updated 21 May 2013, 16:52
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Fashion editors who left their jobs to blog
by Leslie Kay Lim

With their colourful outfits and attention-seeking ways, bloggers are stealing attention from shows and designers, International Herald Tribune's fashion critic Suzy Menkes lamented recently.

Deepening the divide between print editors and bloggers, she blamed them for mistaking visibility for credibility and described them as peacocks.

But while many in the old guard look upon the growing legions of bloggers with suspicion, some fashion editors in the United States and Europe are successfully embracing the online medium.

Several editors have even left their print publications to become full-time bloggers, citing the freedom to write and create their own personal content as draw factors.

The Guardian Weekend's beauty journalist, Ms Sali Hughes, who is in her late 30s, launched her own website last month while still working full-time for the newspaper. The website, Sali Hughes Beauty, includes interviews with industry experts, product reviews and advice.

Ms Marlien Rentmeester, 42, the former West Coast editor of Lucky Magazine, left her position in December to work on her blog, Le Catch, full-time.

She started it in 2011, documenting catch-of-the-day fashion finds across the Web, which she then styles with other clothing and accessories.

"I needed a platform to present all that I had culled and all that I had gleaned from the Internet," Ms Rentmeester told online retailer Shoptiques in January.

Echoing this, Ms Kim France, 49, the former editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine whose blog, Girls Of A Certain Age, officially turned one year old this month, said: "When you represent a brand, which I did for so many years, you have to rein yourself in."

In an interview with fashion website Refinery29 last April, she said: "I've really, really loved not feeling that restriction any more."

In the US, successful blogs have been monetised to the point where the bloggers who have made it can live off their blogging work.

Mr Scott Schuman, 45, the man behind street style blog The Sartorialist - one of the biggest players in the blog scene - has said yearly advertising revenue on his website amounts to more than US$250,000 (S$310,200).

Shooting for campaigns and editorials, having pictures run in magazines, personal appearances, commissions from linked websites and brand collaborations also contribute to a blogger's earnings.

The industry has gradually embraced the role of the blogger in the fashion world. Last year, Mr Schuman and his girlfriend, fellow blogger Garance Dore, 37, were the first bloggers to win the Eugenia Sheppard Media Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The award recognises those who work in fashion media and past recipients include heavyweight fashion scribes such as Ms Menkes and The New York Times' Cathy Horyn.

Noting the growing influence of the blogosphere, Ms Dore wrote on her blog: "Media is changing and fashion has opened its doors to the Internet."

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