The British Fashion Council has been doing innovative things for Fashion Week for the past few years, including installing those Vodafone phone chargers on the front row, live streaming most of the shows and initiating numerous consumer-focussed Fashion Week projects (have you seen the Oxford Street flags?).
I’m happy to be part of the latest one, a relaunch of the BFC blog portal and a brand new bloggers panel. The BFC has recognised a need for this as the number of blogger registrations for LFW increase season on season. (Last season there were 2000 blogger applications for Fashion Week accreditation.) Let’s not be coy, the BFC has had its ups and downs with bloggers since it first started inviting us to Fashion Week. (Full disclosure: I have always applied to LFW as a freelancer, since I have been attending since before blogging was a twinkle in the World Wide Web’s eye.)
Its ‘blogger bar’ was well intentioned, but was quickly over-run by visitors checking their Facebook messages. Then there was the press office debacle in which bloggers were shooed out lest they steal all the pastries. Plus we’ve all had the experience of being sent a standing ticket (along with 200 other bloggers) that winds around the block resulting in a crap view of the runway or worse, a “sorry we’re full to capacity”. All this unrest has meant many of the serious bloggers have given up on Fashion Week as they felt they weren’t welcome. So the aim of the panel is to help the BFC compile an official blogger accreditation list, while providing guidance on how non-accredited bloggers can still be part of LFW.
It’s all in the very early stages but on the blog portal we’re aiming for daily highlights videos, access to images, plus Fashion Scout and London Fashion Weekend info. For accredited bloggers, we’re discussing better work spaces, storage facilities, increased Wifi bandwidth and possibly an off-site press lounge. As I said, it will take a while but it’s a start. Clearly the BFC recognises the value that bloggers bring in communicating our content to global audiences so this is a great opportunity to work together to further that cause.
Any feedback/questions, do comment below!