As an adamant and dedicated follower of fashion, you're probably well aware the role social media plays in the fashion world now—the very worth of a fashion blogger seems to be determined more and more by the number of her followers, and less and less by the actual content of her photos. It's undeniable that the fashion landscape as we know it has been completely transformed by Instagram—even brands like DKNY are using the app to cast their upcoming ad campaigns.
But is it all necessarily for the better? One fashion commentator doesn't believe so—Courtney Iseman, a writer at i-D magazine, has written an opinion piece on the subject that brilliantly examines the ins-and-outs of the continually evolving world of Instagram-meets-fashion.
Below, see five reasons why Instagram is ruining fashion—and head to i-D to read the full piece!
1. It's an incredibly hard world to break into; you need followers to gain followers.
"The vicious cycle can be hard to break into," Iseman writers. "This is a business accommodating you if you have thousands of followers, but it can we difficult to reach a staggering amount of followers without these intriguing shots that make users feel like they're stealing glances at a life so unlike their own."
Our stance: It is tough to gain followers without already having a bunch, but at the same time, social media in general has a highly democratizing effect. Anyone can have an Instagram account, so in theory, anyone can have a highly-followed Instagram account.
2. It's turned the fashion world into an envy-motivated industry.
"Thanks to the now-commonplace role of fashion blogger, it's the daily routine of some to share their enviable experiences in the [fashion] industry, from the parties and shows they attend to the gifts they receive from desiners," Iseman says. "And much of that is done on Instagram, a platform used not only by bloggers but by editors, journalists, models, muses, It-girls, and tastemakers, to give quick, perfectly arranged peeks of their photo-ready lives."
Our stance: While it's obvious that pretty much everyone uses Instagram to share snaps of their life experiences, how the viewer chooses to respond to those images is entirely up to them. Instead of feeling envy, we often feel inspired and motivated by the fabulous lives of the fashion insiders we follow on Instagram.
3. There's a large gap between the cost of luxury items frequently displayed on Instagram, and the real-life salaries earned by average fashion workers.
"The gap between the costs of luxury fashion and what most of the people propelling the industry forward earn can be overwhelmingly wide," she writes, before citing average industry salaries ranging between $35,000 and $66,000 annually.
Our stance: Instagram shots of extremely expensive luxury items can be a bit misleading, because most of the time editors and bloggers are gifted these items. But we're also big fans of equally stylish alternatives that aren't quite as pricy.
4. Instagram detracts from the real, hard work being done by designers and other artisans.
"In the age of street style and Instagram, the flashbulb-popping parade has indeed started to upstage the real show: the incredible work being done by the designers," Iseman opines. "But there is an entire community of fashion industry professionals who are there for the designers ... Fashion still exists beyond the bloggers changing six times a day, the gifted handbags, and the flattering filters."
Our stance: Fashion exists in all these worlds: in the minds and showrooms of the world's most talented designers, on the streets, on Instagram, on the Internet, and beyond. As Coco Chanel herself once said, "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."
5. Instagram removes some of the original mystique and intentions of the fashion world.
"The entire industry has adapted to the fact that now it's not just a few select journalists writing about shows in their columns, but the masses click-click-clicking away on their smartphones to share their take on the shows and the clothes with their thousands of followers," she writes. "To keep up, designers have tailored their creations and presentations to be appealing in the istantaneous shots shared around the world."
Our stance: Whether a piece of clothing is designed to be worn or to be seen is irrelevant to its quality—much of our enjoyment of fashion comes from our observation of pieces we may never actually have the opportunity to wear. Isn't that part of the mystique of it all?
What do you think about Instagram's impact on the fashion world? Sound off below!