What Does Fashion Criticism Mean to Today’s Designers?

Plenty of ink has been spilled, so to speak, about the evolution of fashion criticism in recent years. The premise is that, as social media democratized the industry, fashion media’s most established and respected voices started to lose their gatekeeping power. And, as the internet allowed new fashion collections to be viewed by the public in real time, a new wave of inexperienced but fashion-obsessed voices joined the conversation around them, sharing their unfiltered takes via easily accessible platforms like Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. Meanwhile, legacy publications seemed to grow less, well, critical, in their assessments of designers’ work — a phenomenon attributed to a need to keep advertisers happy and, in other cases, a desire to maintain insider status or avoid being banned from big shows.