Fashionologie, 2005 — 2013

BoF laments the loss of Fashionologie, a popular fashion blog started by Tommye Fitzpatrick from her dorm room at North Carolina’s Duke University, that was recently folded into PopSugar.com

Fashionologie screenshot | Source: Wayback Archive

NEW YORK, United States — In one of our favourite, and more unlikely, stories of fashion blogging success, Tommye Fitzpatrick started a blog called Fashionologie almost eight years ago, when she was a 20-year-old bio-engineering student at North Carolina’s Duke University. A consummate fashion nerd, Fitzpatrick sat in her dorm room scouring the web for scoops which she packaged as easily digestible, bite-sized articles about the fashion industry, described as “the musings of a twenty-something American girl who wishes she could have a Freaky Friday incident and switch bodies with Phoebe Philo.”

The concept caught on and Fashionologie quickly became a go-to site for industry insiders and watchers alike. Within a few years, Fitzpatrick was reporting from the Paris collections, while her blog was referenced (and linked to) by more established websites like Refinery 29 and New York Magazine’s The Cut.

Less than five years after launch, Fashionologie was attracting 1.5 million page views per month and, in 2007, the mini media brand was sold to Sugar Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Fitzpatrick stayed on as an employee, but in 2011 parted ways with the site she had founded — and Sugar Inc — to pursue other projects.

For some time following Fitzpatrick’s departure, Fashionologie continued to produce the sharp little fashion stories it was known for, just in different hands. And for a while, those hands were competent enough to keep the concept, the name and, importantly, the look of the site relatively unchanged, thus ensuring that Fitzpatrick’s loyal following kept tuning in for their regular fashion news fix.

Late last month, however, as part of a rebranding effort, Sugar Inc folded all of its domains, which also include health, celebrity, gossip, shopping and fitness sites, into its most successful brand, PopSugar, subsuming the individual identities of each site. As a result, Fashionologie URLs now go to PopSugar, where the posts are lost amid PopSugar’s distracting design. Fashionologie’s aesthetic, as it was known to its many fans since 2005, is forever lost.

According to Fashionista.com, Fashionologie’s parent company, recently renamed PopSugar Inc, justified the decision by saying their newly consolidated domain would attract 30 million users per month, generating 250 million page views. While it may have been the right decision from a numbers standpoint, for us, Fashionologie simply doesn’t exist anymore. And even sadder, online fashion have fans lost one of its very first go-to web addresses.

R.I.P. Fashionologie.

Disclosure: Tommye Fitzpatrick is a contributing editor at The Business of Fashion.

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16 comments

  1. Before the Business of Fashion website became more prominent, online media was diverse in that the advent of a custom publishing tool – Blogspot – enable users to easily develop their own website and content. It allowed novice web users to have their own website and therein a “web blog” when they either had to learn how to develop their own website or use free hosting websites. Since 2006, an entire host of great personal blogs run by individuals from the U.S. and particularly from Scandinavia espoused great content and individuality. Posts were indicative of how much personal time and energy was placed into writing and uploading photography, many of which their own. A period in which for many bloggers was indefatigable. The shifted change happened when these bloggers became older and unable to monetise their blogging experience, realised that career employment was more sustainable than running a personal blog from home. Consequently, many of those who had these blogs have left and their existence erased.

    There has been great upheaval and hyperactivity surrounding the legitimacy or credibility of bloggers. The author of Man Repeller Leandra Medine, made mentioned of Darwin’s theory of evolution. In actuality, online media has been a devolution because blogs are no longer pluralistic. In some ways, and not to discredit this website of which I am writing on (which is also a great one), its presence has homogenised where people receive or enjoy their online content. The Business of Fashion is one of few websites now that manages to stay at the highest calibre of publishing content and readership. There is greater pressure than ever before for it then to continue its discourse into the future, indefinitely.

    List of website casualities:
    Mode et Utopie by Rizvana Bradley
    Bakerby by Cecilie Askov
    So Much To Tell You by Zoe Walker and Natalie Smith

    Online Magazines
    Slash Magazine, New York, U.S.

    Michael from Revesby, New South Wales, Australia
  2. Thanks for the info. :-(

    Tot-Hom from El Prat De Llobregat, Catalonia, Spain
  3. Well that’s a shame. I used to read that site a lot.

    Josh from New York, NY, United States
  4. I remember back in late 2007 when Sugar bought Coutorture which was a big favourite and it disappeared along with Julie Fredrickson as the writer – correct me if I am wrong but didn’t they merge Coutorture with Fashionologie.

    Vicki Day from Barnoldswick, Lancashire, United Kingdom
  5. So sad…the vaporizing of a unique, special brand, in favor of homogenization. Clicking on a Fashionologie link, then getting flipped to a mass market (PopSugar) page…total buzzkill.

    Lisa from Pleasanton, CA, United States
  6. I can say that it’s not easy to maintain your existence in the fashion blogging brigade. When I first started, I felt the blogs I read were like a little club that I would enjoy reading on a daily basis, and that my little unknown blog was amicably placed next to these fantastic blogs and I felt a kinship of sorts.

    When fashion bloggers got thrown into the spotlight by big media, the blogs multiplied, but at the same time started to lose their appeal. New media conglomerates started to pop up, and things began to look very much like corporations, not individuals. Now, the only blogs I read are from the few individuals that have not succumbed to being absorbed by media groups. I’m glad that they’ve stayed true to themselves, including BoF.

    This is sad news for Fashionlogie, but not surprising when you view it from a business perspective. This happens all the time, the blogging industry is not immune to corporate takeovers.

    Dahlia from Los Angeles, CA, United States
  7. It’s very unfortunate to hear this happen to one of my favorite websites from back in the day. To be honest since Fashionologie was sold, it hadn’t been the same. The problem is lately everything is all about getting fast money, boosting your ego and basically just selling themselves out.

    Precilla from Netherlands
  8. If this is part of your strategic decision to spend the 2 million dollars you raised, I believe the investment funds should be worried. You are covering the fashion sector and the differentiation between the various publications that focus on the same, does not come from the millions of visitors!

    Denis F. from Chaoyang, Liaoning Province, China
  9. I’ts so sad that we have to attract customers not with the content but catchy and cheese title….very tabloid like. But looks like that is the it works nowadays.

    Sincerely Inta G
    http://www.intagphoto.com

    Inta G from Boynton Beach, FL, United States
  10. I was a expecting a different read from the title. Misleading might be much weighty a word, but it comes close. I read BOF for a more cerebral perspective on the fashion atmosphere; creative and commercial, but this reads like a blog post with no head or tail. What is the relevance of this story? Popsugar’s new strategy? The death of fashion blogs? New breed of fashion blogs? What I took away from this was a one sided (puerile) voice on the fact that a blog is not easily accessible. If one wants such reads, refinery, the cut, and fashionista suffices.

    Justincase from Staten Island, NY, United States
  11. I completely agree. Was waiting for an article like this, wondering why no one seemed to notice. So sad to have lost fashionologie, it is just not the same. Its content and clean, pretty layout and slideshows were the best and made it so special. Even though I still occasionally go back to it because I miss its content, the look KILLS it, and I hate popsugar for it. It was one of my favorite fashion sites, and now I’ve been trying to look for a replacement similar to it to no avail.

    Deborah from Springfield, NJ, United States
  12. Thanks for this article I wondered what had happen to that clear concise view of fashion that one could get at Fashionologie..sad to see it go….

    greenclothing from Toronto, ON, Canada
  13. I pretty much hate the whole Popsugar (fabsugar, bellasugar, whatever) set of sites, because like many blogs, this one became more and more corporate and the material and format destroyed an sense of uniqueness and community. No surprise they’ve dissolved the fashionologie brand. As an ex-fashion blogger, I’m amazed at how in just 4 or 5 years, the world of blogging went from feeling wide open and free for anyone to try, to something now that seems pointless unless you go into it with a 50k investment and plans to generate millions of pageviews in a very rapid timeframe. Blogging has become much like our economy, where there is a small chunk of media sites with all the big numbers, and then a huge gap now followed my millions of ‘nobodies’. Kinda sucks.

    evr from Long Island City, NY, United States
  14. Agree. RIP Fashionologie. With BoF’s new layout and content may somehow fill that void, I supposed. Keep the good work!

    DL from Paris, Île-de-France, France
  15. I thoroughly miss Fashionologie. The layout was so simple and user friendly and the attention to detail- down to titles such as like Bits and Baubles for the news section was delightful and did not go unnoticed. I also used to eagerly await the Best Dressed list each week. It felt like a genuine website for fashion lovers, and now all I see is click through revenue stream. Long Live Fashionologie and thanks for the many good years!

    Emma K from Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
  16. OMG I hate pop sugar, they really should put back FASHIONOLOGIE pop sugar is sooooo stuck on with reality shows and all trashy stuff is now on….. :(

    claudia Paz from Antioquia, Colombia