Influencers realised they could turn themselves into a business by charging hundreds or thousands for posts, they appointed managers and this led to the ascent of blogger agencies signing talent to work with brands.
We all know that fashion bloggers and style influencers love fashion events. And why wouldn’t they? So do I. It is the chance to connect with people who live, work and breathe the fashion blog and fashion industry. To literally dive into the arena of fashion, design, styling, and the creative minds behind the expression of the runway is what keeps these events alive. The passion and enthusiasm abounds at events such as VAMFF. My most recent fashion fix. It is also a buzz to talk to likeminded fashionistas whose minds connect through the vehicle of fashion passion. Like all industries however, events like this do come with their problems. It was noticeable to me this time, the passive aggressive feel that lingered across the entire week around the subject of who could be seated in “The Frow”. So called because it is so easy to be seen with a frown!
When did attending a runway show become so stressful? Where one feels undervalued if they are not chosen to sit front row? And, what, if anything, constitutes the right to sit front row? Unless of course, you are, in all seriousness, a serious lover of fashion, who will, during the event, after the event, work generally, consistently and diligently, towards the growth, success and support of the fashion industry?
I would have to question why there needs to be such an unhealthy fixation with sitting in “the frow”, but do agree that the people who do sit on in “the frow”, should have adequate influence in order to create ‘good’ from their premium seating.
In Suzanne Carbone’s article this month in The Age, leading up to VAMFF, she says that “450 bloggers and influencers have applied for accreditation compared with 200 traditional print and broadcast media”.
I would argue that if The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, or Rosie of The Londoner was at VAMFF, sure, give the girls the best seat in the front row! With nearly 8 million Instagram followers between them, they obviously rule the blogosphere. Yeah baby! Wouldn’t that just be too cool for the galaxy of Australian fashion!
I do think however, for a reasonably small event, at least on the world scale, with not quite several hundred fashion bloggers across the country, we should even out the distribution of these seats a little more evenly across the general sector of attendees.
That would mean, VIP’s, fashion buyers, bloggers, journalists, magazine editors, and devotees. Surely there is enough love to share around?
I know quite a few bloggers and style influencers who were not invited to events this year, and were disappointed. Their disappointment in many cases meant they did not attend at all. This I thought was a great shame. It is the bombardment of these faithful devotees which makes these events more interesting, more attended, more photographed, more publicised and generally more successful.
I do think it a shame that invitations on mass cannot be sent out, but I do understand from a costing point of view, that these expensive events need to be carefully curated and funded.
My individual passion is such, that I often pay to attend these events. I am often very fortunate to be able to attend and not pay, but I make sure that I pay back in kind. In the form of a great article, in response to what has been gifted to me. It is fact of life that everything we do, costs money. We all know that nothing is free. Nothing. I do wonder at times, why bloggers think it is their right to be invited to events for free, and even though I am a fashion editor/blogger myself, I recognise the need to support these events with real dollars. This currency, like it or not, is the only way these designers and all other people who are involved in the industry survive. That is the reality.
It is the world we now seem to live in where everyone feels ‘entitled’ to receive something for free. There is a total lack of interest in who pays, as long as we are assured that we don’t have to.
We are drowning in a sea of self importance, and narcissism. We expect our hands to be held in every way, without pulling out the stops, and working ethically towards building one’s following through the vehicle of what used to be the norm. Just sheer hard work.
I love to be invited to events and shows.
It does not equate however to me showcasing someone, or not.
Paying for tickets keeps events going. It support industries. It keeps people in jobs. It allows growth. And secures a future.
If we really believe in our local fashion industry, no matter where it happens in Australia, isn’t it worth buying a ticket?
If we can encourage people, consumers and bloggers alike, to understand why this is such a necessity, then we will sure up a wonderful strong future for the industry we all love, and loose these “tickets on ourselves”.
Until next time,