Op-Ed: New Media, Old Problems

The likes of social media-first media entities like Style Not Com and I Deserve Couture are hailed as upending the status quo, but what do they actually say, if anything?

“It’s literally NOTHING,” fumed an established street-style photographer on our shared taxi ride during this past men’s Paris fashion week, echoing a sentiment I had heard more than a few times from fashion insiders over the past several months. He was referring to Style Not Com, an Instagram account that documents fashion. Founded by Beka Gvishiani, a Georgian native living in Paris, it broadcasts fashion commentary to its 181 thousand followers. Though to call what Style Not Com produces “commentary” would be a stretch — for the most part the account provides a retelling of what most people with Internet access can see with their own eyes. To wit, on Rihanna’s recent Super Bowl appearance — “Rihanna, Loewe, Alaia.” Such snackable content comes in an attractive visual package — white san serif font on a cobalt blue background. The blue, repeated ad nauseam, has beсome a trademark; whenever Gvishiani is out and about fashion events, he is easy to spot by his ever-present “Style Not Com” baseball cap that advertises him to others.