Over the course of three years, I’ve noticed a trend that now is so strong. Many fashion labels are using London Fashion Week as an opportunity to self promote. They are not part of London Fashion Week, they are not even registered let alone endorsed by the British Fashion Council. But because of the power of Social Media and other media outlets brands, they are realising that an iconic city like London is a perfect platform to get more exposure during LFW. Why are brands jumping and self promoting during London Fashion Week? Why are they making out that their events are part of London Fashion Week? When in reality they’re not.
London Fashion Week
Fashion labels are there simply because during that week, there are many international press and visitors scouting for new brands. There are always fashion bloggers happy to go to an event to be seen as part of London Fashion Week. Most fashion bloggers have no influence at all and just love to go for a few drinks and grab a free goodie bag. By the way I’m not a stereo typical fashion blogger. I don’t give a toss about free drinks, funky DJ, let alone the goodie bag. It gets you nowhere trust me. Plus, I only promote brands I like and not what is in Vogue, let alone what trends are coming.
What I do find intriguing is brands, high street shops mainly, using London Fashion Week to lure in customers with a party and an exclusive discount during the London Fashion Week. Why you’re at it why don’t you tweet us your purchase? Smart, because all you’re doing is plugging their exclusive London Fashion Week promo product. Lots of promos are marketed exclusively for this event. Thanks to you and the hashtag #LFW. The hype of London Fashion Week seems to spread but is it also losing its exclusiveness? This over hyping has already lead to an early rise and now the decline of fashion bloggers.
The Cost Of A Catwalk
Take a reality pill here. As an up and coming fashion brand, who honestly in their right mind can afford to showcase their first collection at an official London Fashion Week catwalk? It’s fashionable to not talk about the cost because most of the time the budget is so out of control anyway. So unless you have the backing of someone who is willing to gamble on your first collection, I wouldn’t bother. There are other ways of being smarter with your cash and when it comes to self promoting your brand, just do it during LFW.
It’s not about the cash anyway. Alexander Fury, fashion editor of The Independent says: “there’s the pull of knowing you’re seeing it first, guaranteed, that split second before everyone else, that counts in fashion.” But as a small brand do you honestly think you’re going to have the influential press knocking at your door during London Fashion Week wanting to come and see your collection? Unless you’re a super celebrity or married or associated with a fashion designer, it will happen. The harsh reality is only your family, friends and more so than ever people with no Social Media Influence at all will attend. I call them dead press.
Luxury Brands Can Afford London Fashion Week
And for luxury brands the sky is the limit. The train Louis Vuitton built for its A/W12 show reputedly cost £5 million, and that’s before the clothes. Here a mix of celebrities (they get paid to watch), influential press and designs that will never be worn by the general public, create an illusion of exclusivity and success. All that the masses will buy is Louis Vuiton belts, wallets and sunglasses to feel part connected. The huge margins on sales at the lower end pay for the bi annual shows of extravaganza called fashion weeks.
The hype of London Fashion Week seems to spread but is it also losing its exclusiveness? That’s the power of Social Media and one that Fashion weeks around the globe need to really assess how to work with influential platforms. Looking good is not going to cut it anymore, not even as a fashion blogger. Ask yourself? Who are my Social Media Influences sitting on my very expensive runway.