LEGACIES AND COMPROMISES

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It’s been a while since I have posted to this blog, and I have to say it’s a long time coming. I wish I could say that I was so swamped with work that I just couldn’t find the time. I wish I could say that my wildest dreams came true and time flew by because I was having way too much fun. Both would be lies. I have been at a sort of stand still. The dreams are all still there, but the execution/follow through has been lacking a bit.

It wasn’t until Friday that I suddenly had a spark of intrigue and drive to write again. THANK GOD FOR THE LITTLE THINGS!

It all started when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Vogue cover came out.

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I have to say that I have not received more phone calls, more texts, and more emails of rage and true mourning for something that most people would find so minuscule. 

So I decided to get my, recently expanded, tush off the bench and get back in the game. I can’t think of a better way to do so than to address this cover. And as always, I’ll be tackling the issue from the dreamer’s perspective. DUH!

If you know me, you know that I am a fan of Vogue. But not just any fan. I or I should say we, considering there were over 2000 Facebook posts expressing regret over the cover, are the fans that have been with the magazine since our own conceptions. We started reading the pages before we knew the right way to say Lacroix was not phonetically. I call this special group the “Vogue Purists.” You know the ones??? The ladies and gents that can name the last 12 Vogue covers in order. The ones who know all the editor’s names, even though they have never stepped foot in the office. And the ones who know every single model to ever strike a pose since the 90’s bombshells (Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Linda Evangelista).

To me, Vogue represents a dream. Within those glossy pages is a life worth striving for. With a simple change of a coat, you have to ability to teleport from jet setter to master of the board room. Everything is elevated. Your status, wardrobe, social circles, and even your posture. It represents the best of what a life “in vogue” could offer.

To play devil’s advocate for just a sentence or two, I have to admit that I do know why Vogue had to do what they had to do. Behind everything in life is a business. The magazine world is shrinking with the creation of every dot come site and blog. Magazine subscriptions are decreasing so much so that they just raised the price on the newsstands from five to six dollars. My best guess is that the decision came as a way to garner fresh eyes on to the mag. Also, to make waves. I have already seen coverage for the controversial cover on over a dozen television programs. Anna Wintour is no fool, she knew exactly what she was doing and what was to come. But you know what they say “Any press is good press.” Business, whether in Silicon Valley or in the glamorous halls of a fashion magazine is about quotas, quarterly earnings/projections, and the infamous bottom line.

That being said…What I think Vogue did not take into account was their legacy. For over 120 years Vogue has positioned its place in the world as being in the upper stratosphere of the culture. High fashion, high society, high work ethic, etc. They branded themselves before we even knew what branding was. And it has worked for them for over 120 years. When you think of the best in fashion, the go to for style and substance, you think of Vogue. There is a reason why it’s nicknamed “The fashion bible”. Even Anna Wintour has been quoted as saying, “To be in Vogue…It has to mean something.”

When the magazine came out with the now infamous cover, if you listened carefully, you could hear the shattering sound of millions of dreamer’s hearts crushed by the sight. No longer does the young actress, who dreamed about being on the cover as a signal for “making it” in the business feel the same. The young designer who wanted Vogue to feature his designs (i.e. John Galliano when he first took the reigns at the house of Dior) doesn’t feel so honored. And the young journalist, who has worked her fingers to the nub in Des Moines Iowa just for the opportunity to live out her dream and work for the magazine who has profiled the biggest, best, and brightest movie stars feels it may not be worth the trip anymore.

It’s really less about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but what it signifies. Not to take away from Kim or Kanye, because it does take hard work to constantly keep your name relevant. However, if a reality star whose career is to simply build her brand, and a very talented musician who, now a days, is known more for his arrogance and ego can land the cover of one of the most coveted magazines of all time…that’s signifying something big. The days of the dreamers and the days when legacy, tradition, and standards meant something are over!

And it all comes down to the question “At what cost?” Lower yourself for what you think maybe a big payday (literally and figuratively) or stick to your guns and power through. This debacle has been a huge teaching lesson for me, I have to confess.

The last thing I don’t think Vogue thought about is the time we live in. In an era where the Millennials don’t pay for anything, it was a bad move to try to appeal to them (if that’s what they actually were doing. I don’t have any inside info so I’m just speculating) Millennials get their info in quick tid-bits hear and there online. It’s how they watch their television, read their magazines, do their homework, and even socialize. All on line and all for free. I can’t think of a single Millennial who is shelling out six dollars for a magazine that they can digest online via the website or the blogs that cover them. Well, anyone other than myself.

By putting Kim and Kanye on the cover Vogue, unintentionally, excluded the people who got the magazine to where it is now…the “Vogue Purists!” The men, women, and dreamers a like who have been renewing their subscriptions since the Reagan administration. The fashion enthusiasts, who buy magazines off the newsstands at three, five, and now six dollars per issue. The people who believed in what Vogue stood for and have stayed with the magazine through every change it’s made since the very beginning. A.K.A their bottom line.

However, I choose to believe that all is not lost. By the time we blink, the May issue will be out featuring a stellar cover model and the April issue with Kim and Kanye will be distant memory.

And who knows… maybe Vogue has a really good sense of humor and this was all one big April Fools prank.

…Here’s hoping!

 

P.S. honorable mention for the amazing talents that work at Vogue. Phyllis Posnick, Grace Coddington and, my personal favorite, Tonne Goodman. These women can take a pile of scraps and transform them into style dejour. Whatever we may think of the subjects, the photos and the styling were beautiful.

 

Until next time Dreamers

 

 

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