Translation of Der Spiegel Article
What is chic in Tokyo or Helsinki? Style conscious people discuss on the internet what is worn on the streets of this world, and they thereby change elite models worldwide.
The man whom Nels Frye spotlighted did not look especially good, but he was worth a second glance. Frye met him on Changan Avenue in Beijing, a type with an unusually long beard [NF Note: I described him as "Jesus-like"], Adidas-like shoes and checkered coat and a cane. In no way a model, but that man had style, an unusual sort of boho, so typical of China in a state of explosion, the birth of a new creative class, said Frye. [NF Note: Collecting bottles definitely demands resourcefulness but I’m not sure about creativity. He addressed the man, asked permission to take a photo and put it on his blog. A little later came the first comments. On Frye’s website a small debate erupted. This photo inspired Nels so much that from then on he travelled all over Beijing with his camera. He photographed girls, ones who have cut their hair like Manga figures, young men with beards, pea jackets, pants with piped jeans and zebra stripes, and he put their photos on the internet.
For him street-style blogging was a hobby
So the American businessman, Nels Frye, 27, on the side, became a street style blogger. Every young person who allowed him to document the style of their city entered his blog which then was sent to the entire world. And in consequence he turned the established world model on its head.
What is important is not trends but style. Street-style bloggers show what real persons in their daily lives wear on the street and convey this to an audience of millions. Instead of showing over stylized mode-lines with skinny models, they show in their internet diaries how real people interpret a couture-circus. Not trendy but determinedly style. Everyone can comment on every picture. English is the universal language. There is no competition: it is a democratic forum for young people who express themselves and make the internet a common medium of style.
For Frye it led to this suddenly people from Chicago, Berlin or Helsinki comment on his blog with suggestions that a coat should be lengthened a bit, or that a particular outfit is well thought out. Other blogs, who do the same as Frye in Beijing, link to his site “Stylites” and from day to day the number of hits increases. Publishers of style magazibnes ask if they may use his pictures, and designers invite him to their exhibitions.
Worldwide, there are hundreds of these street-style blogs, etc……….