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APRIL TOPIC: Bloggers/Editors borrowing Fashion Goods for Events: YAY or NAY.
Streets styles captured during Fashion events feature Editors, Bloggers, socialites and personalities wearing everything from top labels, emerging designers to local shops finds, THE perfect brand exposure coup for local and emerging designers involved, but at what cost?
It is no secret (at least not anymore) that the majority of streets styles shots we admire often feature rented items, resulting from collaborations/partnerships between brands and bloggers/editors, for exposure purposes.
This is a valuable practice for emerging brands, especially from a media and Social media standpoint: Top coverage, brand awareness and crazy buzz. But what happens when these countless articles, special features, Facebook likes and retweets don’t actually convert into sales for the brands?
In the long run, could this practice be counter productive for brands, especially to Emerging Designers who could use more sales? What’s the benefit of creating a buzz if it doesn’t generate real business opportunities?
As bloggers, Designers, PR and Fashion enthusiasts yourselves, where do you stand on the question of renting/borrowing goods vs. buying them? Do you think it is a smart strategy for emerging Designers? Are bloggers/editors less credible if they don’t buy from the same local designers they write about?
Read what our Panelists have to say on this hot topic and join us to weigh in your two cents LIVE on Twitter @FashionUnfold.
SEPTEMBRE ANDERSON – Freelance journalist & writer who writes (and tweets) about fashion, beauty, culture, entertainment and world issues. http://jadorefashionblog.wordpress.com/
Whereas marketing and advertising used to include magazine, newspaper, TV and radio ads, it now also includes getting your clothes on celebrities, bloggers, politicians and royalty with the hope that they will be photographed wearing your designs and will tweet, blog, Facebook, Tumblr and pin all about it.
While I see why a brand or designer would want to lend, gift or greatly discount clothes, shoes and accessories to a well-known face (lots of exposure, reaching different demographics, etc.) sometimes I think that brands or designers should be a little more discerning.
During the fall/winter 2012 season of Toronto World MasterCard Fashion Week, a few bloggers were seen wearing clothes and accessories that were loaned or gifted to them from local boutiques and designers but unless the blogger is one of the “elite”, well-known bloggers who are almost guaranteed to be photographed and who have a substantial readership that represents the demographic that designers are trying to sell to then the collaboration is a waste of stock. What’s the point of dressing someone who no one will see/photograph but their friends?
For smaller brands I think a better route to take would be getting your press release out there, host press previews so bloggers and other media can preview your designs, and having special trunk shows and sales where bloggers can purchase your designs at a special discounted price.
About Bloggers/Editors credibility when it comes to renting vs. buying, I think it’s a bit hypocritical. If you have the money and the knowledge then why not support the industry that is your bread and butter?
SABRINA TRICARICO – Fashion PR girl in Toronto with shoeicidal thoughts: http://sabrinatricarico.tumblr.com
I think it’s great for Bloggers to rent or receive gifts from Designers/Brands, in fact emerging designers should continue to create opportunities to showcase and promote their brands via Bloggers and other personalities, but they DO need to be smart about it.
Designers should utilize bloggers as an outlet and a way to create brand awareness, by seeking people who fit their brand DNA and not just because they have a large readership. This approach will have the most impact.
I own a lot of pieces by local designers and even more by emerging new designers from other cities as well. One thing that’s very important to me is the livelihood of garment districts, especiallyNew York City’s so if a line is made there and I like the clothes I’ll definitely buy.
In terms of Bloggers losing creditability, I think it happens when they aren’t true to themselves, and there’s a possibility that can happen if they are constantly receiving free goods. The whole reason why we read blogs is to get a raw, honest opinion from someone (or at least it should be).
Authenticity and creativity are what make most blogs successful. One of my favorite fashion blogs to read is www.jaystrut.com - I can rarely tell if or when the products he writes about are sent to him for free or not.
GRACE ODUMO – Public Relations/Marketing Consultant Soc!alPR www.SocialPR.ca
I definitely think that if they could, they would. Keeping that in mind, I think it is great that bloggers want to wear emerging designers’ creations. It is very beneficial for designers because people reading/following that specific blog may become turn into fans.
If lending products to bloggers doesn’t work immediately, who’s to say it won’t benefit the
designers in the long haul? I own a GORGEOUS bracelet from the Danyka collection, a luxury jewelry collection I stumbled upon at an event here in Ottawa, which can be found at
www.danykacollection.com (See, who said collaborating with
PR/Bloggers wasn’t beneficial!?)
I think it’s great that Bloggers and Editors want to rent goods for events! Bloggers don’t have to give designers exposure; they could just easily blog about the clothes they buy at the H&M’s, Forever 21′s, Macy’s, etc. It’s wonderful that they want to help develop their local fashion scene!
Look at this photo of Herieth Paul doing her ELLE Canada signing in a borrowed SukhooSukhoo dress. That was great publicity for the collection, it’s not everyday that a supermodel wears an Ottawa Designer’s dress!
I don’t think Bloggers/Editors are less credible for renting most of what they wear to events or in their entries, because for all their audience knows, they bought the item!
On another note, we should ask if bloggers should continue to give emerging designers publicity without compensation.
ELLIOT – Carlyle, Fashion PR/Marketing Professional, http://www.VRE7.com
I do not believe in absolutes so I cannot say that it is a 100% guarantee that sales would be generated. I do believe that if there is a plan in place, then you increase your chances of making profit from your placement. This is what PR/Marketing does when it’s done right.
Everyone is hungry for placement and recognition…and that is a good thing. However, if there is no strategy implemented to complement the awareness that is potentially garnered then the effectiveness is somewhat slated.
Personally, I have been gifted merchandise from local/emerging designers as well as designer friends in the industry. Some I have worn, some I haven’t. I support what I admire and believe in. If I like it, I push it; if I don’t…not so much. That is not to discredit a designer; it’s just how I work.
There is nothing wrong with bloggers/editors not purchasing from the designers they write about. Some may look at it as being unethical but they’re writing and the designer is getting the attention. When designers don’t make profit then they should re-evaluate their strategy. The responsibility to sell is on the designer; not the blogger/editor.
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