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