Fashion is one of the industries that has been transformed by digitalisation which has made it more accessible to everyone. In the digital era, fashion trends change more rapidly than ever. Further, it gives us the opportunity to explore the industry behind the scenes.
To talk about these developments, NOW! Jakarta spoke to the Milan-based digital fashion editor of Vogue It, Elena Bara. She talked about the the changes in the industry and how fashion publications have responded.
What are some of the changes you’ve seen since the digitalisation of the fashion industry?
The good thing is that fashion is more inclusive. Digitalisation has opened fashion to everybody. I am actually a part of the digital generation. People look to the internet for everything including fashion. It has a strong connection with social media. At some point , those behaviours will kill the magazine but Vogue adapts to situations. Back in the day, high fashion used to only be for certain people and there was an exclusivity about it. Now, people can get information about fashion online, pick up and adapt styles from fashion bloggers and influencers.
Some of the high fashion brands have been reluctant to go online because they want to keep their brand exclusive. Do you think there will be a change?
I know some fashion houses have not participated in social media. But now we can see that they have adapted. One of the trailblazers is Balmain under Olivier Rousteing who put a spirit of youth in the house. We have major fashion houses in Italy and all of them are on social media like Gucci, Prada and Versace.
With fashion being more inclusive today, does VOGUE Italia involve the community in its publication?
Yes. Vogue.It has a community column where people from outside the publication can write stories. Readers can also find out more about emerging designers to look out for. Social media gives them the platform to showcase their fresh designs and we also feature them on Vogue.It.
What do you think about fashion bloggers who play a major role online, especially with endorsing fashion and promoting style?
I know there is a debate about fashion bloggers becoming the new players in fashion. In my opinion, magazines and fashion publications have different roles. Bloggers also work hard to build their image and personality. I think bloggers cater to personal preference because some people follow this fashion influencer but not the others. When they look at Vogue, they look for something else. From an editorial perspective, we also have a different approach.
Regarding your participation in Digital Fashion Week, what do you think makes it unique as a platform to see the digital side of the fashion scene?
It’s great to be a part of it. I have heard that Jakarta is the fashion capital of Indonesia. From Digital Fashion Week, we could see that the designers focus on the market as people can buy clothes from the collection directly from the designer after the show. Fashion enthusiasts can have a look behind the scenes before the show without coming to the show itself. It’s a completely different experience.
What is the future of fashion?
I believe we will see more people represented in the fashion industry. There will also be more diversity of people, beauty, and culture. Many designers go further by using fashion as a platform for activism, politics and advocacy. And It’s all a good thing.