photographer .

3d artist .

dj / producer .

videographer .

designer .

khadijat .


Two days ago, on 12/12/12, Fashion Blog Host was launched as an alternative self-hosting service for bloggers. Teaming up with Wordpress, Fashion Parkway's FBH presented itself as a "revolution" for fashion bloggers to "get everything they need." As a writer for Fashion Parkway, I decided to take the opportunity to see what FBH has to offer.
While what it advertises seems enticing, it should be understood that this hosting service is meant for people who start out completely and utterly focused on getting in with top brands. While that in itself isn't a crime (I admit, on more than one occasion do I wish I were popular enough to get free clothes on a monthly basis), does this approach to fashion blogging hinder the customer, and thereby the entire fashion world? 
I'm actually pretty attracted to this header. I do want my blog to be taken seriously. More importantly, however, want to be taken seriously.  It'd be cool if I weren't seen as just another young, opinionated wanna-be, but I feel like that's something that I need to change, not something that someone else should do for me. I understand that the content produced is the true selling point of any media company, but let's be honest: the fashion blogger is still pretty new, and big-name companies are only now just warming up to using us for publicity, since few of us are certified PR gurus. Imagine the potential demise of the fashion blogger when top fashion institutions have hundreds of thousands of blogger brands thrown at them on a daily basis. It would be overwhelming, and even more so if the vast majority of these blogs were similar in presentation and content. FBH isn't trying to get the blogger to connect the fashion industry with the common people. It's trying to connect the blogger to the brands, and if the blogger has no loyal following, the entire venture is lost.

Now, if one is a relatively well-established blogger with a solid following, a genuine passion for fashion and not just big names, and a wallet that can handle $20 a month (that price may fluctuate over time), then I can see the appeal. However, paying $20 a month for information peers or networks such as Independent Fashion Bloggers can more than likely provide could be a lack of resourcefulness, nor is there any solid guarantee that a particular top brand may accept the blogger. 

Tip: If you have to change the way you express yourself in order to best fit a brand's aesthetic, be careful not to lose yourself in the process, because your readers will know. 
I will be frank: as much as I would LOVE to run a duplicate of the blog on FBH, just to see what I'd get out of it (and I just might, for a month or two in 2013, to test it out and to justify or debunk my wild accusations) this bit of their page states the difference between FBH and other hosting services, but not FBH and other support groups. Partially because other than a free domain name and unlimited disk space, there really is no difference between this service and any other group aimed at supporting fashion bloggers. And while it's totally awesome that they want to help present the blog in a professional manner, this example of a pre-installed theme is just plain boring:
Not to be harsh, but it honestly looks like a Tumblr layout with ads. There are, however, multiple pre-installed themes, so there's a good chance that not all of them look like this. 

Honestly, there is one thing and one thing only that I appreciate about Fashion Blog Host, and that is their dedication to green energy. This should be a bigger selling point and the fact that it isn't makes me that much more dubious of the potential benefits of joining.
THIS is a selling point for the hosting service, and could potentially start a real revolution in the blogging world, not just the fashion blogs. And since the service is marketed towards savvy fashionistas, the ethics of fashion is an ever-looming issue. For those who have made strides to adhere to more environmentally friendly and ethical means of acquiring their fashionable items, be it through thrift shopping, altering/repurposing, whistleblowing, or only buying from certain brands, it will not only be a little bit of a blow for them to know that their platform host is not aligned with their ethics, but will also drive them towards using FBH. There is so much momentum that can be gained from capitalizing on this topic that I wonder why they didn't do it, and why being "the first fashion blog business incubator platform on earth", while cool, is more important than helping our environment. 

All images used in this post are property of Fashion Parkway LLC.