Inside the insatiable rise of @stylenotcom
Beka Gvishiani is changing the fashion commentary game one little blue tile at a time. Robin Reetz goes behind the scenes at the industry’s new favourite Instagram account
Wednesday 5 October 2022 By Robin Reetz
As another fashion month comes to a close, it seems as good a time as ever to state the obvious: fashion is a dizzying industry and a world all of its own, for those on the inside, those on the outside, and those simply trying to observe.
It’s not just the multiple cities, countless designers, and the relentless onslaught of influencers and celebrities that make fashion month feel like an unnavigable circus, it’s also the way in which the information coming out of it is presented that can make it difficult to consume. From the traditional news outlets to the industry accounts, and from brand live streams to influencer coverage, the sheer breadth of content is enough to put your phone and feed into overdrive. It would be tempting to turn away if it wasn’t completely impossible to do so.
There is one outlet, however, which has found a way to slice through the noise and help us all keep up –and the industry is paying attention, too.
@stylenotcom, the clever Instagram commentary account named after the long-admired and now-deceased fashion site, style.com, covers the season, the shows, and the industry from an objective point of view. Small snippets of information are shown in text form with the occasional touch of context provided in the caption – and that’s it. There’s a clear absence of snark, and the tone feels slightly overexcited – as if the person behind the account is really happy to be there and share the unfettered information about what’s happening with the world.
Said person is Beka Gvishiani from Tbilisi, Georgia. Gvishiani spent his early career working in the industry in a creative agency and as a creator of an online fashion forum, then started the account in 2021. A lover of media, he bought his first issue of Vogue in 2008 and now owns more than 1,000 copies of fashion magazines.
And the industry is taking note of his perspective. Coming in at 101,000 followers at the time of publishing, stylenotcom is followed by industry heavyweights including Jonathan Anderson of Loewe and Matthieu Blazy of Bottega Veneta.
It seems that Gvishiani is onto something. Following @stylenotcom during the past couple of fashion months has proven refreshingly simple and succinct. Sure, our attention spans are shorter than ever, but there’s something about being told exactly what you need to know and nothing more that feels incredibly appealing in today’s hot take-saturated media landscape. ‘I try to avoid the negative sides,’ Gvishiani tells me. ‘My information is just a dry fact and people relate to it – because they understand and can then have their own opinion about it.’
Further proof that we’re craving straightforward fashion commentary comes in the form of the rise of the email newsletter. We’re still as image and video-driven as ever, but disappointing algorithms have turned more editors, influencers and commentators to Substack and the like, taking relationships off the feed and into the inbox, which has me wondering if we all just might, well, miss words a bit.
‘Fashion commentary is in a perfect and liberated space – everyone does and says what they want on social media platforms,’ says Gvishiani. ‘This liberation will expand in the future and we will have more and more people who will raise their voice on how they feel about fashion.’
Gvishiani continues: ‘In general, [fashion] was such a closed industry. It still is, but since a lot of brands have now opened their doors to new people it’s very interesting and exciting to watch,’ he says. ‘I feel like I’m an insider and outsider myself. I am telling people the stories from the inside to the outsiders’ perspective, let’s say. I’m making it as easy with words, as it should be understandable for more people.’
Whether outlets like @stylenotcom are a peek at how we’ll consume fashion media in the future, or if it’s just a stop along the way, there’s something deeply refreshing about falling back in love with words and clothes in a way that’s thoughtful but still consumable.