UPDATE: Steve & Barry’s lawyers called again (on my cell phone -which perhaps the rudest thing EVER and borderline harassment). Apparently we didn’t remove all the pictures (some were left in the extended entry portion by mistake) and they threaten to file a brief in court by the end of today if we didn’t take them down. An issue that I was willing to let die, now makes me want to fight again.
Which doesn’t make sense- it would turn this very minor, blogger issue into a story for the rest of the media.
I truly hope the Oprah shout out is big enough to compensate for the negative buzz you’ve generated on the web.
I’ve thought about this quite bit, read all of your comments, and came to the conclusion that I will remove the pictures. In the end, it was a legal decision (I’m no Perez Hilton) , but I didn’t want to remove the photos before giving you the, readers, the opportunity to weigh in. I also think it’s important for consumers to have some understanding about the process by which things are marketed and sold to us.
This issue is bigger than me, TBF, or even my fellow fashion bloggers.
The fashion industry as a whole (retailers, pr firms, magazines), are so used to dictating “what one should wear”, that it’s difficult for them to operate in a time when the “dictated” has the ability and the means to talk back. I doubt any of the major magazine would allow readers to discuss whether or not to remove a photo, feature, etc. I also doubt Glamour would write a full page feature supporting some fight waged by Cosmopolitan, like many of my fellow bloggers did in supporting me.
The bottomline is: they want you to buy the “celebrity endorsed/created/designed” line, but they don’t want you to have an opinion about it. They just want you to buy it.
Fortunately for us we’re no longer living in a time where we mindlessly gobble up marketing messages. This presents a VERY big problem for publicists, because it’s hard for them to “control the message” in a time when controls lies in the hands of individuals, not the fashion editor at Marie Claire.
The fact is blogs are the influencers, not the monthly magazines. When I want to know what is going on in the fashion world, I read fashiontribes or coutorture– not Vogue. When I want to know what is going on with tech, I read TechCrunch, not Wired.
So, in the end, the legal issue won out. Steve & Barry’s is not an evil company. A bit weak on the pr end, yes. But evil? No. Plus, I would personally rather spend my time writing and chatting about the new budget looks for spring, than stuck in a NYC courtroom.