Is Fashion Week Relevant Anymore?

It’s that time of year again. Fashion Week is only a few weeks away and media outlets, bloggers, and brands are getting ready to head to New York to cover whats going to be “hot” in the fashion world next year.

But many, like lifestyle and fashion blogger Jacey of Damsel In Dior, are asking if it’s even worth it and if anyone really cares about seeing Fashion Week updates.

I personally have never once even thought about going to Fashion Weekly, simple because I could never afford to. The prices to book flights and hotel stays during this time of year are insane. The amount of work needed to pitch brands, secure contacts, and just get your foot in the door is exhausting, And most importantly, I don’t own a single “designer” item over $500. My readers don’t either. So would it even be beneficial in anways to go?

It is evident that for many, my readers included, Fashion Week seems like an exciting prospect but ultimately unsuccessful when it comes to consumer sales.

Yet, I don’t ever believe Fashion Week was meant to drives sales for the everyday woman. Which leaves the question:  what is Fashion Week exactly for? Fashion week is a designers world stage: where they can showcase upcoming collections to buyers, the press, and the public. However unnattainable the collections are, Fashion Week is less of a sales strategy and more of a long term brand strategy. By establishing the multitude of press, brands get their name and collections out there through the use of photos, articles, and backstage experiences for influencers and magazines around the world. Fashion Week is a powerful marketing strategy, and influencers are expanding that strategy.

But bloggers like Jacey are reconsidering their approach and attendance due to the sheer amount of influencers over saturating the Fashion Week experience.

Is Fashion Week Important?

The responses to her post varied, but a majority of them rooted for her to skip Fashion week. Seeing the responses really resonated with me and my own beliefs about Fashion Week. I feel as though the outfits are wonderful, but we can only take so many instagram stories and blog posts about trends and models walking down the cat walk over and over again.

One user commented “It’s not my fave. I typically check out from following my fave fashion influencers during that week. I have yet to see someone who can give me a worthwhile POV. And the barrage of blurry runway IG stories / boomerangs is such a waste of everyone’s time including the content creators.

A fashion industry insider replied: “I love seeing the posts, but often fashion week seems like unattainable fashion for me. I need a real girls guide (aka not in the fashion industry) to fashion that’s attainable for the every day person.

Perhaps it isn’t massively unattainable at all. The purpose of Fashion Week has changed because of the digital space and influencers. Now, brands are starting to focus on “buy now see now” models which means your favorite fashion blogger can show you a sneak peak on the catwalk and you can buy it from the brand that very day.

Brands like H&M, Zara, and TopShop are hosting their own Fashion Week events, runways, and making everything available to experience via livestreams and digital parties. These brands are also collaborating with influencers to drive engagement and sales. Clearly, it’s no longer about the latest trends you can’t own. Now you can be a part of this Fashion Week world and not break the bank.

Outfit details: Dress // Hat // Purse

 

But are influencers still important to Fashion Week in general?

Last year Vogue published a post criticizing bloggers who attended fashion weeks. Nicole Phelps, Director of Vogue Runway wrote: “It’s not just sad for the women who preen for the cameras in borrowed clothes, it’s distressing, as well, to watch so many brands participate. No coincidence that Versace and BV are two houses that don’t play the game.” (Source)

Unless you’ve got a close contact or existing relationship with these bigger fashion houses, as a blogger you’re probably not going to get invited to sit  at Versace show. Which is understandable – they’re pretty big and using an influencer isn’t really going to benefit them to grow even more. But the criticism continues.

There’s not much I can add here beyond how funny it is that we even still call them “bloggers,” as so few of them even do that anymore. Rather than a celebration of any actual style, it seems to be all about turning up, looking ridiculous, posing, twitching in your seat as you check your social media feeds, fleeing, changing, repeating . . . It’s all pretty embarrassing—even more so when you consider what else is going on in the world” Alessandra Codinha, Fashion News Editor at Vogue.com wrote in supporting the argument of bye bye bloggers. (Source)

This comment about repetitive stories and social updates is what many of Jacey’s followers also mentioned. Aside from most of the designer collections being not affordable, the common thread is this: it’s just becoming too much of the same thing. So if bloggers like Jacey decide to attend, how can they create a different experience for everyday women like you and me?

This is something I have been thinking about. What if I went? What would I actually do there besides share snapshots from the show and my outfits?

What can bloggers do differently to make readers interested in sticking by their side during Fashion Week?

One follower commented on her post: “If you did go, I’d rather have a post or day by day recap of the trends and brands. It can be kind of overwhelming and boring when every influencer is posting blurry videos of things. It doesn’t seem as enjoyable. However, I love knowing what’s coming up so if you did go that would be more useful

The standard “post #allthethings” is dying out and as content creators, Jacey and I need to obviously focus on differentiating ourselves. Every bloggers needs to do this.

Just as an FYI and a little background info on my own work, when I help an influencer like myself brand, the first thing I tell them is that you need to find the thing that makes you different than the million other influencers out there. Jacey has that “thing” and it will be interesting to see what she comes up with and if she decides to attend FW.

Although my schedule allows for me to attend FW, I won’t be attending nor will I really focus on reporting anything from it. After all, there’s going to be hundreds of articles and stories about it anyway. I personally don’t feel I can add to anything or make it unique, simply because it’s a waste of my own time and my audiences.

I know my readers, they’re not remotely interested and I’m going to stay true to that until they are. If that changes, I might be included to go. And if I’ll be talking about Fashion Week on The Petite Bijou, I want to make sure I can give helpful and actionable advice instead of just sharing what everyone else is.

 

What do you think about Fashion Week? Do you think it matters or are you glued to the screen? Do you personally find it interesting and entertaining? Let’s chat, leave a comment below.

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Comments

  1. Sora wrote:

    Loved your whole post Mariam!!!

    I personally am a fashion designer so I love Fashion Week, but mostly when it’s just that: unattainable and almost impossible to wear clothing. I think of fashion shows as an art gallery: mainly just art. I actually never understood the appeal it has for bloggers/influencers, unless you’re a luxury one.

    Sora | http://dangerouslyme.com/

    Posted 8.11.18 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hello Sora,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a thoughtful comment.

      I do echo your thoughts about enjoying Fashion Week purely through an artistic standpoint. I can’t speak as a fashion designer (nor strictly a fashion blogger) on what the appeal is either….I think its much to do (as the article suggests) a PR move. Press, cameras, and the glamour of attending an event where there are also luxury brands almost makes it seem like the blogger is part of the artistic and luxury circle. It’s lovely as art and I believe more bloggers should cover it as art instead of “buy”.

      Many thanks for your comment,
      Mariam

      Posted 8.15.18 Reply

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