True story, as soon as I started blogging my dream was to make it to New York Fashion Week. Now that it's now my seventh season covering Fashion Week, I'm still working on creating those perfect posts that both readers and brands are happy with. Just Friday, I was talking with an influential blogger sitting front row at a show, who admitted her traffic goes down during Fashion Week, “My readers can just go to Style.com for runway shots.” I asked her why she goes to fashion week then she replied, “Mostly to make connections, and to get my face out there.”
When going to shows, I try to go with the intent of covering in some manner. Sometimes it's possible to get great coverage with backstage access, an impromptu meeting with someone I've been trying to get an interview with for months, showing first glimpses of the designers I love, and love to wear. Sometimes the collection doesn't speak to me, or I can't get good photos or a good soundbite to share with my readers.
Earlier today, the Observer published an article quoting NYFW pioneer, Fern Mallis, “It’s clear that bloggers are a significant presence [at Fashion Week], but I’m not sure all of them are justified in their presence and their sense of entitlement and when they belong and how important they are.”
While the original article discusses disgruntled photographers feeling edged out of the media risers by bloggers and our iPhones. The bigger question is, what exactly are bloggers doing at Fashion Week? Are bloggers expected to post about every single show? Are buyers expected to buy from every single show they attend? Or editors to review every single show? To be honest, I've only seen printed reviews of actual fashion shows in WWD, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Why bloggers need to be at fashion week really depends on the actual purposes of their prospective blogs. Some bloggers are great for generating PR pieces think Elin Kling styling Tibi's runway show, Blonde Salad walking the runway at Alberta Feretti, and the original stories that caused it all with Bryan Boy at Dolce Gabbana and Tavi at Dior Couture. Some bloggers are great at live coverage like Tom and Lorenzo, Chi City Fashion, Eat Sleep Wear. Then you have all those street style photographers showing who went to the shows. Bloggers are part of the PR machine that is Fashion Week. Do we have inflated egos at times? Yeah. But show me an industry of honest-to-goodness humility and I'll give you a cookie.
Perhaps it's just up to the brands to justify who goes to their shows, and it's just up to those who want to be there to stay relevant enough to get the invites. Bloggers included.
Image taken by Jennine Jacob with her iPhone at Made Fashion Week