Many fashion bloggers operate as islands. Sure, we check in with one another through Twitter, Skype and blog comments, but much of the actual business of blogging takes place on our lunch hour or burning the midnight oil in our Betsey Johnson pajamas, listening to Otis Redding or one of Gala Darling's Love and Sequins podcasts, occasionally wondering what it's all for (or maybe that it just me!). There is no busy newsroom to keep us on task, no impromptu coffee breaks to dish over the latest episode of Gossip Girl, and depending on where you are stationed, few people to exclaim, with just the right amount of enthusiasm, about your latest stroke of brilliance, or brand new patent leather booties.
Nadia/The Fashion VisionBoard Girl; Jennine/The Coveted/IFB
Jeannine Tamm deserves petticoat twirls and accolades for her work conceiving of and creating the Independent Fashion Bloggers online community. A mostly one-woman show, Jeannine has created a place where bloggers can share information through forums and reap the benefits of posts like "What do companies look for in a blog," and "Defining & Publicizing Your Blog’s Advertising Policy." In addition to providing useful content, Jeannine also created Little Birdie, a HARO-style service designed to connect fashion PR agencies with bloggers.
Held at Broadway East, Photo by Anthony Tilghman
The IFB Dress Up Soiree, held during fashion week this past Monday, was one of the most remarkable (and stylish) events I have attended in recent memory. Not only because of the killer killer line-up of panel speakers including Susie Lau of Style Bubble and Tricia Royal of Wardrobe Remix/Bits n Bobbins, but because how strongly the fashion blogger community came out in support of each other, and the palpable energy from our collective enthusiasm at being all congregated in one single place, dishing and gabbing with each other In Person!
Jordana/Clutch 22; Crosby/PR Couture; Jordanna/Touch of Pink PR
After helping Jennine and Jordana get organized for the event, bringing out my rusty (though brilliant) gift bags stuffing skills, it was amazing to arrive at the event, in my definitively "non-Crosby" but gorgeous Gilles Montezin gown (more about that later) and see a line wrapping all around the block. I arrived a bit late (had what they called a New York moment) and passed through people waiting on the stairs, assembled downstairs from the panel, and walked in to hear Susie Bubble answering the "blogging is so new, what do you think is next? question with a bemused "Really? I sort of think [fashion blogging] has piqued." These are the conversations I want to be having! Other Evolving Influence Panelists included Wendy Brandes from Wendy Brandes Jewelery, Jessica Schroeder from What I Wore, Geri Hirsch from Because I’m Addicted, Helen Zhu from Chictopia, Erika Miller SEO Manager of Elle.com, Julia Kung of Moxsie.com and Debbie Anderson of Microsoft.
Debbie/Microsoft; Tricia/Wardrobe Remix; Erika/Elle.com Photo by Anthony Tilghman
I spoke on the second panel, sharing some tips on developing strong, long-term relationships with PR agencies and did a quick video answering a similar question that will be online soon. Jordana Bruner of Clutch-22 did an amazing job of moderating the panels and corralling a restless and loud crowd tucked into every nook and cranny of the venue (next time we go for a bigger space yeah?!) straining to hear through a few microphone difficulties!
Sponsored by Microsoft Windows Phone (who also sponsored Jennine, Geri and me to attend fashion week), and Moxsie, a great new independent designer boutique, the event couldn't have been more of a success. Special shouts to those I was able to gab with a bit during the evening including Jordana Stephen of Tough of Pink PR, Amy and Adam of Every Little Counts, 39th and Broadway, Trish and Mo of Smashing Darling, fashion photographer and marketer Anthony Tilghman, Nadia of The Fashion Visionboard Girl, Alix Rose, Fasshonaburu, Julia of Fashion Pulse Daily, Anna of Shoe Smitten, Malorie Kaye of Cameo PR and Zephyr of College Fashion.
All in all, the event was a major testament to the growing fashion blogging community and the interest and need for more of these conversations to be happening away from the laptop! About 1,000 thanks to Jennine and Jordana for putting on such a memorable show and letting me be a part of it.