Anyway, the meat of her post:
In the latest issue of Texas Monthly, Francesca Mari profiles Amber Venz, the empress of the fashion industry’s most powerful affiliate site, RewardStyle. (Diclosure: I used RewardStyle in my personal style blogger days, which ended in 2013.) That bloggers are making bank is no big news (remember that WWD story earlier this summer), but it’s the corporatized aspect of the game that’s so shocking here. Looking through the bloggers interviewed, you find a slew of sites in which women are all wearing the same things, styled the same way. And these cash cows aren’t going to be plucked from obscurity and into the front row: the bloggers mentioned in WWD’s story are women you’ve never heard of and probably never will. Their already making $1m a year; what’s a seat at Dior?
Mari writes that bloggers are desperate for brand collaborations, and I think that’s led many bloggers to do what other, more successful bloggers are doing (down to the design and layout of their blogs, and the way they dress) so they look “legit” enough for a brand. They wear stuff they know readers will want to buy (Venz even recounts telling a blogger to dress “down” when the blogger’s sales mean she can starts buying higher end clothes). Times was, kiddos, bloggers wore newly discovered brands, or styled things in an unexpected way, or showed the same ole, perhaps, but with an engaging or surprising voice. That was what bloggers brought to the fashion industry, and the ones who did it well broke through.
Now, the fashion industry and its observers have clearly tired of blogging. I could count the number of “fashion blogs are dead” think pieces that have appeared in the last year on my hands and feet and have to borrow someone else’s hands and feet to finish counting. It doesn’t mean blogs are going away—in fact, I think there is a “masthead” of bloggers who are the “establishment,” and here to stay.
The original purpose of blogging—a kingmaker for the obscure and reasonably well-attired—is what’s dead. That is over. (She writes, on her fashion blog.) The craze for anyone who is wearing clothes on the internet is over. That no longer gives a brand legitimacy. You can’t just start a blog and get in anymore, and the type of bloggers discussed in Mari’s story (save for a few exceptions, who may have made money from RewardStyle but whose success isn’t driven by it, such as Into the Gloss and Man Repeller) are not exactly rolling in and disrupting the game. They’re all doing the same thing, and no amount of Marc Jacobs or Louis Vuitton collaborations, which RewardStyle says it has in the works, is going to change that. Here’s a blogging secret: the clothes don’t make the blogger. The blogger’s point of view does.
You can read the rest here.