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Beginning the week before its presentation on Sunday, Rebecca Taylor shot backstage footage, uploaded exclusive photos and created preview reels for Facebook and YouTube. Taylor will also live tweet before and during the presentation, according to ceo and owner Beth Bugdaycay.
Then there is the increasing outreach by fashion houses to the blogging world, a group of critics designers at one time barred from their shows but one they now not only embrace, but in some cases put in the front row.
“Bloggers are increasingly important to us and we invite a select group of 35 to 40 to the show,” said Eric Delph, vice president of public relations and marketing at Nicole Miller, which showed Friday. “Moving more bloggers into seats and putting some as far up as the first and second row was a priority.” About 10 percent of the press attendees at Miller’s show were bloggers.
Contemporary sportswear label Walter, which is live streaming its show Tuesday on elle.com, will have both a blogger station in the front row, as well as a Tweet deck in the VIP lounge for celebrities to tweet before and after the show, according to social media coordinator Jared Craft. He said this year’s guest list is comprised of nearly 40 percent bloggers, versus only 25 percent last season.
Tory Burch’s guest list for her Wednesday morning presentation will consist of nearly 15 percent bloggers. “Bloggers are key influencers. They fuel the immediacy of information during fashion week,” said Burch, adding the positive reaction from bloggers to the original content featured on toryburch.com’s Style Guide has not gone unnoticed.
“A-list bloggers with large audiences were seated in rows one and two, alongside newspaper editors, and the smaller bloggers with less audience were seated in rows four and above, depending on their viewership,” said Tony Alcindor, vice president of marketing and public relations for Ports 1961, which boasted a guest list that is set to include nearly 35 percent bloggers. The brand also hosted blogger-centric events post-show to showcase the entire collection for this specific group.
Prabal Gurung, who partnered with Swarovski and live streamed his show on Swarovski TV on Saturday, said, “Blogging opens the door to greater brand recognition and familiarity to a younger generation. The average age is younger than our targeted customer so it is incredibly helpful in gaining exposure with that audience. It is an approach to marketing in a more unconventional way that is becoming almost the norm.” Among the blogs invited were Fashionista, Bryanboy, Sam Spector, Rafe and Red Carpet Fashion Awards. “Social media has in a way made the world smaller,” Gurung said. “Information is instant and is put out there immediately, allowing not only the American public to be a part of the Prabal Gurung world, but everyone who is interested in fashion and all of our international supporters.”
Yet even as the fashion world dashes into social media as fast as it can, a significant minority of brands continues to prize the intimacy of a traditional runway show in favor of the bells and whistles offered by the Internet. Luca Luca is one that believes that less is more when it comes to luxury brands.
“We believe that luxury breaks down when access is in excess,” said Yildiz Blackstone, the company’s president.