi, for instance, it’s clear the writer hasn’t even heard of Rookie Mag. A good editor wouldn’t have published it – out of date.

    Furthermore, she clearly seems uncomfortable in a (more) open and meritocratic system. It’s because of those articles that we are increasingly drawn to blogs…

  • liz

    You have been spot on lately. I am no fashion blogger/fashionista/street style expert/whatever else you people go by. I live in DC and work in politics. That should sum it up. My wardrobe consists of J.Crew, but not the cool, edgy J.Crew, mostly just pencil skirts and cardigans. Boring…. But I like you (and Emily Weiss). A lot.

    You admit to not showering on the reg, and not in an annoying “I do this to be cool” kind of way. If you are willing to tell the truth about your hygiene, or lack thereof, why would you lie to promote products/designers that you don’t believe in? Clearly, based on your wardrobe that you blog about, you have plenty of money to throw around. I feel like you are the voice of truth in this industry that I am SO not claiming to fully understand. Just consider this an observation from an outsider looking in. You absolutely wear outfits that I would never dream of, even if I could afford the clothes (re: money printed suit I spotted a few weeks ago, I don’t remember the designer – go figure). But at least you wear them because you want to, not because someone told you to.

    In regards to the Menkes’ piece, this kind of backwards thinking about “revolution” (for lack of better word) has taken place throughout history. Does no one remember The Artist? While a work of fiction, it holds some insightful truths about people and change. The internet isn’t going anywhere and either is blogging. The individuals that have been around since the earlier times can either continue to stand on their soapboxes and preach about yesteryear, or they can embrace the change and let the newcomers have their heyday. I find it hard to believe that Ms. Menkes “made it” by following all of the rules set forth by her predecessors. It makes me incredibly sad that a woman who has devoted her life to a VERY progressive industry would attempt to shame the new gals and guys for trying something different.

    Kudos to you for standing up for yourself, your blog and our generation. You so gracefully stated your opinion in an honest, yet dignified manner. Keep doing what you do. And please, don’t stop with the witty banter, it suits you so.

    • Annie

      What she said…

  • Annie

    Blog is a beautiful word and Suzy Menkes is a snob of the highest degree. During the 70’s and 80’s Vogue magazine was my tome of choice, but after dreaming about the pictures for days and days the reality set in…the looks, the models, the clothes, were unattainable for a girl like me…”mummy” had no Halston in her closet and no one I knew had ever heard of Comme des Garcons. But on a street-fashion blog, anyone can see real people in real clothes anytime…it is inspiring, captivating, silly, outrageous, satisfying, beautiful, and encouraging. I would LOVE to see the “circus” in person! Wouldn’t you? Obviously there is some soul-selling going on, but since when is it a crime to get a gift from a person or place whose things you love, admire and desire? At my house, we call it Christmas!

  • nay

    This was one of the best posts I’ve read not only on your blog, but on the internet, for quite some time. I am an aspiring fashion creative writer but refuse to start my own blog because so many wannabe’s have tainted the true meaning of what blogging is. What was once an outlet for self expression has now turned into a portal for self-whoring and finding 15 minutes of fame. I’m going to read the article by Menkes so I have a better understanding of what she said but in general, this makes aspiring writers like myself (and in the same gen as you!) feel so much more encouraged to go for it without being a sell out like the rest of the world.


  • Ana

    You couldnt say it better, great post and very explicit point of view. I agree with you in all this circus! 🙂

  • FAB

    Interesting read and blog. Will return… Love. FAB

  • Fashion is a business, a “second-rate” form of art perhaps more closely tied to craft … it is not a circus of me-me-me’s and reality-tv dreamers whose 7th grade p/e teachers wished them celebrity.

    It’s study … and prayers and work. Striving for something fine whether in textiles, cut, illustrations, patterns or words. Second-rate and loud has inched in undeservedly, sullying something essential. Journalists and editors that glide towards a shadow branding system of bucks and perfume while allegedly “creating” are, umm, noticeable and breeding third and fourth tiers of bloggers (and all other fashion types) that are simply unprofessional, unskilled and grating.

    The loveliness of manners, the beauty of editorials that clarify and provoke, the use of language to tell stories and dreams … these things matter and will continue to matter far after the next iphone photo is uploaded to whatever is the newest (yawn beyond words) cool and got photo stream ap.

    Buyers. Buyers in shops have been way too silent and yet it is always, always, always about their dollars, their work, their commitments to fashion that pull it forward, that educate and can influence.

    Bloggers .. a tad of the humility of the legendary buyers and editors is required – question everything, question the seams, the buttonholes, the “hand”, the mood, the intrinsic value, the fey and the charm. Do the work that those delicate fashion elbows have enabled.

    Respect is earned. Front row seats may be given and whilst more fun than the back standing row – one can maneuver better in the back, quietly and with manners.

    Entitlement is ugly … don’t go there.

    Madeleine Gallay

    • Rachael

      Entitlement??? She’s calling herself out! It’s obvious she really respects Suzy Menkes. Don’t get where this is going

      • Bloggers, like buyers and editors, come with various levels of creativity, enthusiasm, intuition, excellence – it’s a bit brazen that “bloggers” are lumped together with some that cannot use spellcheck or grammar-check (I’m certainly guilty of that sometimes) and wishing equal treatment. Fashion is a business and similar to magazine quality or shop buying power, some bloggers are royalty. Few, wonderful and special. To blog does not mean that one brings anything of value to this quirky world.

  • seaandswank

    Serious kudos to you for this post – I could not agree more, and appreciate your courage in putting this out there.

  • your main girl

    i feel as though you have become a person who is famous for being famous and for having alot of money. Most bloggers just have bottomless bank accounts and connections. You are one of these people so don’t say that you aren’t. What about the people that are trying to REALLY change the fashion industry. I feel as though you are all of your blogger “friends” are just trying to maintain it. What about the girls who look up to you and also want to blog but do not have money from their parents to buy chanel, ysl, etc. Where do we stand and how do we get where we want to go

    • =^..^=

      I respectfully disagree: Leandra became famous because she provided a unique & entertaining perspective on anti-fashion (ie, dressing for one’s self vice others). The more she wrote, the more attention she attracted: I’ve been reading her blog ever since it was featured in NYT way back in Dec 2010. It’s been great to see her do so well in such a short time.

      Sure, she comes from money, but so what ? There are millions of folks – women & men/rich & not – out there blogging about a million different things. But, whatever theyre writing about, it hasnt attracted readers the way that Leandra & TMR has.
      And that simple fact has nothing to do with one’s financial status …

  • Ruth La Ferla

    Fine post! Please call me. Been trying to reach you all week. Ruth La Ferla 212 556-4431

    • Anita Young


  • Jamie

    I really enjoyed you take on Gen-Y. And just like you stated, I couldn’t land the job I wanted so I’m giving it my best shot to create my own but for me its a bit more than that. I write because that’s who I am. And even if I fail miserably, end up broke and everyone sh*ts on everything I post. I don’t think I could stop myself, sponsorship or no sponsorship. I recently wrote something on Gen-Y (spoiler alert: its not really that deep but hopefully relatable and maybe even humorous) –

    PS I continue to love your voice and your blog 🙂

  • Hi Leandra,

    A great piece that has certainly got me thinking.

    I agree with you that there are bloggers like Tavi, Susie and Tommy who deserve all the recognition they get. They work hard and each possess a unique voice (or eye, in Tommy’s case) that is so often missing from fashion blogs. There are only 2 fashion blogs that I follow religiously and they are the Man Repeller (hello you) and Style Bubble. Purely because the written content is of such a high quality. You’re not only bloggers, you’re writers, journalists even. Your posts are always well put together, intelligent, funny and thought-provoking. You wear the trousers, you don’t let the trousers wear you.

    For me, the majority of fashion blogs stink and look more tired and worn than a pair of Ugg boots covered in dog shit. They lack heart, soul and substance. One fashion blog I particularly despise is the number one blog on Bloglovin’, Fashion Toast. A blog completely devoid of substance with the most abysmal written content. It’s frustrating when I work hard on my blog’s written content to only have 40 followers, when there is a girl with absolutely no visible talent who has 246,818 followers and is the toast of the town (meh). And for what? She is nothing but a glorified clothes horse (with a pretty face) lacking personality, individuality and style.

    Of course I don’t want to point fingers but Fashion Toast is the epitome of the vacuous fashion blog that myself and your loyal readers, do our best to avoid. But enough! I’m not here to bitch (much), I’m here because I’m a fan and I wanted to say keep up the incredible work. Like Tavi, Susie and Tommy you deserve all the recognition you get.

    Keep Repellin’!

    Sammy @

  • Brooklyn Grey

    I find what you said to be quite beautiful, well worded and accurate. I love that you took the time to vocalize and intelligently make your points. We as writers, bloggers, columnists or otherwise should have our opinions heard especially when it comes to a fellow journalist’s piece.

  • I agree with Suzy Menkes that fashion week has become a circus for some bloggers. As a street style photographer, I have seen a lot trying to get attention just to be photographed. Or dress bizarrely to be noticed, which is too contrived already. Other than that, blogging provides a platform for access to fashion shows and events, for those who are passionate about the world of fashion.

  • Candace


    I know this is random/off the subject, but a while back you did a video with The Outnet about wearing statement pants. Can you please tell me what statement pants YOU were wearing? I need them in my life. They tapered around the ankle and then flared out. Fabulously.


  • A wonderful response Leandra. As a blogger myself, I can understand your defensiveness. I commend you for taking the time to consider the article and to write an eloquent and intelligent response. Kudos.

  • jvhelms

    Fashion is made up of a series of historical moments, and this particular moment was, perhaps, inevitable. I’m not surprised by the pushback from the old guard of the fashion industry, as more and more of us are getting our fashion news and inspiration from blogs and other non-traditional sources. Mind you I do love the weight and feel of a Vogue September issue, but I am loathe to spend money on magazines with content that is indistinguishable one from the other. Granted, street style photos, especially around fashion week, get repetitive and a bit out there, but they are real. I appreciate the artistry that goes into a beautiful editorial in a magazine, but some blogs contain equally beautiful photography and styling. At any rate, I don’t think you (or any other blogger) should feel the need to apologize or defend yourself as this moment, too, shall pass. You don’t need to
    justify your (or others’) existence in this space, in this moment. As you aptly point out, the blogs with the superior and original content will survive and thrive. Just continue raising the bar and inspiring the rest of us!

  • Yet more proof that you are more than a fashion blogger; you are a fashion writer. Just like Suzy, for a new generation of fashion fans. Great post.

  • eh.

    • Meh

      Best comment on this post, honestly.

  • M&M eater

    Yay, internet – the great equalizer!

    I have followed many, many blogs for almost 10 years now – themed for fashion, interior decor, graphic design, crafting, baking, parenting, homespun, corporate sponsored, blah blah blah. It’s been fascinating to watch – cultural evolution on time lapse.

    I can imagine that the players who have been in the fashion industry for decades (which by nature means they covet “the cutting edge”) find themselves annoyed by how accessible the cutting edge has become, how they now share that precipice with a lot of company. Welcome to the new reality. It’s too easy an insult to discredit blogs for selling out to make $ – that’s nothing new, that’s been the tried & true way of the world for quite a while now. Each generation forms their own skills for perceiving such efforts to infiltrate authenticity.

    I’m still visiting your blog. 🙂

  • whitney

    i thoroughly enjoyed reading this. it was especially well written and contained good points and information i thought was important. i definitely will keep tuned in to you!

  • Christanna

    “But the hunger and supply for editorship hasn’t dwindled in spite of more unfortunate circumstances for the demand.” Couldn’t have said it better myself! Coming from a girl who’s dream was to move to NYC to be a fashion editor, yet was brutally rebuffed by student loans and shrinking mastheads, I understand the need to “get in where you fit in.” Luckily we have the power to create new ways to “work” in this industry.

  • This is a really good response article, and you’re not alone in this sentiment. In fact, you should check out other bloggers’ responses (including your own), in this mini-article by Fashionologie by PopSugar!

    I don’t even have that much to say, because I pretty much agree with everything you just said. ♥

  • Tamika Wilkins

    BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT. Gosh I love your writing style, and the amazing points you brought out in this post. I too read Suzy’s article, and I did agree with some of her points, but in this post you posed an amazing argument.This is why you are undeniably my favorite fashion blogger. I truly respect your opinion and perspective. Maybe one day I can be as great of a writer as you. Rock on Generation – Y!

  • sv3707

    Thank you for noticiing and writing what the fashion week has become. I really appreciated your The circus of Fashion post as well. I was a couture gown designer and now I teach at a fashion college. I have multiple degrees in Textile and Fashion design. It is hard for me to encourage the students to raise their design standard when many bloggers with no fashion knowledge are considered a fashion expert. Fashion Blogging is not fashion journalism. I hope many bloggers with 10,000 plus follwers realize that their 15 minutes of fame will come to an end. Just because you are pretty and can model designer’s gifted itmes and post muliple pictures, it does not make them a fashion expert.

  • Raquel

    I don’t beleive that going back is possible. And I also think that everyone knows it.

    I understand that for the past fashion generation the blog world might be a little scary and even threating. But I don’t think that by criticizing it, they will make it less important for fashion in the present time. Honestly, blogs (the really good ones) have brought a beautiful sense of innocence, genuinity and freshness to fashion, that is not only some kind of fashion fuel but also a factor that brings a little more of realism to this dream land that is the fashion industry. It’s not only about the perfect woman anymore. It’s about personality and individuality. It’s about making your own rules. – For me that is what makes bloggers so smart and inspiring. – Not a threat. I don’t think that bloggers will ever win magazines or the other way around. It simply makes no sense.

    We will never go back to the old ways because not only what we have now is genuinely good, but also, evolving isn’t about going back. Fashion is a growing field. Growing brings changes and changes bring disconfort to some. – But that doesn’t mean that the path we are going is bad.

    I love blogs and I wil never be able to live without them.

  • Derek

    So why hand models?

  • not henry

    youre still a blogger leandra

    • Leandra Medine

      Who is suggesting otherwise?

  • not your brother again

    yet again it BA FF LE SS SSS S S S S S SS S S me how can you even have the face of writing this and critize suzy when you LIVE off of “Look at me wearing the dress! Look at these shoes I have found! Look at me loving this outfit in 15 different images!” , yeah yo graduated from the newschool yeah i can tell i read you daily and they inffect us with big words and having to repeat them, putting a little hemingway etc somewhere in there. its just funny how you have this post and the another one ” the what i wores” agh leandra

    • Not her brother either

      have you always been an ignorant asshole?

  • Emily

    The best part about your response was how objective it was. I like how you carefully considered her viewpoint as well as offered some opposing thoughts of your own. Well done, Leandra. (As usual)

    Isn’t That Charming.

  • Please SUZY MENKES we do not need any more demagogues in this fun superfluous fashion world. Circus are a great public spectacle.
    Please tell SUZY MENKES do not take the fun away.

  • Vikki

    Having just been to my first LFW (as a very green blogger), I already understand what is meant by ‘The Circus of Fashion’ and I feel rather annoyed to be placed in the same bracket as those seeking constant attention. Daily I witnessed people walking in an affected way circling the tent at Somerset House waiting for anyone to take their picture whilst those in the know went incognito with the specific intention of seeing the shows and then getting the heck out of there.

    You voice your opinion so eloquently, I really look forward to reading more of what you have to say in the future.

  • cocochic

    I rarely comment on blogs but this completely deserves a comment. Thank you for pointing out everything Ive been thinking for the past year in a way that I never could have.

  • Where’d you get the silk jacket?

  • Sarah

    You had it coming. Put your arms in the coat for fuck’s sake.

  • manda

    Can you please give the memo to the other fashion bloggers to um, actually think about some shit and then write about it. They think blogging is all just look at what I got for free to wear, now watch me wear it. Oh wait, then they’d be cool like you.

  • Maggie

    Go MR, best fashion blogger on the planet.

  • Bella stojalowska

    I like how you bring up the views on individuality (hemingway being compared to el james is a good metaphor) . In fact, that is the strongest point of your post here, while other blogs mostly complain on how “narrow-minded” or ” elitist” Menkes is.
    I mean, at some points we have to admit that the market of fashion in the past (which mainly hailed exclusivity and class) worked better in term of development of the displayed image of a certain brand rather than now, where the likes of Bryanboy aren’ t even helping in displaying, alongside fashion, class or remarkable uniqueness . As for the latter, Menkes has a point : fashion has turned into some kind of circus for “peacocks”.

  • Soul Fishing
  • Patricia Fay

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece, as I find it really sums up the concerns that are arising around the role journalists/media/bloggers should take in the fashion industry at the moment.
    It was levelled and, if the word can still be used without sounding foolish, I believe it was right. As right as one can be when sharing his/her opinion, but at least you are doing it with the respect of your peers and those who assiduously read you.

  • barbidoesmiami

    Ms. Menkes has always been a bit of an elitist pill and much as I agree that fashion is less enjoyable (and unrecognizable) to the fashion insiders of the eighties/nineties, I think to complain that “something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade,” is hypocritical. Was it not fashion that enabled the celebrity culture of today? By using celebrities for Vogue covers, designers giving away red carpet dresses and promoting their brand this way? Models went from anonymous to celebs to brands, as did the designers themselves, and helped create this cultural paradigm where exposure and self promotion appears to be the fast road to success (case in point NY Times article on Dannijo, Feb 7th). What Ms. Menkes describes and then laments is merely cause and effect. Fashion has always been the ultimate expression of self and the best mirror of our culture.

  • Kate

    Keep doing what you’re doing and being who you are, because you’re fabulous, and you’re creating space for women to have autonomy in their choices about beauty. Haters gon’ hate. (Not that Suze is a hater, but you know.)

  • isaaclikes

    I agreed with a lot of what Suzy Menkes wrote in her article The Circus of Fashion last week, but the bit about bloggers bugged me. As a blogger who paid for myself to fly around the world for eight seasons of shows, I feel like I’m in a unique position to comment. What she didn’t mention is that not every blogger’s aim is to be a fashion critic, and that being one is not the sole route to becoming a visual or cultural arbiter (hello magazine editors, stylists, photographers, et al); publications simply won’t pay for youngsters to go to the shows, so of course bloggers want free trips to see the collections; bloggers aren’t the only people in fashion who receive free clothing, travel or ‘bribery’, but we do announce our freebies because it’s the god damn law. We’ve all got to start somewhere, and I pride myself on starting out the same way as Ms Menkes did – sneaking into shows. While I do understand her frustrations, I believe she could have perhaps been less vehement in her criticisms… After all, isn’t objectivity the role of a true critic? To bastardise her words, It’s not bad because you don’t like it, you don’t like it because it’s bad.

  • Gabrielle L

    Some bloggers suck and you don’t. End of the rant. I usually think that most bloggers are just pretty face that think that stacking a bunch of expensive/trendy clothes is what’s make them legitimate. Namedropping will always exists. Some people confuse style with vulgar ”look at me” effects. In my opinion, you are one of the funny and tasteful bloggers out there. Always well-written. You’re like the Lena Dunham (Ok prettier and less self-indulgent but still.) of the blogging world ;). Keep on the good work. Ps: Loved that Into the Gloss interview.

  • Carolina Llano M

    Ok, seriosly I loved this “Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own” and that is so true. There are not many jobs in this world, so making our own is the best answer yet!

    Circus?? well I totally agree with you!! And of course, my blog is not the big one, who gets clothes, products for free. But seriously I am okay, with other people receiving gifts. That’s how it is, okay some lose, what a shame. It is like people being jealous about a Valentino shoe gift, or a Net-a-porter, burberry, whatever. Haven’t people thought about actors, actress they receive a lot of gifted items, and people continues “following” them. so why putting a comment saying “Ok, we know you are sponsored by x brand” its stupid. And off course beiung a blogger is about honesty and being you. I mean why someone should wite a great review on a product i they are not okay with it. It is not like that.

    Just saying…


  • andrea villanueva

    You are an amazing writer, that’s what makes you succesful and you should just keep doing what you like… I really, really admire your writing.

  • Megan

    Leandra! I truly loved your response to Menkes’s article… When I read her article it made me think how truly cynical the industry is… Sounds like a high school (which i am in)? Isn’t it their jobs to be open to what the consumer wants? The bloggers are microphones to what my generation wants! I don’t really like what magazines are showing, but I do love the personal creativity that I see in blogs! Some times people can’t adapt or understand what is put before them. You are a genius, because you took advantage of the opportunities given to you, so you inspire me. Why is it so bad that bloggers get free things and paid trips? It’s part of your job…. not the “crows” job. My dad is a creative speaker and he gets paid trips consistently. When I see you guys getting those things I’m so happy for you! I’m a little bias towards people like Menkes, because I’ve heard many people criticize my Dad for putting himself out there. I believe now that if you don’t have any haters then there must be something your doing wrong. That’s just what happens when you are doing great things. Menkes might be upset about other things in the industry or dealing with personal issues herself, and it surfaces out onto the bloggers (probs/probsnot?). ANYWAYS! Leandra, I love how you bring such “light” to the fashion industry! Keep it up! You are brilliant and inspirational! I respect you very much!

  • Alla

    Hello Leandra, loved your response to Ms Menkes and really enjoy your blog 🙂 The thing is, as a fashion journalist with some experience, I’m beginning to feel that fashion blogs (fashion blogs as a phenomenon – ok, probably an unfair generalisation, but still a useful one) are currently doing more harm than good. Both Ms Menkes and you did raise the question of free designer stuff that many bloggers love to get, but the problem here is much bigger. Why does the industry love, nay, adore fashion bloggers? Precisely because they are so… well, for lack of a better word, harmless. They are not going to criticise. They’re not going to write a scathing review, even if the collection is really bad. Because, well, let’s face it, they’re not fashion critics! The vast majority are just guys and girls who’d love to be somewhere cool, and what’s cooler than a famous designer’s fashion show? And even if you have the necessary knowledge and maybe even the guts, how can you possibly criticise when you’re, ahem, dressed head to toe in something you did not pay for? BTW, I don’t mean you – your blog is basically a breath of fresh air in the sea of “street style” mediocrity. And oh, how I used to love fashion blogs! (I still have about a hundred bookmarks saved, so that’s saying something) Nowadays many girls who used to put together beautiful outfits of their own making or promote local designers are only posting glossy and lifeless professional photos of themselves in New York, London or Paris, in (presumably gifted) designer gear. I don’t visit those blogs anymore, it’s just too sad. What I personally want to see in a blog is a fashion lover’s unique perspective, not yet another set of photos of an already hysterically overhyped new collection. So in my humble opinion, blog is not a dirty word – it’s just that many fashion bloggers are falling over themselves to make fashion insiders (Ms Menkes among them) see it as such. What fashion industry desperately needs is an informed and intelligent discourse. I guess it was naive of me to believe that such discourse could arise from fashion blogs.

  • Cheryl from BusinessChic

    “stances for the demand. There is a reason, after all, that Gen. Y–which is only becoming more important as we get older and begin pushing and stimulating our economy–has been dubbed the entrepreneurial generation. Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own.”
    As print publications close, our generation has to get creative and do the hustle to create opportunities for ourselves. Sure maybe I’ve conducted myself as an uncouth barbarian in the past as I hunted handsome business women and men to photograph for my streetstyle blog but I like to think I’m refining my practice.

  • I am a fashion publicist and a fashion blogger, and I’ve heard all of these arguments so many times. Bottom line, no one can afford to buy a new outfit to photograph every single day – just like magazines don’t pay for all of the clothing they use in photo shoots. I go to blogs for style inspiration, so I really don’t care if the item they’re wearing was gifted or whatever – the styling and content is still original or so it would seem for most. And as a publicist I really do appreciate the bloggers that are willing to work with me and consider my clients – and if something doesn’t work out, I get it. A gift isn’t forcing anyone to wear something if it doesn’t look good on them! And on that note – I’ve gifted MANY items that have never been photographed. So bottom line, I don’t think accepting gifts is really an issue, especially if you’re disclosing.

    BUT I do think that some bloggers have sacrificed their integrity by being willing to collaborate with anyone and everyone. I almost roll my eyes when some collaborations are announced… like, really? Or when I see 5 “top” bloggers posting about the same exact thing – hello clearly sponsored posts. I can appreciate innovative and truly creative collaborations, but not every collaboration is worth it.

    At the same time, can we really limit these criticisms to bloggers? I think it’s the entire fashion industry that’s turning into a circus. Major brands are doing collaborations that I feel sacrifice their integrity. Editors accept gifts every day by the bucketload. The brands that can afford to take people to dinners and brunches and blow dry parties and pay for car service are the ones who are getting coverage. And part of the fashion week circus includes brands that REALLY don’t need to be there but are – and because they are an advertiser, editors have to go.

    I’m interested in blogs still because I want to see what real people are wearing, cooking, and how they’re decorating their homes. I think it’s quite obvious at this point which bloggers are still creating original, unique, innovative content (i.e. Man Repeller!!) and which are just chronicling their sponsors. Eventually readers are going to get bored with the latter.

  • Leandra,

    Your blog is the antithesis of what Ms. Menkes’s article stands for. In her article she waxes poetic on the days of “fashionistas” flocking like “black crows” around the shows of NYFW of old. My question to Ms. Menkes is this: Do you REALLY want to look like every other crow in the flock? Or do you want to look like that fucking fabulous peacock you tried to put down in your article?

    To suggest that there’s something wrong with bringing fashion to, well, “everybody” (as Ms. Menkes refers to in her article), is incredibly closed minded and fundamentally unartistic. What Ms. Menkes fails to understand is that street style isn’t about deliberately making a spectacle of oneself in order to stand out: It’s a celebration of who we are, that fashion is a way to express the human spirit.

    In short, you keep doing you. “To thine own self be true…”

  • Georgia

    Great post. I agree, darwinism will reveal all. I intend as a reader to stick around and see what happens.

  • EmilyR O.

    Thank you for your thoughtful “call to arms (or, should I say, keyboards)” about re-examining our respect for the fashion world that we have essentially created…

  • this is why your blog, park&cube, garance dore, and style bubble are the blogs that I really like. You guys actually write meaningful piece. Thanks!

  • Wow!! She is looking awesome.

  • marikalynn

    know I’m commenting on this post days after the conversation has ended, and
    I’ve never commented before, but that being said:

    The culture of blogging has always provoked mixed emotions from me (for reasons
    that are too long to list here), and in the past year, those emotions have
    become increasingly negative and cynical. This due to what others have
    similarly referred to as the cheapening of content to what seems to be a
    massive advertisement. However, it also seems wrong to begrudge the gifts,
    sponsorship, attention and coveted spaces at NYFW that bloggers receive, unless
    one also has a problem with models, actresses and especially reality show stars
    receiving those same things.

    It seems far less elitist for a young woman, who cultivates a brand from merely
    personal creativity and an internet connection, to be on the receiving end of
    gifts from a brand she may not have had access to in years past. Yet, at the
    same time, the formula of the successful style blog seems to have devolved
    into, an attractive girl/woman+massive amounts of disposable income to purchase
    the trendiest items of the season+a decent camera and an Instagram account, and
    this formula does feel wrong. It seems to be bringing the democratization of
    fashion (the thing I love about blogging) back to a place of elitism, and tacky
    elitism at that.

    Just as blogging and fashion have been rapidly changing, they will continue to
    do so, market saturation is probably the biggest factor in the continuing

    As a lover of fashion and personal style, one would think the massive amount of
    fashion blogs would make the internet a haven for a person like me, but I’m
    increasingly finding this untrue, and besides Man Repeller, I read only one
    other fashion blog these days. Leandra (you) is (are) an example of the
    pinnacle of what blogs can be, and she (you) won me over in her early days,
    when I initially approached her site with the same cynical and discerning attitude that is
    becoming more prevalent among the seekers of style inspiration. At first
    glance, I almost attributed her (your) popularity to the ability to spend money
    I definitely couldn’t spend at 21 but what I now chalk up to my jealousy, was
    quickly quashed by the ingenuity and creativity always present on Man Repeller,
    and it just keeps getting better. This site is an example of why bloggers
    should be recognized as true players in the fashion industry and not just vapid
    little girls taking selfies in their bathroom mirror (which I love).

  • Share Design

    Brilliantly written! Well Done!

  • As a former journalist turned blogger, this is the struggle of our profession. Suddenly, we’re only worth $50 per post unless we give into the lure of sponsorships and payoffs. We must decide how to turn quality content into a profession while still maintaining our integrity. I appreciate that you are opening this discussion with your readers, because they too must decide how they want their favorite writers and content creators to make a living.

  • Teejay


  • Leandra, I was so inspired by you and Ms. Bubble’s rebuttals and discussion about this article that I just posted my own. It’s long and you probably don’t have time to read it, but if you are interested, here is the link: Best to you.

  • I do understand where Suzy Menkes is coming from. I can relate to how she feels because I have felt like that many times. Even though I am nobody in this business, from an early age I knew I wanted to work in fashion professionally, and have been taking all the formal steps to get there, like graduating from university, taking courses, writing for magazines,
    mastering English and French (my mother tongue is Spanish). After a lot of hard work, and taking sh¡* from PRs , I went to London and Paris Fashion Weeks a couple of times and managed to get in a few of the biggies even if it was in standing. But I also got a big taste of rejection and PRs treating you like a bum because you are not dressed in fancy high end clothes. It can be a tough, dirty world. Still I knew more than ever that this is what I wanted to do for a living because I truly love fashion. I didn’t want to go to fashion week to get photographed or become famous, (please, all I wore was head to toe black clothes, bought at Zara). I am serious about this. So, to make my point, you work your butt off to get somewhere, then, along come these “peacocks” more desperate for attention than a Kardashian, and are suddenly getting endorsements, free clothes and trips and access to the most coveted shows. I wonder if they know anything about fashion beyond fancy labels and top models. Why bother to get an education if anyone can do this?
    On the other hand, it is of course, unfair to put all the bloggers in the same bag. Because those who are talented and bring a fresh, intelligent perspective to the table are definitely worthy of their front row spots. Some people are naturals, may not need the “formal training” it exists in every field. But again, these are exceptions.

    Is reality TV to blame? the fact that the most popular shows on TV today feature people whose fame and money come from not working for a living, being uneducated, rude and just plain vulgar has a lot to say about today’s society. Nowadays, especially the young, don’t care about being cultivated, they just care about what’s “cool” and “popular” and whatever looks good. Hence the success of so many superficial peacock bloggers.

    Another thought: It’s not like some fashion editors and journalists don’t favor certain designers more than others because the brands advertise heavily in their magazines, personal interest or friendship. Having worked in magazines myself I know how it goes. So it’s not fair to satanize every blogger who has promoted a brand or taken a gift. Isn’t advertising the way magazines make money? Do you think the Givenchy dress Beyonce is wearing on the cover of March 2013 Vogue is simply an fashion editor’s pick? Hello! Covers are sold the same way advertisement pages are. It’s not a crime, just the way business works. So the “bloggers are all sell-outs” theory is not exactly applicable 100% of the time. Yes, the great majority has no credibility and is there for fame and gifts, creating spectacle which is obviously annoying for the serious buyer and journalist who are doing their jobs, not trying to win a popularity contest. But the truly smart, talented bloggers should keep up the good work because the truth is, they did change fashion forever.

  • Paula McClelland

    This is a timely post you’ve written here MR. Judging by the amount of comments left behind (and after reading almost all of them) all I can add is that in all “professions” (in quotation because obviously not all bloggers are paid for their posts) there comes a time when the pretenders – those that it would seem don’t deserve to be there – out shadow and start to tarnish the few authentic voices. Sooner or later the Emperor will realize his fabulous new clothes don’t in fact exist and the townspeople will move on. What I mean to say with this ridiculous reference is that as bloggers start to lose their authenticity, their readers will move on to other material and the bloggers that have maintained a certain level of integrety should still be knocking around. So many comments left behind by your fans say they will stick by you as you alone have an original perspective that you take care to impart with witty observation and eloquence? You with your Man Repeller site were my first blog. I gathered a few others that I enjoyed but as the odd one started to become a giant advert I deleted them – as you are free to do with the internet! I’m sure these blogs still have tonnes of followers and enjoy their free clothes and product gifts – I am sure they don’t miss my readership – but I would like to say that I will always come back to you MR. Besides as we’ve seen in the comments previously, magazines and papers are not the impartial sources they would have us believe. I’ve left this comment on your site before and will leave it again: You deserve all success you can gather MR because I feel you give an authentic voice and I enjoy your opinions on fashion, feminism and the TV show Girls!! Just keep doing what you’re doing and we will follow you (and perhaps stop following the air heads)
    That was one long blab – feel free to skim read and forget it 😉
    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  • Actually, after going back and reading the article in my opinion Suzy Menkes seems whiny and elitist and doesn’t really further the issue at all. The comments section is all a jimble jumble of haters whining and the odd person “disagreeing”

    What a bore – if I want to go look at Rumi Neely’s grainy photos or view Bryan Boy’s try hard posing (I don’t) I shall – just the same as if i want to go watch Katy Perry’s latest video (I don’t) I will. These thing’s become popular because the mainstream has backed them. Bloggers are a victim of their environment as are pop stars, as are celebrity chefs as are the cast of Jersey Shore #vommits.

    I’m turning my laptop off now and going out side to get some fresh air!

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  • ofModeandMen

    Exactly. Taking advantage of a brand for the sake of becoming a relevant voice is not the way to approach an open forum of the fashion world. Even when we consider it an outlet to put our foot in the door, it still has to be done with professionalism and journalistic intrigue.

    However, the fashion world is evolving, and Ms. Menkes sort of fails to acknowledge that a new generation is stepping in to take over the ranks. We are now more passionate than ever because of its immediate reach to the masses. It’s why we don’t do dress-black. We wear what we wear for ourselves and to feel good. And if you’re going to be an arbiter of the industry, then it’s okay to express it.

    Express it, however, in understated manner. There will be places to pull of a Lady Gaga if you want, but fashion week is not the venue. We’re not there to promote ourselves (memes are best suited for the internet for comical reasons). So she’s right in saying that “Street Style” is losing its legitimacy. Honestly, it’s become a bore to see pictures at the events because they are just too outlandish and faux pas.

  • guest

    gen y seem like preppy asskissers, all up themselvs

  • Signorefandi

    It comes to my mind that some too-much-about-me posts of bloggers are
    irritating. I’m a fashion blogger too, but all I’m-obsessed comment on some stuff are merely driven by
    the intention to get it free (or discounted if you’re not lucky enough). Of course there’s always a clown whenever we are, and fashion is no
    exception. When I see some bloggers wearing something eye-hurting, I
    feel that the fashion editors’ job to educate the world how to dress is
    not done, and maybe never. They, who did long research before doing
    photo shooting for fashion spread, stays on top of the game while
    bloggers rely on as-is property. The pure passion and innocence of A-list bloggers time by time are gone
    because they’re afraid if they don’t write good about the brands
    supporting them, they’d loose some sponsorship and freebies. It’s not so
    far different with magazines, where they have to be loyal to brands
    buying ad pages in one hand, but in the other hand they have standard to
    hold onto.

  • Angel

    So well written and a strong clear argument about how the fashion industry is changing. One of the reasons why I keep reading your blog is partly because of your style but mainly how you write. Well argued.

  • Grandy Katega

    Here here! aha I think the phrase in your opening sentence ‘mild range’ just about hit the nail on the head for me because after first reading the article as a new inexpierienced blogger who’s doing so because she simply loves fashion I couldnt quite pin point my feeling towards it but I think that just about sums it up. This is a brilliant arcticle I love how you dont throw her under the bus or any such like and in fact show great reason. I do respect suzy menkes opinion after that but is it bad of me to think the pictures she put within the article (as an example of the look-at-me bloggers) were amazing and the ones she selected at the bottom were a tad drab and overulingly boring. Yes they looked fine but dont designers dedicate their lives to creating sometimes ott but extremely awesome peices so they’re seen once on models and never again, no they do so their clothes can be bought and worn no matter how out of the ordinary they may seem. So am i the only one who was slightly puzzled/amused that suzy mendez would critique bloggers for wearing clothes to fashion that are about to be on the catwalks that they’re about to go see?

  • Oh Leandra, this is so brilliantly put; the good, the bad and the ugly about the blogging community and the respect we should (or should not, as the case may sometimes be) deserve within the industry.

    Thank you, as always, for your articulate and eloquent insights.

    Briony xx

  • Leslie

    At the end of the day we are talking about CLOTHES and what people / we are wearing. Personally, I look at every blog I come across and I don’t take it seriously because… It’s just clothing, people! I don’t know anyone who looks at more fashion blogs than I do. I just like to see what people are wearing. It doesn’t at all interest me to intellectualize any of it. I don’t give a rat’s a** if someone’s blog is about self-aggrandizement or if they are accepting gifts from Celine, Forever 21, YSL or whomever-the-hell. I like looking at the way that people put themselves together…for whatever reason they are doing it. Either it inspires me to look cute, quirky, trendy, sexy, edgy or whatever that day or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t I don’t go back to the blog.

    It seems like we should stop talking ourselves so seriously with regards to fashion, fashion reporting, fashion blogs, etc…

  • smitten

    No, hun, Miss Suzy Menkes is right on and wrote a brilliant piece that needed to be read by everyone! I couldnt stop laughing because everything was so dead on true. I’m not sure why every blogger, maybe not you so much, is so compelled to instagram and thank their new designer gifts while it used to be a big no-no to accept any gifts.

  • Gigi

    You have some good points, but your prose really gets in the way of making your point. I had to read some sentences multiple times. It seems like you used a thesaurus while writing this. Simple words can make an impact too. Big words do not automatically give a sentence depth and meaning. “We as a collective elicit the mockery (no matter how arguable it might be) that we garner and the puddle of cynicism and skepticism that has manifested around us exists only reactively.” Say what??? I understand you are passionate about defending your job, but I think you make it a little easy for professional journalist to turn their nose up at bloggers. Not everyone can write.

  • Chelsea

    Dear Leandra,

    It was a pleasure to read your rebuttal to the argument put forth in Ms. Menkes’ piece. I think that it is continually important to have a dialogue around the changing social and editorial management of content that has come with the internet, and which is unsurprisingly most obviously represented in fashion blogs and websites.

    I think it is important to focus on your second last question – what will make blogs strong? I think this is a very important and interesting question. I remember (like so many others) a time when there was no outlet for fashion creativity outside of the big glossies. I, like so many other young women, waited with baited breath for my copy of Vogue and in later years, Vogue Paris to arrive. The bibles – telling me what to like and dislike – the movement of fashion and editorial.

    In contrast I remember the first blogs I really connected to – in the beginning stages, before tumblr, before most streetstyle blogs had popped up. For me, the first blog that I truly felt compulsive about was Garance Dore. I felt that she had something that was missing in my other avenues of fashion – opinion, personality. She also took pictures of women that I had never seen before – never been privy to, in Paris, New York. This was, to me more influential, more directional than any fashion editorial, because it was REAL.

    I felt the same way when I first read your blog – I spoke about it to all my friends, recommending and saluting, not really the clothing you spoke about or photographed on your blog – or even the idea of the Man Repeller – but rather the calibre of expression, the writing, the opinions, the ideas (the jokes!).

    I think that is where the strength of blogs will lie, not in recycling what fashion magazines did on paper, in a different medium, but using blogs as a forum for refection of our times, while capturing the fashions of the time, with a unique and distinctly literary flair. This isn’t to say that this “literary flair” can’t come out in strictly streetstyle blogs – I believe Scott Schuman, and Tommy Ton show as much voice in their photographs as others do in their written and photographic work – to say that a point of view is necessary and vital to the personal reflections these blogs create.

    For it is in the creation of a voice, opinion, a personality and a point of view that the great writers and thinkers become great, and therein lies the difference between magazines and bloggers – Blogger are people – magazines are not – and our culture and our generation is more often than ever looking for a connection, both meaningful and deeply personal.

  • So how do you pay for all your fabulously expensive clothing plus actually surviving in a notoriously expensive city such as New York. Is blogging your job?

  • You are one intellectual young woman, who I am proud to have as a Y-GEN voice, not just in fashion, but towards our current fast-paced movement. I am extremely envious and intrigued by your beautiful vocabulary and articulation.

    Amen sister, please keep doing your thing, you are so inspiring!


  • Danielle

    Great response. Measured, articulate & well put together, couldn’t have said it better by myself, but I did try, have a look at my response…

  • You should be my new Editor in Chief

  • Sadie Dark

    As a lay person I feel that fashion is less special now that it has become so… not just accessible but accessed. Does EVERYONE have to have an opinion on the collections? I actually feel sorry for designers because they have to accommodate people who really don’t deserve to be there. That sounds harsh but really, it’s ridiculous. I love fashion, does that make me an expert. No. If I started a blog this could be overlooked.

  • Guest

    This blog provides a terrifying glimpse into a dystopian future-scape in which all editors have died out. Or in which an anti-English-language dictator has come to power and jailed all editors. Or in which a widespread fuel shortage has forced the world’s English-speaking population to burn its dictionaries for precious light and heat.

    Even the cliches are misused–“far and few between” and “weed off”?

  • This is one of the most articulate, well organized blog posts to date; you’ve kind of answered your question with everything demonstrated in this post. Blog posts need to pull from traditional standards of journalism reporting, and one only needs to look to Op Ed pieces to gather this.

    I, too, agree and disagree with Menkes. When she states, “It isn’t good because you like it; you like it because it’s good,” there is something profound in that. Blogging on fashion for professionals should be deeper than what you like, taking a picture, or being social aka an overnight celebrity. It should incorporate knowing the history of designers, fact checking, studying trends, merchandising, and design, and informing an audience of something they didn’t know before rather than reproducing the same noise of the Internet simply because it will get your blog hits or its trending on Twitter, which are good things but more is needed.

    I could go on, but an organization definitely needs to be born, a guild to legitimize and protect bloggers much like the Screen Actors Guild or American Guild of Musical Artists. Through this, a separation of hobby vs. professionals vs. peacocks will form, as you stated, the Darwinism of it all will take off from there.

    –LaShic Mondrell, Fashion & Beauty Blogger

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    I like your blog too much. Its too interesting. I am totally agree with u.

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  • Haley

    Genius writer.

  • Jovel

    Great perspective on the situation. I recently wrote an article that I think echoes your points perfectly. I agree with you 100%.


    [a blogger.]

  • Mary

    I really need your blog! Thank you so much!
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  • Lily Asher

    Thanks Leandra. You are BRILLIANT and make a very good point here. Think I’ll write a play about this very subject. Thanks for inspiring me.

  • Somerset Wedding Gal

    Really interesting and articulate article. Blogging certainly seems a dirty word to come, I think in some ways it is indicative of a world which becomes more about the rise of the individual and the narcissistic, but at the same time, those bloggers who get involved in a community are the ones that I feel are most rewarding to read!

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  • Neharika Roy

    Great article, but I could not help spotting a typo: “Maybe too, we should gear the flack more closely toward our environment.
    The consequences of living in 2013 are vastly different than they were
    in the 80s or 90s and even early aughts because of the hyper-speed at
    which we consume information.” It’s FLAK, not FLACK. Sorry, but if I had a typo on my blog, I’d like someone to tell me

  • Fugly

    It’s a tough thing for me that theis is a joke. I kinda feel this should be my new life.

  • fantastic writing. couldnt agree more on what u have written!

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  • Sara

    A hilarious perspective on blogging…

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  • Martha Sarah

    I used to like fashion blogs around 2010 but I follow none of them now. I have zero respect for the likes of you because you buy your instagram followers, hire good PRs to promote your blogs and all your photos are staged and fake. I went back to reading magazines for good articles. And if I need to see style inspiration, I just google “models off duty”. There is no need for fashion blogs anymore and sooner or later this trend is going to die out.

  • Fashion Week has definitely changed in the few years that I have been attending, and sometimes that’s for the best – like the changing of venues this season, and sometimes for the worst – when I’m sitting next to a pair of 12-year old girls at a sought after show.

    Secondly – totes agree. A lot of people, especially the older generations, don’t get what bloggers do, but I think it’s important that we separate “bloggers” from those that have a “blog”. I, like you, treat this as my full time business, and I think it’s skewed sometimes by the fact that everyone and their mom has a “blog” now a days.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • This is fantastic. I hate calling myself a “blogger,” because it comes with so many assumptions. And yet, I’ve been doing this for six years and work really hard. I really loved your closing notes on this.

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  • Ayse

    I think this is one of the best pieces you’ve ever written Leandra

  • Sarah marry

    Fantastic photographs ..!! the fashion of jeans seem to be stopped, hope so this winter fall the latest fashion of jeans.

  • Good point – I love how you bring Darwin’s theory into it. As with any new happening the strongest ones will survive and blogwise you can definitely start seeing this happen with the big names going into multiple directions, such as designing, directing and old-style journalism and thus becoming way more than merely ”bloggers”.

  • Thank you, great article ! I knew bloggers had arrived when the big ones started getting agents from major agencies. And for me the great question is
    “How can fashion ​blog blend editorial integrity with commercial interests ?”
    Capucine |

  • Tunet Jordaan

    I left blogging because of the way bloggers in South Africa are. (Does that sound douchy?)
    Blogging just for the sake of being seen and getting swag.
    That’s why I read the New York Times, Lenny letter and Man Repeller. Visit The Sartorialist weekly and also check in on my fav knitting blog. I rely on these for expert views and fresh info.

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