MBFWA is insane! It’s busy but it’s a lot of fun. It’s a really great place to see trends before they hit the streets and it’s really good to see what brands are doing because you get invited to see their new collections.
For Content Creators, it’s a real business opportunity and great for networking. People follow us because we’re ahead of the trends so we’ve got to stay on top of the latest industry insights. It’s not just outfit changes twice a day, paparazzi and parties, you have to be on your A game. We’re very much there in the style lounge doing whatever we can to get more interesting content for our readers.
Is MBFWA an event you look forward to each year?
I look forward to it every year, I really really do. It’s a great week, very important in my calendar. My favourite thing about Fashion Week is covering the show and networking with people. It’s not often that everyone is all in the same spot so it’s great to catch up with friends in the fashion community. It’s also a really fabulous opportunity to create some interesting content for the blog. As I’m growing and my audience is growing, I’ve now found that it’s 50/50 men and women. With my audience in my mind, I’m trying to push more women’s fashion onto the blog too and going down more of a photography route for my audience. You have to respond to your audience. Bloggers aren’t successful if you don’t respect your audience.
Blogs are a business now, blogs in general can’t just be fashion, have to be a bit of everything but they have to be original. That’s why the Boy in the Black Bow Tie is becoming a site for everyone. We want to be a fashion and lifestyle destination with a focus on quality not quantity.
How do you prepare for fashion week in the week/s leading up to it?
Absolutely nothing – I have a whole team that does it for me! Haha I wish. There’s a real build up to fashion week and a lot of preparation work that goes on beforehand. You have to be on the ball. About two weeks before I sit down and plan out my content. The schedule for Fashion Week only comes out the week before and is usually late so some of the planning is quite last minute. I figure out which shows I really want to attend and organise a content schedule.
I organised my sponsorships beforehand to do a collaboration with a boutique hotel while covering fashion week. I’m also being dressed by a brand – you’ll find out who soon – it’s a cool boutique luxury brand that I really like.
The week before I spend the first few days emailing PR. I go to the list, check out the shows and figure out who the PR companies covering the shows are and try to get a seat at the show this way.
The thing about fashion week that you might not know if it’s your first time attending, if you get accepted for a show then fantastic, just because you’re on the list it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a seat.
Remember that you’re there for content creation first and foremost so rather than being disappointed if you don’t get a seat you can always email the PR company afterwards and ask if you can have some photos to feature on your blog.
What are your fashion week essentials? What can’t you live without at fashion week?
I tried to sneak a bottle of red wine in my bag once and it didn’t work out well. Just kidding! Coffee is definitely essential. I can’t live without coffee. A bottle of water to keep hydrated. One Fashion Week I made the mistake of not bringing a backup battery for my Canon camera. It was a nightmare! So now I always carry a spare fully charged battery with me. Another time I was at a show and midway through editing a post my phone died. I was running around frantically trying to find somewhere to charge it. You want to cry on the inside. A portable phone charger is definitely a must!
What are your top tips for people attending the event for the first time?
Have fun but while you’re having fun make sure you’re creating great content for your followers. Don’t just attend to be seen, understand that you’re there to cover the shows. Plan out your content. I’m an ex-scout boy so my motto is be prepared.
Write up a schedule and plan ahead for what you want to attend and how you want to promote it. For example you’ll want to figure out whether you going to do a full run of a show or a daily cap of your favourite shows.
Don’t push to get a seat at the shows. The amount of times I have stood in line. Even if you just get standing room, just stand. Being front row is not everything. Know that you can get good content elsewhere. And there’s always next year. Even if you’re front row sometimes you don’t even get the best shot.
Be prepared and hydrated and really think about your content. In a way you are competing with other bloggers so make sure your content is really well thought out. It’s takes a bit of practice.
There are seminars, if you can go, go to the seminars. One on trends, one on online marketing great for influencers – audience and marketing. Help educate the community.
How important is it to have a perfectly planned outfit for the day? and what are your top tips on making sure you look your best for the day?
If you’re a fashion blogger, a perfect style outfit is obvious. Plan your outfits out for everyday and if you’re being sponsored by a brand to wear an outfit for fashion week make sure you incorporate this. You’ll meet industry people there, it’s a networking event so you’ve got to look your best. You never know what opportunities are there.
It took me about two fashion weeks to completely figure it out and feel comfortable. Be yourself. Brands invite bloggers to the show for being yourself. They wouldn’t invite you if they didn’t like your style.
I was trying to be a bit of a peacock initially. Don’t be a peacock unless you’re known for being a peacock. Dress like you do on your blog. No outlandish outfits.Street style photographers can spot a desperate street style from a mile away. You want to make sure you’re representing yourself in the best possible way.
What kind of networking happens across the event?
Events, parties, you meet people. We all have resting bitch faces okay. Don’t be afraid to go up to someone, if you see a blogger you like, approach them. And have your business cards ready.
What was the most interesting/ exciting thing that you discovered seeing the event backstage last year?
I discovered that Influencers are becoming smarter in the content they are creating. One girl last year had a film crew with her! I enjoyed seeing and being a part of the way Influencers are growing.
How might the introduction of Instagram stories and Instagram live shake up the content mix this year?
Instagram stories is going to be new this year and very useful if you’re a bit of a control freak about what goes up on your feed. The beauty of Instagram now is that while the page is clean and carefully curated, Instagram stories is great for behind the scenes. Instagram stories and Snapchat are perfect for spontaneity. IG stories is great for style bloggers to introduce yourself to your fan base in a really personal way. It’s a great way to do content. You can be a complete moron and it shows your personality.
Any exciting plans for this years event?
Expect a more broader blog from The Boy in the Black Bow Tie, I’ll be getting behind the camera creating more styling editorial for men and women. Expect more interactive content and more personal entries like the Pasi diaries. I know my audience want relatable, funny, more focused quality content.
When you first start a blog it’s all very personal and it becomes a business you develop it into a different outlet. If you want to grow in this industry you have to listen to your audience and be authentic.
Any last pearls of wisdom?
If you are a blogger, you’ve got to focus on your quality of content. Brands are caring less about following. Your quality is the most important. Make sure the content means something.
The internet is so saturated and you are competing with other bloggers and magazines. Ensure the content is authentic, is you, has a message and means something. You’ve got to make sure you’re the best you can be.
Audiences like authenticity, they like bluntness. Your blog doesn’t have to be all about love, sunshine and rainbows all of the time. Influencers are loved for being real and showing the tough times too.
Be original, fun and creative and push the boundaries.