They said/We said: Fairchild Fashion Media buys the blog platform which hosts Elin Kling’s, BryanBoy’s, Anna Dello Russo’s, Derek Blasberg’s and Rumi Neely’s blogs
Those still in doubt about the legitimacy of the blogging business may be whistling a new tune after hearing today’s news. Fairchild Fashion Media, a subdivision of Condé Nast that owns Women’s Wear Daily and Style.com (among other publications), just acquired the style-blog-driven media company Fashion Networks International.
FNI is best known for NowManifest, a curated blog platform that brings in 1.2 million unique visitors each month. The platform has a roster of A-list bloggers including Elin Kling, BryanBoy, Anna Dello Russo, Derek Blasberg and Rumi Neely (the site also hosts Industrie Magazine and Diesel).
Though there is still some resistance from traditional media purists who see bloggers as would-be journalists, the bloggers who make up the NowManifest clan are proving that blogging can mean big dollars and big exposure.
Perhaps the best example of a blogger-turned-brand is Elin Kling, who co-founded FNI along with business partner Christian Remröd. Kling has used Style by Kling, her personal style blog, as a launchpad for successful business ventures that most media personalities could only dream of.
Aside from running her blog and FNI, the lithe, blonde Swede also launched her magazine STYLEBY, collaborated with H&M on a well-received collection, designed the edgy minimalist label Nowhere and managed to squeeze in a big campaign for Net-a-Porter shot by none other than Patrick Demarchelier.
So what does this move by FFM mean for media as a whole? As Fashionista.com says, online media is obviously coming into its own more and more each day, and companies such as FFM are wising up to bloggers’ ability to drive this influx of traffic.
“FNI . . . is a great example of a new media company that fundamentally ‘gets’ the Internet,” wrote Hayley Phelan. “No doubt it’s this expertise (and ability to drive traffic) that FFM, a media company with a more traditional background, wants to harness.”
Though FFM’s acquisition of FNI definitely marks a new day in media, BryanBoy and Rumi Neely of Fashiontoast have both recently revealed that they found out about the deal less than 24 hours before it was announced. It seems odd that BryanBoy, Neely et al were not consulted about the negotiations (especially since NowManifest’s success is largely thanks to the contributing bloggers’ involvement), but both stressed that their content would remain solely their own.
Lauren Garoni: “Fairchild buys blogger network NowManifest. For non-fashion people it’s like when Disney bought Miramax. Sort of.” [Twitter]
Christian Remröd: “This acquisition validates our model of building a collective and relevant voice for a new generation of increasingly influential online fashion writers and their readers.” [Fashion Week Daily]
BryanBoy: “It’s funny because even as a blogger that’s part of the network, I only found out about this whole thing less than 24 hours before Women’s Wear Daily made the announcement. Nowmanifest didn’t consult or advise us that they sold the entity to Fairchild/Conde Nast.” [Fashionista.com]
Teresa Novellino: “It’s… a signal that these fashion bloggers—who may once have been looked down upon by rank-and-file fashion editors—are being taken seriously enough by traditional media companies that they’re now pulling out their wallets.” [Portfolio]
Randi Bergman, online editor: “As far as the grand scheme of the industry, I’d say that fashion blogging is still treated a bit like the Wild Wild West. In that respect, this will probably be seen as one of those pioneering moves by the traditional media to relinquish a bit of the control that blogging’s taken from them.”
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