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Fashion Bloggers Denied Press Passes at SF Fashion Week

The following is a repost (with permission!) of The Coveted's response to being denied a press badge at SF Fashion Week. Check out this prior post which includes the comment she received from the Donna Berry, PR Director for SF Fashion Week, as well as her original post.
coveted.jpg

Special note to PR Couture Readers:
"When I first started The Coveted, I did so for my own personal enjoyment, since then it's become a passion, and I can't imagine life without it. The events surrounding SF Fashion Week have caused me to ask myself questions as to the importance blogging, and what is my responsibility as a blogger to my audience.

I do believe that it is my responsibility to post about SF Fashion Week's decision not to grant press passes to bloggers, regardless of the blogs' influence in the fashion world. I am in no way saying that my blog should be granted a press pass on the basis that I asked for it. All I am doing is asking at what point does one become an accredited member of the press?"

The Coveted response to SF Fashion Week

First of all, I want to say thank you for all of your support and intelligent, well-pointed comments. A special thanks to Bit and Bobbins (for taking a break from her blogging vacation) and Manolo's Shoe Blog for posting about SF Fashion Week's decision not to include Bloggers as 'accredited members of the journalism community.'

Second, I want to be very clear, that I have not at any point in time, ever expected to be granted a press pass from SF Fashion week. I understand they are a business, and they send all their press passes to the Clark Kent, Murphy Brown and Huckleberry Hound for all I care. I am merely questioning the decision deny ALL bloggers free press passes.

It's very interesting to open a discussion about the rapidly changing state of the media. It's very easy to accept the manner of which information is disseminated, and which we absorb it.

The Coveted was initially started as (and still is) a personal project to find my passion. At the time, I was not aware that I was 'into fashion' nor did I even imagine that anyone outside my immediate circle of friends would want to hear my thoughts about the subject. I found a great deal of joy creating posts, and a love of the community of bloggers. It was so refreshing to see that there were a group of people who love fashion, who love to talk about fashion and are kind, friendly, and supportive. It's a far cry from the world portrayed in 'The Devil Wears Prada' or 'Ugly Betty'.

Since receiving the denial email from SF Fashion Week, I have been posed with a number of questions. First and foremost, one that's been in the back of my mind for some months... Is this blog a 'legitimate' publication? Perhaps when emerging designer, Boaz approached me to write about his clothing line (which I love) or when the de Young Museum invited me to the press preview for the Nan Kempner: American Chic show (which I'm still tickled pink about), I realized that The Coveted is more than just my own general musings to myself, another one of my random hobbies.

Can't just 'anyone' can start a blog?
As if that is some kind of point. It's not. Anyone CAN start a blog, anyone can start any publication they want, whether it be printed, electronic, whatever, but bloggers are subject to the same laws as traditional journalists when it comes to plagiarism, libel, and copyright infringement, national security, etc... Also, anyone can write a blog, not everyone can write a blog that others enjoy reading.

At which point can one define themselves to be accredited members of the press?
Two years ago The White House approved the first press pass for a blogger:

Increasingly, bloggers are penetrating the preserves of the mainstream news media. They have secured seats on campaign planes, at political conventions and in presidential debates, and have become a driving force in news events themselves.

(quote taken from the New York Times)

How influential are blogs in the fashion world anyway? This is a complicated question... so for now I am going to stick to the facts: for New York Fashion Week bloggers are granted press passes. Somehow a group of 40 bloggers managed to be selected by someone at IMG taking the time to find out which blogs produced intelligent content that reached a valuable audience. I am sure the criteria will be refined over the years, but it's nice to know that someone is paying attention.

As far as economic importance, The Wall Street Journal says:

Fashion blogging's coming of age is happening as U.S. online advertising revenue, a small percentage of which goes to blogs, topped $10 billion last year, and is expected to grow 22% annually, to reach $27.3 billion in 2010, according to Kelsey Group, a consulting firm.

So, what do I think about SF Fashion Week declining my application?
Honestly, I figured, San Francisco Fashion Week is has only been around since 2004 (it's younger than some blogs!), and they probably would want all the press coverage they could get. The question of the validity of blogs as a journalistic resource didn't even cross my mind.

I don't take this personally. I believe the decision to grant free press passes to bloggers is not only short-sighted, but it reflects SFFW's inattention to current events in the fashion industry. I understand that The Coveted is new, and I do not expect anything from anyone, and even when it gets old, I still won't expect anything from anyone. I am just grateful to have the time to do this and even more so I am grateful that there is an audience that takes delight in this little blog. :)

Will I be attending SF Fashion week?
The answer to that is simply this. No.
It is not because I feel slighted, and do not want to attend on principle, it is simply because I don't make any money from The Coveted. I barely have enough money for shoes, and I just can't afford to shell out the cash for tickets.

"I respect and support your right to blog about fashion."
~Donna Berry, PR Director SF Fashion Week

Thank you Ms. Berry, that's very kind of you.
(the highlight is mine)

That's exactly what I intend to do. So... I gotta take my shower, and get out and find tidbits to deliver to you this week! Have a lovely day!

Kind, kind regards,
Jennine

3 Comments

  • Posted July 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Yes, It does raise one to think about the importance of blogging and which way it is heading. You would think a popular blog would hold the weight of a magazine but hey, people are still adapting to this new world. Fashion blogging is a huge thing, eventually people will view this form of fashion content as it is.

  • Posted July 30, 2007 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    It’s a really interesting debate. I actually AM an accredited member of the press, in that I’m a journalist by trade and carry a press card, but I now make a living out of blogging about fashion. I wonder where people like me would stand in situations like this? What if the blog is written by a journalist, or published by a media organisation which also owns newspapers and magazines etc? Ultimately I think it should come down to how influential the blog is within its niche, and I think it’s shortsighted of the Fashion Week organisers to ignore bloggers.

    Interestingly enough, I also blog about beauty, and find the beauty industry to be far more open to bloggers. If only the fashion world was the same!

  • Posted July 30, 2007 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    It’s a really interesting debate. I actually AM an accredited member of the press, in that I’m a journalist by trade and carry a press card, but I now make a living out of blogging about fashion. I wonder where people like me would stand in situations like this? What if the blog is written by a journalist, or published by a media organisation which also owns newspapers and magazines etc? Ultimately I think it should come down to how influential the blog is within its niche, and I think it’s shortsighted of the Fashion Week organisers to ignore bloggers.

    Interestingly enough, I also blog about beauty, and find the beauty industry to be far more open to bloggers. If only the fashion world was the same!

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping rad companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me an electronic communiqué.