san francisco fashion week: why SF fashion will remain second-rate

i am taking a small break from my break to make this small post…but after this i am going back into my hidey-hole for a few more days. i just couldn’t hold this in!

***

via jennine of the coveted, i learned that the organizers of san francisco fashion week, at the direction of their PR director donna barry, are refusing to give out press passes to legitimate san francisco/bay area based fashion bloggers, and instead are only giving them to “accredited” fashion journalists, buyers, and stylists.

who decides who is “accredited” anyway?

delegitimizing smart, savvy, independent fashion writers who happen to blog in the manner linked to above suggests that such organizations consider such individuals a threat to the establishment/status quo.

this kind of behavior on behalf of SF fashion week smacks of elitism, close-mindedness, and ignorance.

a smarter move for SF fashion week, or any fashion week?

to ally itself with bloggers and technology, SF and beyond! hell, without silicon valley, this area would not be awash with as much cash as it is…give credit where credit is due, and join with the local infrastructure to better your business. heck, it might HELP YOU, SF fashion week! it would extend your reach by giving you further coverage, and hell, it might even raise profits. isn’t that the point?

fyi, SF fashion week: smart, savvy bloggers can disseminate information hundreds of times faster than magazines, newspapers, and other “accredited” “traditional media”…increasingly so as time marches on. i suggest you take note and ponder the possibilities, and resolve to be more inclusive.

and consider this: many good fashion bloggers get in the tens and hundreds of thousands of page views per month, if not more. recognizing and working with these bloggers could HELP you in the long run. practicing this kind of insular, defensive, elitist behavior is just shooting yourself in the proverbial foot, because you run the risk of alienating a core group of aesthetes who hold an increasingly large amount of power.

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16 comments

  1. Keith

    I can’t believe they won’t let bloggers in. Maybe you should tell them that NYC Fashion Week, obviously the biggest fashion week outside of Paris, London and Milan, lets in plenty of fashion bloggers, which helps build buzz over a little tool perhaps they’ve heard called the internet. It doesn’t hurt anything to let in a blogger to standing room of a show, why they won’t is beyond me. Love your blog, btw.

  2. jennifer

    fuck yeah! best and most purposeful rant ever. hopefully someone will take notice.

    i’m sick of elitism in ANY industry; the idea that you can’t be a grassroots individual and still valuable to any industry (even a capitalist one) is tired and desperately needs rethinking.

  3. Victoria E

    I was hoping that you would post something about this! I’ve been reading Jen’s blog and, though I can say that I am not surprised that they don’t accept bloggers, it doesn’t make me any less disappointed.

  4. tricia

    victoria: agreed. i am not surprised to hear they don’t give press passes to bloggers, either, sadly. it’s small town, shortsighted, elitist behavior that will continue to keep san francisco second-rate as far as fashion standings are concerned.

    i had no interest in attending previous to finding about about this BS, but now i am even more sure of my decision and stance. i posted this because i disagree with their principles, more than anything else.

    congrats on SF fashion week for not joining the 20th century like the rest of us. it’s sad really, as people in this town like to consider themselves very forward thinking, innovative, and liberal. if sf fashion week is an indication, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

  5. jennine from the coveted

    hey, thanks for all your support. it’s really important that we discuss this, because times, they are changing, and it’s good to voice your opinion, because only then will you be heard.

    i hope that sf fashion week will change their minds about the legitimacy of blogging, because though it is true that anyone can be a blogger, not just anyone can create a blog that people enjoy reading. (**ahem** bits and bobbins)

    and thank you again, this isn’t quite over yet.
    : )
    -jennine

  6. annie

    yeahit doesnt feel like theres much buzz about sf fashion week in the first place. i think bloggers can really generate interest quickly. i’m pretty surprised they dont allow bloggers because blogging is definitely very “now” but i guess old fashioned attitudes still prevail.

  7. tricia

    annie: you’d think so, right…especially in a technologically savvy city like SF, but it simply isn’t the case. their old fashioned attitudes about fashion keep them defiantly behind the times. if san francisco wants to be the city they aspire to be (new york *cough, cough!*) then they should take a lesson from NY fashion week and it’s organizers, who took the time to root out intelligent bloggers and treat them with the respect they deserve by including them in the “press” for the event.

    i’m not suggesting that every blogger who asks be accepted as part of the press for an event…no. but i do believe that the people organizing these events are doing themselves and their clients a disservice by not rooting out and treating talented fashion writers/bloggers with the same amount of respect that they give to the so-called “legitimate” or “accredited” press…because blogging is just another form of media, albeit new, and to their chagrin, more accessible.

    again, it just smacks of ignorance, elitism, and short-sightedness…and if everyone involved with the SFFW event is of this same philosophy, the san francisco fashion scene will always remain second-rate, if not lower.

  8. Annika

    Sadly, online media is still miles behind its print and television counterparts. Before I had a baby (and still a bit since) I wrote for a horror magazine online. Horror movies, as you know, are not exactly huge – you will never hear of a horror movie making $100 million opening weekend, and even a quarter of that is rare. However, for some reason studios think they can ignore the genre’s media counterpart: internet reviewers. There were so many occasions when I would have to ask for an invite to an event where internet media should have been the TOP priority, and many movies that I was not able to get into press screenings for. In several cases my saving grace was the filmmakers themselves, who often ‘get’ it and would get my name onto the list. (There was one studio that was a huge exception, and I feel I should mention them: Lions Gate always went above and beyond to make sure we had access to everything we could want. They realized that online buzz was the reason SAW was so successful, and held screenings exclusively for internet media before SAW II. So I exclude them from this rant, even though the SAW movies kind of suck.)

    I think fashion is similar in its absurd insistence that traditional media is the only media. I wouldn’t even call it elitism, exactly, so much as complete lack of understanding of the new directions media is moving in. It is extremely unfortunate and I am hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, that the powers that be will figure out sooner than later that the times, they are a-changing.

  9. Elaine

    You had it at ” … because you run the risk of alienating a core group of aesthetes who hold an increasingly large amount of power.” – the organisers of SF Fashion Week seem to be doing the it’s-my-ball-and-I’m-taking-it-home thing – cos it’s hard when you’ve had the pow-ah to let it go … as to the rest of the fashion industry – well, there’s always a place for those who need someone to tell them something is fabulous, while the rest of us are increasingly making our own minds up (and quite often asking some uncomfortable questions about the industry at the same time).

    V. interesting post and comments.

  10. SwanDiamondRose

    this isn’t exactly the same thing. but it is about which “press”is considered legitimate. when bands want to get visas for the states [coming from canada] blog press isn’t considered press, only “hard” press. and that’s what they call it. if it’s not on paper it doesn’t count! lame.

  11. tricia

    swan diamond rose: i guess one has to kill trees to be “legitimate”! ridiculous. i just saw an article in “wired” as i was reading over the husband’s shoulder, talking about how newspapers were losing readers and ad revenue. HELLO, jerkwads!? they are reading the INTERNET. 😛

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  14. Sarah

    Maybe lesser-known designers or those just starting out could finagle invites for a blogger or two, as they would benefit greatly from the exposure bloggers could bring them.