Friday, September 18, 2009

Does fashion not deserve proper coverage?

I look at the New York Times and The UK Telegraph's coverage of fashion events with green eyes and envy fills me up at the thought of how well developed fashion journalism is in the US and UK.
The New York Times has a total of three regularly updated fashion blogs, with dedicated bloggers working on them and the paper's online fashion and style section is a read to die for. The same goes for the UK Telegraph; the fashion journos at these publications work hard and it shows.
I then look at The Times Live, Avusa's newly renovated online home of The Times and Sunday Times. I also look at the M&G online, South Africa's oldest online newspaper and what this year's Sanlam Fashion Journalism Award recipient Milisuthando Bongela said to me in an email interview for ifashion; "The only way the fashion industry can compete with other industries such as sports or music, is for the voices of the industry to be heard on mainstream print and broadcast media platforms," rings ever true.
How do we expect to develop an industry when the required stakeholders aren't coming to the fore? It totally baffles me how fashion week comes and goes in this country without the full support of some of the biggest news publications. That multimedia platform on The Times website should be buzzing with colourful slideshows, interviews and features around fashion week but it seems the editors of that paper couldn't be bothered.
Is politics and the stock markets all we really care about in this country?
South Africa's media industry has a lot of room to grow but the ones in the driving seat do not realise that there's a gap in the market. If they did they would be catering for the fashion loving masses in addition to the suits and hollywood gossip consumers.
Until such time that somebody up there realises this fashion journalism and the business of fashion itself will remain what many people still perceive as trivial.

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