Let's get this out of the way first. The death of Style.com is going to be felt for the next few months. As one of the industry's biggest hubs for runway images, reviews, and street style, it was (and this is meant without hyperbole) a symbol of the modern fashion cycle—and those who consume that information. So when the site announced that it was shuttering, and names like Tommy Ton were making it truly real by announcing their departure; it became clear that Style.com wasn't just a hub for quality content, but also the incredible names that helped propel the site's quality content.

So naturally, when one of Style.com's biggest names, Tim Blanks—a fashion heavyweight since the 1980's—leaves to become editor-at-large at industry website Business of Fashion, it's a big fucking deal.

But let's put this into context. If you're not following the fashion cycle religiously, you may not know who Blanks is (though you've probably read one or two of his reviews).

Blanks' most notable early project is his work at "Fashion File," a Canadian television program that featured a string of interviews and behind the scenes looks at designers and fashion shows. Staring in 1989, Blanks maintained his position with "Fashion File" until 2006. A trip through archived videos (including a review of a Gianni Versace show in '91, a conversation with then-model Channing Tatum at Milan Fashion Week in 2002, and a now legendary interview with Alexander McQueen in 2001 for "Masters of Style") prove that Blanks was on the forefront of modern fashion reportage—especially where video is concerned.

But it wasn't as though Blanks was purely doing video series. Following his tenure at "Fashion File," he dropped in work for major names: including VogueGQ, and Interview magazine. Though Blanks had already established himself as a likeable correspondent into fashion's big personalities, it was his reviews for Style.com that reintroduced him into the modern fashion conversation. And it wasn't just up-to-date reviews of that season's shows, Style.com also tapped Blanks' considerable fashion history in a #TBT Youtube series.

Perhaps the most "modern" thing about Blanks is his ability to weave cultural references into this reviews, notably tapping everything from David Bowie to Fidel Castro's Cuba to illustrate his write ups. Seen to be opinionated, but fair, Blanks rarely drew up controversy—save for a brief beef with Jean-Paul Gaultier over a couture show review back in 2013. Since his start at Style.com in 2005, it's his voice that has made him such a front row favorite. As mentioned in the New York Times announcement of Blanks move to Business of Fashion, it's one of many reasons why the industry website is thrilled to have him on board. As BOF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed explained:

 

"What I really appreciate about Tim is how he places fashion in this cultural context. He somehow connects it to music and art and film and the wider cultural landscape. He’s not shy to say what he really thinks. In a fashion media landscape where opinion has become increasingly watered down, I think voices like Tim’s have become more and more important.”

It's words like Amed's that make Blanks' accolades—including 2013's Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Eugenia Sheppard media award—obvious to even the most casual fashion fans.

So what does a Business of Fashion Tim Blanks look like? As his new employer expands its coverage to include more than industry news (aka start including runway reviews), Blanks time at the website couldn't come any sooner. But as Blanks is quick to point out, that doesn't mean his irreverent voice is changing any time soon. In his own words, Blanks simply says:

“The fact is, my voice is my voice,” he said. “I’m not going to suddenly start talking in a Donald Duck voice.”

It looks like September is going to be a new and interesting time for fashion reviews now that Style.com is toast. It's honestly the end of an era. But as long as Tim Blanks is sitting front row, the fashion season will be familiar as ever—and in this case, that's a good thing.