In the second part of our series we meet three more of Tumblr’s most popular fashion bloggers during MADE fashion week and ask them about disposable culture, branding and why fashion matters…
Ira Chernova, from Moscow, 25, blogging since 2011
MilkMade: So if someone put it to you that fashion tribes and the idea of sub-culture is dead amongst current teens and twenty-somethings, do you agree or disagree?
Ira Chernova: To be honest I don’t really pay attention, I don’t care. Since I don’t like stereotypes or labels on anything I would not give names even if I was seeing the same person all over again or not.
MM: In the 70s or 80s teens could get beaten up for the clothes that they wore, do you find fashion to be as extreme nowadays?
IRA: It depends where you are, I travel a lot and I can say, since half of my body is covered with tattoos I struggle with that a lot but Moscow is too much, a grandma can call you a slut when she sees you in the street for no fucking reason. People in continental Europe pay attention to tattoos, London is way more chill like Scandinavia, and then New York, no one gives a shit, New York gives you freedom to wear whatever you want to wear.
MM: Are people hooked on fast fashion and disposable clothing where nothing is built to last, geared to keep you keep buying?
IRA: I think it might be for some people but I have many things I’ve had for 6 or 7 years and I still wear them. I barely buy new clothes, black jeans maybe and I just wear whatever I had for years.
MM: Does fashion matter?
Ira: Fashion world exists so it obviously matters and I guess it’s again like the question of big and small cities. In small cities it matters, people make fun out of you for wearing something that is outside the norm and in the big cities everybody’s just trying to overstep others to get attention, so I guess in that case it definitely matters.
Freddy Rodriguez, 21, blogging since June 2012
Milkmade: Do subcultures exist or is everything so fast that there’s no time for subcultures to grow?
Freddy Rogriguez: In my world blogging is definitely a sub-culture because when I go back to Texas, where I’m from, they don’t understand blogging. You know how the fashion community is a small knit of people, blogging is the same so I feel it’s a sub-culture, fashion is a sub-culture as well. Blogging is a small part of the bigger tech community and then within that fashion and blogging come together, it’s a very small group.
MM: And what does that mean? You’re a community?
FR: Definitely, that’s why I chose Tumblr when I created my platform and why I continue to stick with it because it’s a community. I feel that Tumblr curates its community and helps them prosper and grow.
MM: Older generations could be cynical and say that you’re simply affiliating yourself to a brand.
FR: I think this is the future though. Tumblr may be a brand but it is also a community aswell. If you think about punks and Goths they’re all connected to something that they’re trying to relate their lives to. When I think of punks I think of The Casualties, that’s a brand and people are trying to relate their lives with that, The Ramones, people try to relate their lives to that. American Goths buy most of their clothes from Hot Topic, that’s a brand or Dr. Martens, goths and punks gravitate towards Doc Martens. I understand vintage but at the end of the day you’re still relating yourself to that as a brand in itself. Everybody wants to be an individual and you want to find something that inspires you, typically that relates back to a brand.
Dillon Burke, 22, blogging since November 2011
MilkMade: Blogging, the internet, everything moves at a fast speed like fast fashion, is everything disposable?
DM: With the internet we’re very much programmed into fast things. So fast fashion being such a trend …but also the prices are pretty cheap, you can get tapered pants, all the items you normally, ordinarily couldn’t buy for a cheap price. Yeah, fast fashion goes right along with social media goes which goes right along with fast anything, fast text messaging, fast internet, fast Google results.
MM: Fast fashion isn’t great for the earths resources
DM: Oh without a doubt, I completely agree, I personally buy things that last, I’m willing to invest much more money but I’ve also done hours of research. I’ve put a lot of time into familiarizing myself with multiple American-made boot brands, and then I make my decision.
MM: Do you think that tribes and sub-cultures exist?
DM: Ok, there’s the ‘Devout Hipster’ I think, especially here in New York, that’s a predominant one with Brooklyn and these artistic and liberal type movements, done to perfection. There’s also the hashtag menswear people which I admittedly belong to a little bit, the raw denim guys, $300 shoes guys who are wearing clothes that are nicer than what their grandfathers have, they really care almost to a fault. Then there are guys who are still athletes, they dress for comfort, flexibility and movement. There are street wear kids right now which is obviously very big…
MM: In the 80s if you were a punk or a goth you could get beaten up for what you wore, do you think we’ve evolved?
DM: In New York yes but certainly in other places I know I face a lot of ridicule and I don’t think I dress in a feminine way at all but in college for guys specifically it’s a big risk to take to break away from the norm and wear things that are a little risky. I made big fashion mistakes looking back especially with my blog sometimes I look back I can’t stop looking at that picture, cos right now I’ve evolved I feel like I’ve evolved a little from that.
MM: Does fashion matter?
DM: I think fashion matters individually because it makes you feel better, it’s a creative outlet. I’m an awful drawer, I’m not very good at photoshop so fashion is a creative outlet. After you wake up, any way that you can increase those first two hours, any way you can make yourself feel better, and pick yourself up whether it’s a cup of coffee, a fresh squeezed orange juice, it’s something that’s just gonna start your day right. It’s cool. It does matter.
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