A few months ago, Italian Vogue editor in chief Franca Sozzani posted an open call for pitches on her blog for a vague new online project. Even though it wasn’t at all clear where she was going with it, tons of people sent in pitches (via the comments section) and she even publicly critiqued almost every one.
The recently-launched Vogue Encyclo seems to be the result. (Thanks to WWD for bringing to our attention.) It is not unlike American Vogue‘s Voguepedia in that it identifies fashion’s important people, places and things, encyclopedia-style. However, like Wikipedia, Vogue Encyclo’s articles are all reader contributions, as in anyone can participate and, pending review from Vogue staffers, will receive a byline. Sozzani explained to her readers, “We will try not to alter your pieces, but some will have to be modified and you have to accept that and not feel judged, just guided by someone who has more experience.”
She also acknowledges how odd this is: “I’m ready for controversy and complaints, but keep in mind that nothing is accomplished in a day… but in a few months, yes!” She also says she thinks that contributing to this project would qualify one for a newspaper job: “I think that with a continuing collaboration on a project you can make a resume and demonstrate that you are already able to write for a newspaper.” So you know
It’s unconventional to say the least, and seems like a huge undertaking by the Vogue team. If anything, it’s a great opportunity for the contributors and, like Voguepedia, could end up being a really useful tool.
What do you think of Sozzani’s latest wild idea?