PRESS DAYS? WHAT’S THAT?
In response to those that have asked, I thought I’d write a little blog post about the work events I attend, often referred to as ‘press days’.
We’re in ‘press day’ season at the moment (autumn/winter 18 to be precise, or AW18 as it’s often abbreviated) so a lot of my Instagram mumblings and Stories will be about all the new collections and product launches that I get to exclusively preview before they become available to buy in a few months time.
You may have seen on my Instagram Stories the Boden AW18 press day earlier on in the week. It’s one of my favourites simply because it’s always so beautifully curated.
Presentation is everything and as you can see, Boden have got it bang on! Their collections always scream quality and the edit of clothes on display leaves you wanting more.
Stock starts to drop in July, here’s a sneaky peek…
OK, back to press days, let me back track a bit first…
So an e-vite – and sometimes still, a posted hard copy – will be sent out notifying mainly fashion press (so journalists, stylists and freelancers working across print and digital titles) of a (usually) very swanky London location where the brand will be previewing their next season’s collection.
Notice that I typed ‘mainly‘ in italics?
The reason being that in today’s ever-changing landscape, social media networks and blogs are where brands are now finding a closer connection with the consumer. Therefore, over the years press days have seen an increasing number of bloggers and influencers also in attendance…
Now, here’s the meaty stuff, innit?
There is a bit of a ‘divide’ between bloggers and traditional press.
Some believe it’s the reason why a few brands prefer to have separate events for the two disciplines while the PR response would be that the lead times of a blogger and a monthly magazine cycle aren’t always in sync…
Anyways, all of this has been well documented already and if you want to know more, just google it ’cause my shit-stirring days are well and truly over!
You see, not only did I turn 40 last year, I also inadvertently unleashed my inner hippy and nowadays I find myself always trying to be a better me, to stop being so farking judgemental and to just get along and play nicely, innit!
I tell my kids to be kind, so come on! Plus, who has the energy to get into these beefs these days, right?
Alright, I know that I’ve said and do still say that as an established print journalist, I’ve now turned to the ‘digital darkside’ with the launch of this here blog – but honestly, it is only meant in jest.
Yes, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t harbour some strong thoughts at first about this new digital world.
Nowadays ‘anyone’ can become a fashion or beauty writer or stylist without the degree or training and years of experience.
Not to mention the hours spent on floors doing sample returns in the fashion cupboard or having to do a carnet for an overseas trip, where every single farking item from an earring to a pair of espadrilles (left and right foot separately) have to be individually numbered, described, priced and all listed for custom purposes.
And God forbid it gets CHECKED as it did once when I was EIGHT months pregnant with my first born and flew to South Africa to shoot for Mizz magazine. Myself and my assistant had to wait in this dodgy room with no air-con, in some kind of airplane hanger as officials threw out and spot-checked that everything correlated to the correct description!
I pack like a DEMON (most stylists do) so my OCD tendencies were in overdrive as shoes, necklaces etc were strewn all over the floor. If not that, it was going to induce an early labour!
And all this to showcase brands in fashion spreads and front covers to give them publicity, inform the reader and thus encourage the consumer to buy.
Nowadays, this influence is becoming more apparent online with blogs and social media, so we all now have to hustle in the same hood and I think I’m OK with that…
All industries are changing. They always will.
Everything is in a state of flux and surviving it, in my humble opinion, is all about your mind set. Some may see it as a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ while others will be more akin to wanting to embrace the change, learn and grow.
I prefer this latter outlook, plus I have to keep on reminding myself that all those years of experience as a fashion and beauty editor do count!
Of course, it’s all daunting and new! It’s bloody terrifying at times and for someone that hates change, holy sh*t, it’s been a journey!
Anyway, back to press days (which OK, we’ve established is sometimes a mix of press and bloggers, but I still can’t call it anything but a press day, ha!).
As a freelancer and blogger, I find myself straddling both sectors now but attending these events means that I can still feel a part of the industry I love, in spite of all the changes. Seeing what’s new is always a buzz.
Plus it’s a chance to network with the new kids on the block. (I had a MASSIVE thing for NKOTB when I was a teen. Am having mild heart palpitations at the very thought of Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight. What is wrong with me?!)
And finally, you can’t beat catching up with the ol’ crew. Without sounding like a dinosaur, I’m talking about the stylists who know what it’s like to wait a whole TWO MINUTES for a polaroid on set before shooting on film. You know who you are, mwah!
We all have the same fears and struggles, our lives are so different from when we first started out yet it’s comforting to know we’re all still somewhere, sailing in our own stylish ships.
Whether it’s on a magazine, freelancing, blogging, influencing; we’re all just finding ways to wang on about the trends we love, watching the cycle go full circle as fashion reinvents the wheel once more, wincing at headers like “Nautical & Nice” and “Moody Blooms” whilst the debate continues for those who want to curate a more timeless wardrobe and those who fall head-first into the fickle abyss of fast fashion…
It’s what we do, it’s what we love and we want you to love it and get pleasure from it, too.
That’s what press days are all about.
And there’s always enough canapés to go round, innit!
Thank you for reading.
I’d love to know what you think about the fashion industry?
What do you think of this digital landscape?
Do you still read magazines for trends?
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Just scroll down and pop your comment below.