Did digital media change the way print publications influence the fashion world?
Since the beginning, print publications have remained a strong influence in the fashion media world. However, the rise of the new media has challenged traditional norms of journalism within the print market in recent years. Many established publications felt threatened by the new media, leading to many institutions giving up on the print format and switching to online completely. For example, Teen Vogue, after being successful in the print market since 2003, went digital in 2017 and Glamour UK decided to cut back on print issues later that year based on their decision “mobile-first, social-first.” Other publications such as British Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Grazia saw a great opportunity in the digital format to attract new readers and especially a younger audience.
In this sense, digital media has changed how publications used to produce content, with storytelling has become an essential element. Rather than working on image and text only, content produced in a hypertextual space sees no limitations or restrictions, which Rocamora argues to be “the electronic linking of written texts and images, brought together in a constantly shifting configuration of networks.” This gave bloggers the opportunity to participate in fashion for the first time, an industry that had been “traditionally closed” in the past. In digital media they saw an opportunity to get a ‘foot in the door,’ a possibility to comment on fashion and circulate ideas on the industry in unconventional ways. From first wave bloggers who started out of a passion to document and share their looks like part of a style diary, this role has now become more refined, one that has evolved into influencers. Rather than focusing on documenting, there is an emphasis on brand collaborations and the “desire to be marketable.”