Teen Vogue launches Fashion Click
Today Conde Nast launched Teen Vogue's Fashion Click, a user-generated, street-style fashion platform allowing influential style bloggers to contribute their personal looks to the site. Conde Nast, famous for its frosty chic attitude, appears to be getting a bit more democratic in the digital age. Then again, user-generated content by an established brand like Teen Vogue, whose audience has a median age of 19, might be the perfect antidote to the fact that teen magazines tend to suffer high subscriber turnover -- and, one imagines, high online turnover rates as well -- as their audience ages.
Fashion Click's tag line is "today's top outfits from our favorite personal-style bloggers around the globe." There is, of course, always that almost reflexive Conde Nast elite appeal. Bloggers are asked to apply for the project online and, if accepted, agree to submit two photos and 15 posts per month featuring -- of course -- the Teen Vogue widget on their personal blog. Fashion Click bloggers will not be paid, but their look might be featured on the blog and in Teen Vogue's print edition, which has a circulation of about 1 million.
Online fashion publishers have been moving, slowly but surely, toward leveraging the personal brand power of the blogosphere's taste-makers. This month, 14-year-old (!) fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson and legendary Jane and Sassy magazine founder Jane Pratt announced that they are teaming up to launch a new publishing venture "for an audience of wallflowery teenage girls." According to WWD there will be three print editions a year and a web edition of the as yet unnamed project.
Gevinson, a hip fashion avid and bona fide internet sensation blogging at Style Rookie, already has invited her readers to contribute content (the deadline was on Friday):
On the note of that whole Internet thing, the great advantage of creating a magazine today is the access to talent and voice. This is supposed to have a "for the people, by the people" kinda vibe. We want to find the best possible group of people for this project and a wide range of ages, styles, etc.
If you want to be a part, email us. MagazineSubmissionsarefun@gmail.com, because we haven't decided on a title yet. (Hey, if you have an idea for a title, that would be great too.)
Further, in a sign of the changing times (and influence), bloggers -- and, increasingly Fashion Tumblrs -- are now occupying spaces in the front row at the various international Fashion Week events that previously went to prominent editors and publishers of glossies. Twenty percent of Tumblr's top 1,000 blogs are related to fashion, according to Rich Tong, the microblogging site's new fashion community director (his title being another sign of the changing times). Influential Purple Fashion editor Olivier Zahm, for example, publishes his photography under the Tumblr platform. He's certainly not alone.
This leveling democratic wind presently blowing through the notoriously swishy fashion industry comes as Google launches Boutiques.com, the high-powered search engine's foray into e-tailing that just went live last Wednesday. Boutiques.com is a collection of hundreds of virtual boutiques are "curated" by celebrities, designers and -- wait for it -- fashion bloggers.
The taste-makers, Munjal Shah, a Google product magnagement director told The Guardian, teach the site their style and tastes -- their favorite and most hated patterns, colors, brands and sillhouettes. "They took a visual quiz that taught the site to understand their style genre: classic, boho, edgy," said Shah. "Our algorithms use this information to enable you to shop all of the inventory in the style of that taste-maker, on top of the 50 items they have hand-curated." Google, we cannot fail to note, spread online buzz about the site last week by inviting prominent fashion bloggers to their launch event.
The times they are a changing.