Suzy Menkes on the Growing Influence of Fashion Blogs

BERLIN, Germany — A big thank you to PREMIUM and Mary Scherpe of Stil in Berlin for inviting me to join an esteemed panel of German fashion experts Christoph Amend of Zeit Magazin, Marcus Luft of Gala and  Too Posh to Push, and Sven Schoene of PR Agency K-MB to discuss the future of fashion media on the first day of Berlin Fashion Week.

The panel began with the esteemed Suzy Menkes, who wasn’t able to participate in person, but declared via video: “The world changed when fashion instead of being a monologue, became a conversation. And that’s never going to stop.”

Suzy, of course, was amongst the first of the mainstream fashion editors to reach out to bloggers and engage them as professionals. “A good blogger,” she says, “can really take all sorts of elements and use them both in words and pictures and make a strong statement.”

She’s “tremendously in favour of anything that is new and fresh in fashion,” but the one thing that concerns her is that “some bloggers believe, in their innocence, that they are completely independent in what they say.” In between the lines, Suzy advises bloggers to be wary of the increasing pressure they receive from brands to evangelise brands and products.

The video also features Julia and Jessie from Les Mads, Jennine from The Coveted and Yvan from The Facehunter, each of whom provide their own perspectives on how quickly the fashion blogosphere is rising in influence and prevalence.

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  1. i really wish i could have been at the conference, it sounded amazing.

    as far as the independence of what we post about, i’ve been thinking a lot about that the past few days, and while some bloggers are naive, a vast majority of the influential bloggers companies seek to influence are becoming more and more educated through experience both with the companies and with their reader base. i say no to companies on a daily basis, and very rarely will i say yes, and only if it offers value to the blog, to my readers, and to my overall experience as a blogger.

    i’m very aware when companies try to dictate what i publish, sometimes it doesnt end well… for them. for example, zara invited me to a shop opening they wined and gifted us, great i posted about it, but when i went into that same store three weeks later and got terrible service, i mean really terrible from not one, but 4 employees, i posted about that too. it so turned out that i wasnt the only one who had the same experience with the retalier.

    perhaps the honeymoon period she describes is beginning to end?

    the companies will get smarter, but so will the bloggers and the audience everyone wants to reach.

    it’s also naive to think that traditional journalists, particularly in fashion media, an industry that is heavily gifted by companies and ruled by the advertisers that anyone’s opinion is truly independent?

    who knows?

  2. i don’t mean to be a stickler but my name is spelled wrong… it’s a common mistake!

  3. @jennine Sorry about that, now fixed!

    Imran Amed, Editor from France (post author)
  4. i’m glad to see bloggers having our own voices after so many years – i inquired from IMG to see whether bloggers will b accredited at fashion week in a few weeks in NY – well done on the video & the panel discussion, V.

  5. Interesting video, Suzy was a good choice as she has a very clear opinion on things and she seems very open to change. Yes bloggers might be influenced by marketing and all that jazz but could be more honest in what they choose to cover as opposed to journalist and magazines that are directly influenced by revenues.

  6. Yvan’s name is spelled wrong!

    Sunna from Coutisse, 07, Belgium