AmEx & IFB Tweetup with Fern Mallis : Bloggers need to ‘unionize’

Last week, in New York American Express invited about 30 IFB members to speak with Fern Mallis in the AmEx Skybox, to meet great, have a nibble and a drink in a beautiful envorinment. It was a great, and probably unique opportunity for bloggers to meet face to face with one of the most important women in American fashion. Known as the creator of ‘New York Fashion Week', she is the VP of IMG, the organization responsible for granting press accreditation. Granted these days, bloggers can get into the tents quite easily, the accreditation process is rather hit or miss, established bloggers have a hard time getting into shows, while brand new bloggers get in with no problem. There is a disconnect as fashion houses, PR agencies and organizations like IMG act as gate keepers, but still don't know how to handle the change in fashion media.

In the video above filmed by CMYKABOOM, Fern talks about some of the ways bloggers can get together to help gain access to shows and press accreditation. Something that I've been thinking about lately, as the old ‘there's so many blogs out there' reasoning can't really hold up as bloggers gain more influence, but what can we do as a community to make it easier for everyone? Would organization hurt our pioneering spirit?

It wasn't all seriousness, during the Tweet Up, IFB members asked Fern about the move to Lincoln Center next season, about some of the more shocking parts of fashion week, we were all happy that Fern Mallis took the time to talk with us, and perhaps give us some direction as to how we want to present ourselves to the establishment.

Here are some photos from the first Tweet Up, we also had another one after the IFB Evolving Influence Conference, with Kate Nobelius, but I wasn't able to get photos from that one…

The Shoe Girl and Princess PoochieCMYKABOOM!!!Clutch22 and Nitrolicious

Here is a quick one minute video where Jordana from Clutch 22 interviewed me after the tweetup!

Here is some more coverage of the AmEx Tweet up!

Midtown Girl : AmexMBFW: ‘Tweetup in the Tents' with Fern Mallis!

Dream Sequins : NYFW Diaries: Fern Mallis Speaks to Bloggers at Bryant Park

CMYKABOOM:  New York Fashion Week Coverage: IFB “Tweet Up In The Tents”

Accidental Chic : NYFW Fall/Winter 2010 Recap

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14 Responses

  1. Madeleine Gallay

    An interesting session with Fern Mallis, and I think it would be correct to say that her relationship to the world of fashion and its inhabitants is a business one. It’s quite a moment for bloggers and a lot of attention and credibility has been achieved in the last months. Some are front and close to center because of large personalities and a genuine enthusiasm for fashion … and celebrities. Some are brilliant writers with a fashionable and large following. Some are … not so much. In all things, there will be balance and I’d think by next season, almost six months away, there will a “tell” on which bloggers place in it all. Because I was a fashion buyer and shop owner, I may see this moment with a skewed perspective. Fashion shows are fabulous good times that cost small fortunes, exhaust the designer and staff and yet there’s a moment where it’s about the clothes and not the good times, not the fantasy, not what will be written or even what photos/videos/interviews will be online and/or in print, not about the models (unless they splat or need a good meal). The show is best foot forward and it’s the shop buyers that must have access as they like, a hello to the fashion editors and now bloggers that we all look forward to seeing. The shop buyers are being ignored with the wonderfulness of houses now learning how to to position themselves online and some are beginning to sell online, directly or through a handful of other outlets. The designers tend to have “ambassadors” to loan the clothes to certain stylists (also competing for seats) and then to celebrities, which is a class that seems to be growing.

    But thinking and caring about the buyers and shop owners leads me to this long-winded point: shops that sell clothes for 200. and less – well, they honestly don’t need to be at certain designer shows where the clothes would retail for several times that. I think that as bloggers establish identities and followers, they have to see where they are in all this as well. I think that blogger success, like that of print media or a shop, is related to understanding who their customer is and developing an individual identity. I think that not every store can carry Marc Jacobs and maybe not every blogger should be there. (I know, that’s not a good example – Robert Duffy made us all fall in love with him with his wonderful tweets – and I hear he may be back).

    Shops often have to explain to the designer’s people what collections they carry, what price points they do, who their customer is and while I think everyone would love to be at a Chanel Haute Couture show, even sitting behind Tavi with that fabulous Stephen Jones bow, well … that’s about this moment, isn’t it?

    I think it’s a fabulous conversation.

  2. Retro Chick

    I think that unionizing sounds like a great idea. It would be fantastic for bloggers to have somewhere they could look to for professional standards and support.

    I think the US seems to be miles ahead of the UK in managing the rise of the blogger in this industry at the moment.
    .-= Retro Chick´s last blog ..Hidden Gems – STUFF in Croydon =-.

  3. Sandra

    Madeleine –
    Your comment was such a good read, and a new perspective that I hadn’t thought of before. I am also a shop owner, but vintage so the fashion shows do not always apply to ,e from a retail perspective. I do however enjoy commenting about the shows on my blog because my readers are looking for a certain kind of aesthetic. I think niche blogs like mine, and shop owners, have that in common – looking through the lense of a target audience. Thanks for your insight!

  4. Tamia

    I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and have considered the merits of bloggers forming a sort of “union” –not necessarily as regulated as, say, a steel workers union–more like a cross between a support organization and an agency. Funnily enough, the thought occurred after reading an article about the origins of the Bryant Park version of NYFW, and how it wasn’t the force it is now until the designers galvanized, organized, and showed their collections in (mostly) the same place (

    There has to be a lesson in there that can be applied to fashion blogging as well. Anyone up for a brainstorming session?
    .-= Tamia´s last blog ..Reading Roundup: Learning from old white dudes and something better than a Snuggie =-.