Bryan Boy front and centre; image courtesy of fashionbombdaily.com
In the discussion of the democratization of fashion, one cannot help but immediately refer to the emergence and acceptance of bloggers in the main current of the fashion industry. Blogs, in general, simply serve as an online format to communicate and present ideas, and have been on the rise of creation since 2005, with over 80 000 created per day during that time (Cantone). This insurgence of blogs has unveiled not only a subculture, but also hierarchical disruption in information dissemination and a new level of visual vicarious consumption. All of which leads to the question as to whether or not the fashion industry has been democratized, and has it been with the aid of the fashion blog.
The discussion of subculture leads back to the early work of British media theorist Dick Hebdige. It is not so much the actual subculture that is of interest, but rather, the incorporation/recuperation of the fashion blog subculture into the hegemonic culture. Recuperated in both commodity and ideological senses, the fashion blog has become a prevalent part of the press circle. Examples recall famed blogger Bryan Grey-Yambao of Bryan Boy quickly ushered to his seat with minutes to go until the start of the AW11 Costume National show.
The question of actual democratization can then be examined by taking a closer look and redefining the leisure/in-crowd. The fashion blogger can be included in the population of the higher middle class when noting slow return on investment in creating a popular online persona. Therefore, it is not a fair representation of everyone that participates in the consumerism component of the industry. But with that said, the blog platform has allowed for the participation of the average person through commenting, and the collaboration of bloggers and brands illustrates that the “more normal” person can earn a place in the industry.