What is a Blogger’s Role at Fashion Week?

Cushnie-14

As the way fashion shows are produced and shared is changing, becoming even more organized and digital than ever before, my thoughts on what is, and isn't important to cover is also evolving. Sometimes I feel that bloggers, and even press for all sorts of publications, can just sit in their homes or offices, watch the live stream of the show, and file their work more quickly, comfortably, and efficiently than attending the actual show. You are, of course, missing out on all of the pomp and circumstance of actually being seen and attending, and not to mention, the run of show with the description of the looks (if there even is one), but other than that, there is a definite appeal in watching the show at the same time as everyone else, no matter where you are in the world! It's how I do my coverage when it's London, Paris, and Milan's turn for fashion week, and I often times look back at the pics or live stream recordings after I've even seen the show in-person, to refresh and view the details that I may have missed the first time around.

What do you want out of it?

So what is a blogger's role at fashion week, if technology allows us to stay on topic at the same pace as everyone else? This past fashion week has made me think about this more than ever, and the answer isn't a direct one. I think it really depends on each individual blog, on a case by case basis, but in order to figure out your place in it all, you must first define your intentions. Are you there strictly to cover the shows? The backstage beauty? Conduct interviews? Meet people and network?  Build good relationships with brands? Get photographed? Take your own photos? Or is the excitement, fashion eye candy, and adrenaline rush that the shows provide what you're addicted to? Don't be ashamed — be honest with yourself, as this can save you a lot of time, and possibly money, cutting out the stuff that may be extraneous for you.

What do your readers expect?

Readers look to sites like Style.com, Vogue, ELLE, and WWD as the encyclopedia for all of the shows of the season, so don't feel the pressure to be in all places at all times, immediately writing about everything the second the lights turn back on. Generally, people want you to take the information, edit it down, and give it to them in your own way — basically the reason why they probably follow your blog in the first place! I've found that readers interact with my pics from backstage and before or during the actual show, on social media way more than they do with the posts. If you are there, try to share what you are seeing and loving  as it unfolds, but remember to not bury your head in your phone and miss the actual show as it happens right in front of you! I think seeing what you see through your eyes, and selecting the designs and designers that are most striking or on-brand for you, is what they may find to be most appealing.

What is your place in the hierarchy of show attendees?

This one is a little painful to admit, but bloggers, for the most part, don't rank so high in the pyramid of priority as fashion show guests. There's the magazines, newspapers, retailers, socialites, celebrities, family of the designers, friends…a lot to compete with! Don't get me wrong; respect for and placement of bloggers at fashion week is 10x better than it was four years ago, but I think now the problem is that there are SO many bloggers covering fashion week that publicists are inundated with requests and don't necessarily disseminate amongst us all, and will either allot all to the same section(s), five rows up, or invite none of us. There are some brands that value tremendously their individual relationships with bloggers, and will show that via a seat in the first three rows, while others hold a staunch stance that since bloggers work online, they don't see the value of needing them to appear in the flesh at their shows. Unless you are amongst the small crew of bloggers that basically represent what a blogger is to the masses and a celebrity in their own right, like Bryanboy, Leandra Medine, Rumi Neely, Garance Doré, Susie Lau, etc, don't expect to be sitting in the front row for every show you attend.

Plus,

one has to consider that putting together a seating chart is an extremely intricate and tricky process that I don't wish on my worst of enemies, so there's a chance that there's no true rhyme or reason as to why you were seated in the second row, or given a ‘standing' invite

. I always feel grateful for receiving an invite, and a seat, no matter where it is located, is always appreciated, and  I think that's a pretty good mentality to have to put things in perspective and remain far from jaded or hurt.

What do you think a blogger's role at fashion week is?

[Image credit: Nando Alvarez]

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10 Responses

  1. Peach Black

    I think a bloggers role in fashion week is to provide an honest feed back to the designer. At least this is what I consider my role to be. I had one fashion show of my collection and I frankly I didn’t even like the collection I have created. It was my first one, I was inexperienced and I was in a hurry. When I was browsing through blogs to find out what they thought of the collections presented, I basically didn’t find anything useful. If there were at least one blogger then, to have critiqued me and review my collection the way I review collections on my blog now, I would have been so grateful. It would be awesome to know, what didn’t they like about it and what they did. So basically I think that’s where I fit when I’m reviewing the collections. I try to give my honest opinion to the designers and the readers. Because, everyone knows, that magazines really don’t do this. Especially if the magazine doing the report from the fashion week is a sponsor of it or an organiser of it as well.

    kisses, PB

    Reply
  2. Natalie S

    Well, I’m not able to attend to MBFWs but I do review them to my page. At the beginning, I used to review the runways of designers I love but I noticed that my readers wasn’t interested in that as I was, so now I do two things: 1) I update my facebook page with some photos from the runway and 2) I post about streetstyle which is the topic that’s interesting to my readers.

    Reply
  3. Natalie Salinas

    Well, I’m not able to attend to MBFWs but I do review them to my page. At the beginning, I used to review the runways of designers I love but I noticed that my readers wasn’t interested in that as I was, so now I do two things: 1) I update my facebook page with some photos from the runway and 2) I post about streetstyle which is the topic that’s interesting to my readers.

    Reply
  4. Joi Wright

    I have never considered the idea of attending fashion week. I know myself well enough in realizing that I am a ‘people watcher’, which means I would be so busy looking at the audience that I would forget to see what was coming down the runway.

    Since my blog focuses on taking runway looks and making your own knitted or crocheted version, I doubt that I would end up on any fashion designer’s guest list. And I am completely okay with.

    You are right, as bloggers we must really figure out who we are, what we represent and how best to get the information that we need. Some bloggers may require front row seats and backstage access to deliver the content they want to present to their readers, while other bloggers may only need 15 minutes on Style.com to deliver what their audience wants.

    Reply
  5. CynthiaCM

    As an earlier commenter pointed out, a blogger’s role is to offer honest feedback about a collection. However, that’s not what I often see. Many bloggers like to GUSH about a collection, as if they’re worried about offending the designer. Why? The whole point of blogging is to offer people views that they might not find in a more major publication and not worry about what others think. However, I have heard of bloggers being blacklisted from shows because they’re not positive. All I have to say (for a lack of a better term) is WTF??!!

    Cynthia
    http://www.delectablychic.com

    Reply
    • Peach Black

      Really?? Blacklisted? See, that’s what happens if a designer can’t accept constructive criticism. Or perhaps the designer’s PR agent is involved. But that’s so sad. It’s so sad that somebody comes to that point in their career, they think they’re almighty and don’t make mistakes. But you know what, if they don’t want to hear the truth, they’ll feel it when their sales go down. Numbers don’t lie.

      PB

      Reply
  6. Tram Tran

    I think the blogger role at Fashion week is to get news, opinions and the shows to their audience. Also, to support the designers

    Reply