Archives for category: Fashion PR

My Intern Diaries

Yes, after what seems like forever and ago that I decided to share my internship experiences, I finally sat down and actually started to recollect my thoughts to write Chapter 1, How it all began.

Thankfully I did keep a journal throughout most of my Fashion PR related experiences so it’s just a matter of perusing through them to jog my memory on each. 

Since I started sharing my internship experiences, I’ve received a handful of emails with questions for advice and questions about finding volunteer/internship/job postings. Don’t be shy, feel free to leave your question in the comments section. I will answer it under the comments too so others can benefit from your question!

Enjoy.

Actually it takes me back to a very thought-provoking prediction by Danielle, who suggested, “Fashion weeks have lost their relevance and will die off.” She covers many aspects to support her theory (it’s actually very interesting and I highly suggest to take a read if you have not already) which, I think highlights the importance of re-adjusting the North American fashion week format to better adapt to our changing times.

It’s a little delayed, but consider this post a follow-up discussion to her “just a thought” post back in January.

With our growing economic woes, designers and fashion powerhouses have become more cautious with their investments. Fashion week is great for getting media and industry reviews, but for the amount of money invested into showing their collections, are there realistically enough sales generated to make this a worthwhile investment? As Danielle mentioned and from the number of designers that have opted not to show this season, it’s safe to assume, probably not.

The current state of our economy is forcing brands and designers to be more creative and strategic with their spending. Which by the way is not such a bad idea. Trimming down on frivolous spending by companies encourages those who want to do or still be in business to bring out there A game. Especially the PR industry.

*Side note – Personally I think this is a great way to weed out the “so called” people who say they do PR and those who legitimately, can put together a PR plan and outside the box strategies. There is a lot of pressure on publicists who are working with designers showing this season. Sure they will be dealing with a shortage of available seating, but it’s not all about getting the who’s who’s to sit in that room, they also need to consider if there is anything happening from a PR perspective before and after the fashion show. In my opinion a good PR person will not overlook that.*

The power of the Internet and social media tools has arisen as a popular way to effectively market and promote a brand. While it is excellent that fashion companies are finally adapting to these tools, I don’t think fashion weeks will lose its relevance. Taking advantage of the Internet and social media is a great way for designers and brands to bridge the gap between the exposure from fashion week and the lack of communication and understanding to and of their consumers/possible consumers. Although this does not directly equate to more sales, creatively reaching out, listening and understanding your customers/possible customers is always a good thing!

My guess is, as the economy picks up designers will revisit the traditional means of debuting their new collections. They will continue to entertain the industry and media at the socially deemed, glitzy and glamorous event; fashion week, as well as continue to interact and engage their consumers directly using the web and other creative means.

In any case I agree with Danielle, “the value in showing at fashion weeks needs to be corrected” and I think in Canada’s case, less is more.

Robin Kay, President of FDCC (middle)

Robin Kay, President of FDCC (middle)

She Stays.

 

Yes, even after a, what some would say, rather highly unprofessional “drunken rant” for her opening speech during the most recent Toronto L’oreal Fashion Week, Robin Kay will remain the President of the FDCC.

 

Oh and it’s LG Fashion Week not L’oreal Fashion Week. That would be because LG is now the official title sponsor as L’oreal has opted not to renew their contract?

 

Can’t say i’m surprised by this news. It’s not the first time Kay has been ridiculed, negatively put in the spotlight, and managed to survive it. The difference in opinion from the general fashion public is torn both ways. Many believe she should be dismissed as President for her reoccurring inappropriate behavior and misrepresentation of the Canadian fashion industry, yet many also believe she’s still got what it takes.

 

Having seen her at the past four seasons of fashion week and having been in her presence, I honestly can’t say I think she is the most appropriate person for the job. I don’t think the issue is her ability to fulfill her job requirements but more so the level of professionalism she brings to the job. As the face of the Canadian fashion industry, it was and still is her responsibility to proudly and properly represent it. I can assure you that this is not her first time giving an opening speech at fashion week “tipsy”, but this is by far her worse time. But I do not deny that she must be doing something right to maintain her position as President of the FDCC and growing and developing Toronto Fashion Week to what it is today.

 

Quoted by the Toronto Star, in a recent interview with Joseph Mimran, chair of the FDCC, and owner of the best cheap chic label, Joe Fresh Style, he delivered a key message about Kay. “Robin clearly regrets what happened and has apologized and has strictly assured the board it will not occur again,” he was also adamant that, “the change of the title sponsor from L’Oreal to LG had nothing to do with Kay’s behaviour at a late-night fashion show [on] Oct. 20 [and] we want to take the focus off the incident.”

 

Mr. Mimran’s public address to the incident is the first step in the process of restoring the public’s faith in the FDCC, versus the panic stricken apology issued in the Toronto Star by Robin Kay post her “tipsy” speech. She cannot undo her embarrassment to herself and Toronto Fashion Week, but she can, if she hasn’t already, work towards restoring her public image by incorporating an in-house Communications team to advise and help her come up with a new strategy to (as a statement of the obvious), restore the public’s trust in the organization, rebuild broken relationships with the Toronto fashion publics and build new relationships with Toronto and international fashion publics to fulfill it’s mandate in establishing and promoting Canadian fashion.

 

Perhaps this will mark her turning point, but regardless, I am sure she will put the public’s criticism to rest  for now and present another somewhat successful Toronto fashion week, taking us a little closer to where we hope Canadian fashion will be one day.

This 2009 DITA Collection pre-launched on October 17, 2008 at Gafas (561 Queen Street West), a fine eyewear boutique, in Toronto before it’s official launch in November, in Paris, France. 

“Dita is a celebrated eye wear design house based in Los Angeles inspired by vintage eye wear and  handmade in Japan using the highest quality materials. Dita’s coveted eye wear is quickly becoming the ‘must-have’ accessory for the fashion-elite and celebrities including Brad Pitt, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jessica Simpson, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Lenny Kravitz, Eva Mendez and Jamie Fox.”

 I came across this eye wear line when I was helping a friend with the PR for it’s pre-launch party at Gafas. Dita co-founders Jeff Solorio and John Juniper flew in from LA just to unveil the 2009 collection here in Toronto. In case you are wondering, the line DITA is named after everyone’s favourite burlesque dancer, Dita Von Teese. I caught up with John at the party and as it turns out, she happens to be one of his best friends… needless to say, they named the line after her.

Dita is exclusively sold at Gafas in Canada. 



pic

Thanks to Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen@ quarterlife’s comment on my previous post re internships, here is a website with postings of various internship opportunities with cool companies (some fashion related) mainly in New York, LA, and the States.

I wish I had stumbled upon this website before all my internship endeavours…