Bloggers are "liggers with laptops" say fashionisatas

London Fashion Week is here and fashion journalists and PRs are unhappy with an influx of bloggers who are taking the best seats at the show, contributing little and are says one journalist little more than “liggers with laptops”. Yes it is handbags at dawn.

That pretty much describes some journalists, but let’s skip that for a moment. The Times has a piece today chronicling the surge of the fashion bloggers. At last year’s London Fashion Week 22% of press accreditation went to bloggers. This year it is 33%. Hold on to your tiaras.

According to The Times “some bloggers are prepared to resort to any means — fair or foul — to gain admittance”. Sacrebleu!

One unnamed blogger turned up at a show and claimed to be from Harper’s Bazaar before being turned out and stuck back in the cheap seats. A “seasoned journalist” complained about seeing a 16-year-old girl who’d previously been on work experience on her title seated in the front row because of her connection to a blog. The poor professional journalists was seated several rows back.

Wow. I’m full of respect for that 16-year old. Making it to the front row of a major fashion show clearly takes some rocks. Good for her.

Another glossy magazine reporter told The Times: “Look, some of the bloggers are brilliant but a lot of them are liggers with laptops.”

Get over yourself. Seriously, I know a lot of journalists and they (okay we) love freebies. Who doesn’t. Books, music, film, flights, festivals, gigs and restaurants all paid by some PR who bills their client. Sometimes absolutely nothing gets written. Is that ligging?

Personally I get slightly embarrassed and do my very best to get something written (honest). I swear on a week long trip to Jordan I was the only journalists to write any copy while there. On trip to New York likewise, but I have also flown to San Francisco several times and produced next to nothing. That’s the way it goes and it doesn’t always go to press.

Someone described as an influential PR complains that “if you read some of these blogs, they are just cut-and-pasting each other; they don’t use their access to say anything original” — although no blogs are named/shamed.

Not sure I entirely believe that. Blogs are about original comment and content (but not always) and most bloggers have a take on whatever it is they write about. Their influence is growing in every field.

I wrote recently about press accreditation being given to political bloggers giving them access to Parliament and some of the fears that move excites.

Where ever there is a traditional media there are bloggers. They have gone mainstream. Their skill is not just in producing original “commtent” (yes horrible fake word) it is also in being fast. A blog can get coverage of an event up online far quicker than many traditional journalists seem able.

Their entrance into more and more parts of daily media life is bound to upset some and no more so it seems than the rarefied world of fashion.

Burberry chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, though has a different take and one that looks to the future. He is known “to be at the forefront of technological innovations and the use of new media”. That’s one of the reasons behind Burberry getting together with Sky to produce this week’s live 3D broadcast — a first for a fashion show.

He says it is important to give bloggers the respect that they deserve. “They have a very articulate way of expressing their opinion. The difference between bloggers and traditional press is bloggers are often talking directly to a final consumer.”

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  • http://www.fionacullinan.com Fiona Cullinan

    As both a trained journalist and Grant Thornton UK’s blogger (we’ve just done an interview with George Davies, which is why I’m here), I wonder how London Fashion Week is deciding on which bloggers to let in.

    I hope it’s not just based on stats, like trad media circulations. The best bloggers are known to be passionate about their subject – so kudos to the 16-year-old getting to the front. I would love to see her copy. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it made a more palatable read.

  • http://www.horseandhound.co.uk Neil Bradley

    I think it just goes to show how fake the fashion world is. I could of got on the front row by saying I was from Horse and Hound.

  • Gordon Macmillan

    @Fiona the accreditation process seems to be done to whimsy and some name dropping…which is exactly how i thought fashion worked.

    @Neil Horse and Hound deserves its front row place. Some jodpurs are what is needed on the front row.

  • http://www.thegit.com.au Gordon Whitehead

    I would to thank you for bring so much joy to my breakfast table. I’m so happy blogger’s in the UK are giving fashions seasoned journalist a run for their money.

    Nice article!

  • Gordon Macmillan

    Cheers Gordon (wow sounds like I am thanking myself).

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