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Is Product Placement in Street Style a Problem?

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Some of NYFW's street-style stars. Photo by Driely S.
Some of NYFW's street-style stars. Photo by Driely S.

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In the midst of New York Fashion Week's street style parade, the New York Times took a look at how the phenomenon has evolved. Once a destination for fresh, independent style inspiration, the paper is reporting street style photos are now riddled with product placement.

Michelle Stein, whose firm AEFFE represents Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alberta Ferretti among other luxury labels, told the Times that her firm routinely "makes loans or gifts to high-visibility style influencers," like Hanneli Mustaparta and Taylor Tomasi Hill, and that "When we give those kind of people our clothes we expect them to say who they're wearing."

"Few people realize that certain bloggers and seemingly random posers are modeling for a fee," adds Daniel Saynt, a partner in another agency that negotiates deals between brands and tastemakers. "But even those who are aware don't always understand the degree to which we orchestrate these placements."

The point the Times seems to be making is that street style isn't "pure" anymore (assuming it ever was). But we wonder how much purity matters. If the goal behind street style photography is to capture a beautiful, inspiring image, does it matter if brands have seeded product or orchestrated the shot? Are you less likely to tune into a street style blog or repin an image if you kno there was a team of marketers behind its creation? Speak your mind in the comments.

· Who Am I Wearing? Funny You Should Ask. [NYT]
· Garance Dore Reveals: How to Get Shot by Street Style Photographers [Racked]