To me, a girl from Seattle with big city dreams, to be able to attend and cover New York Fashion Week shows is a dream come true. To stand toe-to-toe with photographers and journalists in the pit at the end of the runway is something that, as crowded and crazy as it can be, is quite honestly surreal to me. Seeing collections pass before your very eyes, on real models, in real time – what young fashionista wouldn't be thrilled? I grew up hoping that would be me someday, and to have the opportunity is something I don't take for granted for a second.
Covering the shows is part of my job at IFB, so my take-aways on a professional level are a bit different than the average blogger. Even so, I know I can't be alone in these feelings of gratitude and excitement when it comes to attending fashion shows. Last season I posted a personal account, like a diary of sorts, of my experience day-to-day at NYFW, including who I saw, where I went and how I felt about everything. This post's traffic and feedback far exceeded any of the (dozen or so) posts I did that talked about the actual collections.
This revelation brought up a discussion at the office: What is the value of covering NYFW shows for personal style bloggers? We all wondered if blog readers come to their favorite blogs for show reviews, or for personal accounts of the adventures each individual had throughout the week.
I asked a few of IFB's favorite bloggers that we got to hang out with during the week to explain a little about how and why they cover fashion week.
Alicia Lund: Her personal blog is Cheetah Is The New Black, but she also covered the shows for The Glitter Guide as well as RealBeauty.com. Her coverage on each of these three channels was specific to which site she was invited through.
“I think my readers enjoyed seeing a few fashion week snippets on my blog but I feel as though if they're interested in seeing the full collections they're better off checking the photos on Style.com because my photos will never compare. It's fun to provide some behind the scene photos or to give readers an insight into fashion week through your eyes that they couldn't get on Style.com / anywhere else. As far as newbie bloggers, simply attending fashion week won't necessarily help their traffic. It could however help their chances of getting more show invites in the future. But a great part about fashion week is the people you meet so I would highly suggest they go for the networking… which will help their traffic!”
Ann Colville Somma: Covered for Holier Than Now and Cult of Pretty (both her own sites).
For Holier than Now, I gave in to the fact that I have never been able to shoot good front of house (runway) images, so I decided to use Instagram while I was at the shows to share fun stuff while it happened. […] On Holier, I only posted about collections when I had a little personal story to tell or an image I really liked. I noticed these did way better than in previous seasons when I tried to “cover” the shows. On Cult of Pretty I did the exact opposite – I decided to try to cover backstage as comprehensively and quickly as I could – given the resources I had. This meant hiring a photographer to ensure I had strong original content and could essentially be in two places at once, and carefully working out a schedule and turnaround time … then editing into the wee hours so I could get the images up before they felt like old news. I learned as a went along and watched what people were responding to and reblogging, and I also asked my readers afterwards if they liked it all and did they want less or more next season. […] It was also worth it because I met so many people backstage and made long-term connections that have a value beyond the posts. That’s a big part of fashion week for me – the opportunity to meet inspiring people.
Kiley Steinberg: Covered for her personal blog, A Sequin Dress At Breakfast
I sometimes debate when covering a show whether or not to use the collections photos off of style.com for a show I attended…no doubt they are more detailed and higher quality than my own photos, but I've decided that I think my readers appreciate seeing photos from my perspective – that I took myself. Anyone can go to style.com or the designers site and see polished and professional photos, but from my own cameras pics my readers see much more than just the collection – they get a feel for where I was sitting, what the attendees look like, the set up of the show, etc. I think my readers appreciate seeing that more ‘real' side to attending shows. Most of of my readers aren't fashion bloggers, and so I've been trying to think of the things I was curious about before I had these experiences in attending NYFW – things I take for granted now – such as how do you get to attend a show, how does seating work inside a show, who else attends them, what do people wear to shows, things like that. Those are things my readers aren't reading about anywhere else, and that aren't really discussed in magazines or other mass media.
So I put the question to you, IFB community: What do you want out of NYFW coverage from your favorite bloggers?