Coffee Runners Are The Future Of Fashion Reporting

Written By bryanboy

Sometimes I feel like a broken record every time I answer interviews on this whole blogs vs traditional media hocus pocus. I always cringe whenever I get asked questions pertaining to this comparison. I’m quick to point out that most bloggers, at least the ones who had their blogs for quite some time, started as a hobby, only with the mere intention of sharing life experiences online. Of course, many people now want to be “bloggers” and present themselves as “critics” or what have you. It just happened that people were quick to pigeonhole bloggers as the new journalists when this whole blogging phenomenon exploded no wonder they now carry this unwarranted, heavy burden of being the future of fashion reporting.

What can one do to abolish this way of thinking? That us, bloggers, are shadows of our beloved fashion reporters? That we all want to follow their footsteps? To lump everyone in this basket is somewhat disheartening. Why do we have to impose the same pressures, standards and expectations to the people we respect and admire for years to everyone with a blog? We all know that not all blogs are created equal. To compare different channels is not only a waste of time or space but it also belittles people who spent dozens and dozens of years honing their craft. For instance, I think it’s more insulting to compare an industry veteran to a narcissistic blogger who posts pictures of her outfits online than calling out why a blogger, who has very limited industry knowledge,  is not capable of critical thinking. Is it fair to force critical thinking from people whose intention is to keep personal diaries on the interwebs? Just a thought. Of course your teenage blogger has a different perspective than someone with a set of jaded eyes. I’d rather have experts do it.

In twenty, maybe thirty years, the Hilary Alexanders, the Cathy Horyns, the Anna Wintours and the Suzy Menkes of the industry won’t be around. Who should we look up to when it comes to the future? Let me tell you one thing — don’t look at pesky bloggers. Easy target, if you ask me. Don’t look at me either — I’ve always said I’m the Snookie (aka Horse & Hound) of blogging! The future of fashion reporting doesn’t rest on the hands of a laptop-wielding blogger who likes to share portraits to an interested and addicted audience on the internet.

What fashion needs to do is to look closely on the skinny fashion chain. How many university graduates are reduced to fetching coffee or doing sample returns at 1AM while their Editors flirt with the latest Brazilian himbo or sip 30-euro vodka tonics at the Principe? Or what about that nubile, young thing (whose family spent tens, if not, hundreds of thousands of dollars in a college education) giving up the dream of having a byline and now spend his or her time writing emails with “MEDIA ALERT” on the subject line, hawking the latest accoutrement sported by oh, I dunno, Lauren Conrad?

Ok enough rambling from me. I could go on and on and on and make very little sense. I hope you get the picture.


  1. Any blogger today can criticize, without the slightest foundation, just have an acceptable number of followers to do so. Everything you write ends up scraping the surface, are crucial to generate new consumption habits, and influential in the choice of the trends, but their detailed knowledge about the industry is practically nil … I being one of them, I can only try learn, study, and form my own opinions …

  2. Real right words – especially about the university graduates are reduced to fetching coffee… that might be the problem on most businesses… (not only fashion)

    You should write a book about it… or I do it (self in onlinebusinesses for about 11years and saw all the people coming and going…)

  3. Compliments … this was a good and mature understanding. Apart from media and blogging, don’t forget that creativity and energy mixed with a usual dash of hunger shoves the truly talented to the front of the line. John Galliano, Alexander Lee McQueen, JC de Castelbajac .. so many others and likely many in media … began making a difference and turning the expected upside down before they had all their whiskers. In JC de Castelbajac’s case, at his beginning he was too young to be on his own and his grandmother accompanied him. The coffee runners of talent and taste will take over: that is evolution. But a little time being not the center of the room adds a level of bittersweet compassion because soon enough the brilliant handful will be examining their nails whilst ordering a raw young gofer to bring coffee with low fat milk, one sugar and make it hot.

    I will miss the lack of input from buyers and shop owners as they are roughly shoved away by designers and their minions doing clever social media and then their own website to sell directly to the customer. An entire class of fashion people has been hurt in and the game has changed. Along with the (rolls her eyes while typing) the cult of celebrity which is not essentially based on talent and is beginning to besmirch the gifted who are within it (the few, of course).

    I whimpered in joy at buying John Galliano on my first buying trip for my own shop, that talent was rare. In my life there was Azzedine and John (and you betcha McQueen was there). It’s a beautiful life.

  4. I find it interesting of you to write this. A recent GQ article announced the death of street style. Fow how long will this situation last?
    The whole situation is quite frustrating. Those people whose fashion knoweledge is limited to high street and mass production clothes and have the Kardashians or whatever reality star as their style icon yet they claim to be the future, and even worse they get access to front row seats or even get invited to a show which is something a fashion student would kill for, while they are complaining because they got a 4th row seat and their pictures did not turn out good and post #1334 photos of the same ridic outfit a student is working his ass off for what? being treated in a shitty way? being exploded? get yelled at (for real)? or not even getting an intership. Some of them end up giving up on their dreams, its really sad…

  5. What kind of idiot buys something labelled “insertbloggernamehere” while the only thing they have done to it is copy it from an existent model and put their name on it, i bet they do not even know how to draw. Someone actually spent (and not only time) and put SO much effort into learning, seeking, mastering this ART which they have always APPRECIATED, their dream and most important the one they LIVE for. while those bloggers2.0 got into it because they only wanted fame. Wearing all the high street trends at once does not make you a fashion expert or even designer (go figure!). Depressing.

  6. Eve Sanoussi

    As a “nubile, young thing” whose family is currently taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans for my college education, I hear you loud and clear, BryanBoy. Though I am studying psychology, I have a painfully passionate and irrevocable penchant for fashion, and if I manage to score myself any type of job in the industry post-grad, I’ll probably be fetching coffee and doing 1AM sample returns, and it is really disheartening. However, I have an immeasurable amount of respect for hardworking, dedicated bloggers, like you, who do not seem to be taking advantage of the success that they have managed to accumulate. Bon travail!

  7. Bloggers are the epitome of fashion reporting for one reason: they are independent of the fashion industry.

  8. I totally get the picture you want to convey to us, readers-especially me, of course. I started 2 blogs and were unsuccessful and I’m starting my third one, which will be the last one.I’m not expecting anything since I’d be crazy busy in college so I’d just make blogging my hobby from now on. my deepest thanks to your heartfelt and convincing message. Thanks, bryanBoy!

  9. I dont even care for fashion Im a basic kind of gal sorry I live in Rio de and make up can’t stand our humidiy but… anyways I signed up for everything you wrote! 100% agree with you Senhor Bryan. Clap Clap!!!

  10. These days the fashion scene is plagued with commentators that have no insight into the industry at all. Anyone can start a blog, anyone can call themselves a fashion blogger, but only a few like you have given this industry its true voice. Thank you for this.

  11. Couldn’t agree more! And, speaking about fashion. Check out cashmere giant Magaschoni’s FNO event at Searle (Madison and 60th) this upcoming Thursday between 6 – 11 PM. Should be pretty fun!

  12. I semi agree with you. Although I think dedication and hardwork pays off… some people work harder than others to get to the same goal. You have to find a way to self yourself apart. Some of the most successful people I know have basic education. So I guess what I am saying is some bloggers are obviously doing this for fun, some actualy KNOW what they are talking about.

  13. Eye Light

    i dont always come here, and very seldom comment on any blog, but i have to say, working in the industry or at least knowing it somewhat, i’m appalled at how the people in power only keep themselves at the top. it is a food chain, and they are no doubt protecting their own, and only keeping their own interests at heart but eventually, even the animal at the top of the food chain dies, and when they do, it’s going to be a mess.

    on the other end of the spectrum, i can argue that if this is the reality, then it up to a rulebreaker to come in and completely rattle everything up *For the better*. youth is not wasted on the young, unless our editors are determined to waste our years keeping themselves at the top.

  14. Ali Abraham

    Bryan Boy–
    this is one of the few blog posts on this topic that has actually sparked my interest. You are right, of course, that the coffee runners are the future of fashion journalism. but so are the bloggers.

    I can only speak about this from the perspective of a 23 year old trying to break into the publishing and literary magazine scene (for the time being. in a year or two I plan to get an MFA and then do a PHD.) My writing focuses on a few concentrations of material… but(since I am reading your blog after all) often relates to the issues that are important to the fashion industry (or aesthetics of fashion itself.)

    While the fashion industry throws itself into a tizzy over the differences between bloggers and REAL journalists, writing communities world wide have embraced bloggers and the web without much controversy.

    the leading voices in contemporary poetry and criticism are those belonging to individuals who have done the same thing i plan to do (the coffee runners of literary publications,) or….belong to some who just wrote, did freelance stuff, struck gold in a contest, or slowly racked up reputations by getting published (without being part of the publishing industry.) Of course, its easier to get published if you’ve completed an MFA in creative writing or whatever..(connections, professors, colleagues…the usual,) but by no means is it necessary.

    As with the fashion industry, many older magazines, reviews and zines have gone completely digital due to lack of funding. many writers have broken into communities via blog networking–

    all of this is considered standard and respectable. The underlying thread is that each voice deigned relevant by whatever public… shares characteristic resilience, incorruptibility and drive. The successful writers are those who don’t give up and spend the time each day learning everything there is to know about their craft and developing a deep and unique relationship with it.

    same with fashion and fashion reporting. the difference between bloggers and coffee runners be damned, the passion of commitment is the only thing that matters.

  15. Whoever said fashion people are stupid hasn’t read this article.
    I agree with you in so many ways.
    Even though I have a blog myself, I think bloggers aren’t the future! They’re merely a channel by which editors can see what’s trending with the masses but they’re not replacement for the Big editors like the Anna’s or Grace or..

    You’re a much smarter boy then most people think.

  16. Beautifully said Bryan Boy. I actually have tears in my eyes. Yes, I have a blog, and I am pleased that people read it and enjoy my musings on beauty and fashion, but I am worlds away from the learned Cathy Horyn, Suzy Menkes etc…who break it down and ‘splain it all to us. God knows who will replace them. Thanks for this.

  17. I read your comments on the BBC article about fashion gurus etc. and yeah, you’re so right.
    Okay, confession – I blog, I love it. I’m slightly addicted to reading other people’s blogs. Nosy as I am!
    But its true. Nothing original at the moment (not that I have anything original) and if there is something original, boom! 10 other people latch onto that idea and copy it. Not so original anymore… :$
    Ah well! This is enlightening. :) Thanks. x

  18. It seems such a natural progression that after decades of the industry being so elitist and marginalising, the concept of fashion through the eyes of ‘Joe Bloggs’ ie ‘on the street’ has become so popular. Fashion journalists, even the very best, have long given up on telling the truth in favour of the perks their job affords them and it is no wonder they find bloggers a threat. The breath of fresh air that was blogging was meant to be a platform for people to voice real opinions, put looks together that weren’t hyper stylised, fabricated with advertisers in mind or head to toe labels that very few could afford. The irony being now that even bloggers are being bought with the promise of tickets, clothes and freebies. The most widely read blogs are now just basically online editorials. Bloggers say they are not fashion reporters but for every show, preview and party they attend and then write about, they are emulating reporters – refusing the burden of that responsibility doesn’t make it any less so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *