I'm sure for many fashion bloggers like myself who have blogged for over 4 years, one of our first memories of what was a growing groups of individuals was the establishment of Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) by Jennine Jacob of The Coveted blog.
Now fashion is no stranger to the odd hommage or nod to a catwalk designer look being crafted for the high street. Equally no designer is afraid to admit to inspiration whether from the street or an old forgotten image or a film. Most of us take inspiration from things we see or even a building or what Nature delivers. Why Mrs MDS has been known to copy a look she has seen on a stranger or two!
However, being inspired and dressing up for one day in a homage look is one thing, stealing a brand name in exactly the same field i.e. fashion blogging is another matter. What is worse is that others who should know better, yes Teen Vogue, W Magazine, Refinery 29, New York Times and US Harpers Bazaar I'm talking about you, are mindlessly dropping themselves in the 'shit'.
Fashion magazines et al are fairly quick off the mark to belittle blogging at times (with the exception of Anna Wintour) - have a read of this by Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani who usually writes a good blog and she is refreshingly opinionated for a fashion in-houser, but this one is one of her off posts.
What Sozzani and the pretender's of the stolen TheCoverted.com have forgotten, is the Egyptian factor. What the ruling classes (using this term as a cover all for those who exercise mainstream power in whatever form) forget, is that culture moves, it morphs and tentatively tests the water.
Bloggers have been doing this for years. Some have become and are part of the mainstream as they are appropriated in fashion's case by the designers, magazines and fash pack. Others continue to pursue their agendas and slowly grow an influential role that is understated but eventually gets adopted. Excuse me while I mention my 3 year old campaign for Slow Fashion, which was an antidote to Fast Fashion. Recently I read the immortal words 'fast fashion is over' in a few high brow and mainstream publications. I rest my case.
The link to the social and political movement of the last week in Egypt - when the Egyptians reached their tipping point- is inspiring. These are people who have been subjected to 20 years of austerity measures imposed by the IMF and enforced by a ruling class who have not suffered. The Egyptians are a civilised nation who have brought much cultural richness to the world. When the common person of Egypt spoke the common person of the world stood shoulder to shoulder with them particularly on Twitter and Facebook. Many of course have remained silent and unable to understand the importance of what the Egyptians might achieve. This is to be expected, not everyone can be an early to the party but eventually they join or feel the benefits of those who acted.
Jennine Jacob has worked tirelessly to discuss all manner of fashion and fashion blogging issues over the years. It is about time we fashion bloggers made a huge stand to help her, not only for Jennine to reclaim her work in tact, but also to make sure the fashion mainstream get the message before they feel quite comfortable to take our blogging brands too. If we stand shoulder to shoulder with Jennine we protect individual creative endeavour and also collectively tell the world we are here to stay. The luxury brands or others cannot moan about fake goods yet at the same support fake fashion blogs.
For those of you who wish to read more and support Jennine then please read this post and follow the links to petitions etc. In fact I'm proud to copy a phrase from Sister Wolf and repeat her wise words 'Let’s practice being Egyptian instead of rolling over or expecting someone else to take action!'