I think it should be pretty obvious to us all that we are in the midst of a nose-dive straight into an almost completely digital age – which is truly a completely heart-breaking and terrifying thing to me. Sure I’m totally freaked out by online dating (not even the offer of a closet full of YSL would get me to use Tinder) and I cringe at the idea of reading books off of anything with a screen, but what freaks me out the most is the possibility of a life without print media. All around us local newspapers are thinning and magazines are going more and more digital. Look at Newsweek, two years ago after nearly 80 years of print the magazine published its last issue. Now imagine the same thing happening to Vogue or to Harper’s Bazaar or to Nylon. Scary, right? Fashion is a physical industry in every sense. It’s about feel, it’s about touch, it’s about the physicality of the experience and the ability to inspect and take in the detail of every element. You don’t get the same experience with a screen.
When I think about growing up I see my bedroom plastered in images cut out of magazines and rainy days spent sitting on the living room floor watching The September Issue on repeat and making mood boards and collages out of the 20+ magazines I couldn’t get myself to throw a way (even though my mom was constantly nagging me for hoarding them). I was intrigued and consumed in the glamour of the glossy pages and the scent of the pages. I loved that I could feel the weight of the pages filled with beautiful images and beautiful clothes. It was the experience of it all that made me fall in love with fashion and spiraled into the passion it is now. Now we have to understand that without the support of print media, we are dangerously close to a generation where people won’t have the chance to fall in love with fashion the same way our generation and others before us did. They won’t fall in love with the smell of one too many perfume samples. They won’t be consumed in the gloss-covered pages or the satisfying feeling of holding the weight of the September issues in their hands. We need to save print for us and we need to save print for young people who don’t know how life-changing an issue of Vogue can be.
Yes, digital has great advantages. I love getting on style.com and looking at the party and red carpet albums. I love live streaming the shows during fashion week. I am in full support of the use of social media to connect with followers. However, print needs to be saved and we can all do it together. Go out and buy the new issues of your favorite magazines. Experience more than a screen on your iPad. You can’t immerse yourself in an image on the screen but you can in the pages of print media. Pull away from the detachment of a screen and make an effort to re-fall in love with an experience. Print was the past and we can keep it in the future.