Fashion Critic by Joan Oliá

The Middle Ground

I must confess that I am a habitual consumer of fashion magazines, for many years now. Many years. At the end of the Eighties for me they were like a manual to modernity. Their pages have inspired me for decades. I’ve grown with them, not just on a professional level but also on a personal one. They became my own Bible, in fact there’s a reason why in America they refer to the issue of Vogue that kicks off every fashion season as “the Bible” (for its thickness and content). Currently my consumption is limited to my working needs. I’m co-director of “Muy Personal Comunicación”, a communication office in which, alongside my partner Matías Rodríguez I represent more than fourteen fashion brands. Since the bloody crisis began, which seems as though it’s here to stay, what is most commonly seen in the press is low-cost fashion. Or, failing that, luxury fashion. So, where do the brands, designers and small fashion companies who have the buyer in-between as their target market lie? What happened to the fashion productions with character? And diversity… Has anyone heard anything about that? Well we can thank our lucky stars that not all the media follows the same politics… In the last five years many fashion mags have unconditionally only followed the cheap and the expensive. The cheap perhaps because it has infrastructures that are more accessible to the press, unreachable to small enterprises or artisan design. Although classic firms have spent money on advertising in our country for many years now, there’s an endless bunch of foreign brands who don’t and they still benefit from it. To the detriment, I insist, of the medium-range products that foot the bill. I know all too well that advertising reigns and it’s thanks to it that magazines come out at all. But, couldn’t we be a bit more generous with the collections that have huge potential and lack support? With this column I’m trying to transmit my testimony in just one direction; but I won’t stop shouting it from the rooftops because, perhaps, that’s how I can add my grain of sand so that globalisation doesn’t asphyxiate a market that really should be far more creative and romantic, instead of a catalogue priced by large holding companies. A motto of “accessible fashion for all”: when I buy a magazine I’d like them to show me a bit of everything… Wouldn’t you?

JOAN OLIÁ, also known as Chic, ex-style entertainment marketing pro at Nike for more than 10 years, currently partner and co-director of the Muy Personal Comunicación Showroom
Photo: Drew Patrick Miller @ Unsplash
This article was published in issue 143 of the magazine Neo2