Bloggers have somehow, for some reason, become a polarizing subject within the fashion industry. Should they be given the same access and treatment as established publications? How transparent do they have to be with the free swag they're given or paid to write about? Are they still the makers of taste they once were?
Now, courtesy of Fashionista, fashion bloggers are here to tell you just how hard and expensive it is to be a professional writer of words and photographer of photos and creations of taste.
In case you weren't aware, the site explains, "As one rises up the blogging ranks, the job becomes a job— with real responsibilities. And a significant amount of expenses." Oh no! A job with responsibilities!
And even though Fashionista provides the caveat that every blogger they spoke with is definitely grateful to have a fantastic job that gets them flown around the world, gets them tons of free clothing, and can pull in over a million bucks a year, here are a few famous fashion bloggers on how much it sucks to have a fantastic job that gets them flown around the world, gets them tons of free clothing, and can pull in over a million bucks a year.
Bryanboy on Lodging
"I'll never forget my first Milan Fashion Week—I stayed at a friend's apartment for free because I couldn't afford to pay to stay at a hotel for 400 uros or more a night per room."
Oh no, crashing at a friend's place is the worst! Not to worry, though. Bryanboy figured it out and now rents three-bedroom apartments when covering Milan and Paris Fashion Week. Not like a true baller, though—he splits the cost with another blogger so they can both have "tons of space, living area, fast Internet and we also have a room for our assistant."
And yes, they have to pay for that assistant's annoying basic pillars of life, like food.
Phil Oh on Equipment/Being Forgetful
"...I'm always buying memory cards off of other photographers because I keep leaving them in hotel rooms during fashion weeks. And I have a shoebox full of international adapter plugs because I always forget to pack those and have to buy new ones."
Seems like there's an easy solution to this one...
Nicolette Mason on Appearance
"When I'm hosting an event or doing on-camera work, there's also an expectation that my hair and makeup are done professionally and I arrive 'camera ready.' Thank god for Drybar!"
Ugh, the costs of Drybar, amirite?
Bryanboy on Wardrobe
"A huge chunk of my personal income without doubt goes to clothes. I believe in spending my own money on clothes and passion in what I do. Designers are dressing a lot of bloggers—yes, I'm one of them sometimes. But in the end you have to return [the clothes]."
Spending one's own money on clothes? Why even bother blogging?
Bryanboy on Free Swag
"[The free swag is] also being sent to a dozen other bloggers. How can you develop your own sense of style or identity when you are not wearing clothes that are really yours? In the end, I don't want to be a modern-day Cinderella."
Just send them our way, Bryan. Or, you know, to charity.
Phil Oh on Laundry/Being Forgetful, Again
"I have like over a hundred pairs of Uniqlo underwear because I always forget to pack them when I leave for London Fashion Week so I have to buy new ones there, and then by the time Paris rolls around I'm out of clean underwear again but there's a Uniqlo by the Opera Metro so I buy like 10 more."
Uniqlo! Why aren't you swagging this blogger out with a lifetime supply of free underwear? Hopefully Phil will keep 'em instead of returning them like Bryanboy might.
This handy chart from Tyler McCall over at Fashionista breaks down how a $10,000 paycheck for three day's work actually boils down to $2,400. And while freelancer taxes and commissions do certainly add up, we're sure that there are plenty other people holding down shitty jobs, freelancers, hustlers, and others living in this market that can come up with other reasons why life can be real shitty sometimes.