Fashion and the Internet have been on a collision course since the medium's inception. But it wasn't until late last year that the two have really found their groove. For proof, you need only look at the sheer volume of new fashion sites that have launched since the third fiscal quarter of 2010. Even Anna Wintour, it seems, lifted her ban on the word "blog" in the hallowed pages of Vogue.
So it only makes sense that this year, for the first time, MAGIC, the annual preeminent fashion trade show in Las Vegas, is opening it's doors to 30 of the Internet's top bloggers to cover the event. The notion being: harness the youth's taste and reach and the event markets itself.
We're trying to change the way the Internet moves. - Macala Wright, EIC FashionablyMarketingMe.com
"Two years ago, I said that one day I would be doing what I'm doing now with WWDMagic. Having this idea come to fruition is both humbling and overwhelming at the same time," said Macala Wright, Editor-in-Chief of FashionablyMarketingMe.com, who partnered with WWDMagic, Teen Vogue and the Internet's fashion blogger elite for the 3 day event that kicks off today.
Her idea was to create a place – an actual physical place on the show floor – for bloggers to meet, share ideas, write, and create content based on what they see and experience at this massive international gathering of buyers and sellers of men's, women’s and children’s apparel, footwear, and accessories. (MAGIC's brass aptly refer to the show as an "incubator of fashion.")
“If you want to know what young women want, and how it will drive their fashion choices for next season, come and listen,” says Chris DeMoulin, MAGIC International President and Executive Vice President of Advanstar’s Fashion Group.
This "place" is called Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge and in many ways it's consumer fashion's ground zero. Conceptually speaking, what you'll be wearing this year will likely pass through this hip, make-shift town-within-a-town.
"Just like with designers in the magazines, the editors always pick a combination of up-and-coming and established ones, and that's what we did with the bloggers," says Sabine Feldmann, Vice President and Publisher of Teen Vogue on the blogger selection process. "You always want to bring in fresh new talent, but you also have to an eye towards the established stylists and designers and talent. And I think the blogosphere is much the same way."
Among the notable things the bloggers will be doing are "style-offs". Think of these as Iron Chef or Top Chef competitions but instead of food, blogger stylists will be creating outfits with a given set of clothing items and apparel.
Macala Wright "We did this for many reasons, but personally for me," says Wright, "you see a lot of the same people in the media all the time. And there are a lot of brilliant voices online that are waiting to be heard. So my hopes are to connect those people, get them working together and meeting each other, and who knows, maybe we'll make the next wave of online influencers that change the way we do things online."
The content from the blogger lounge will be aggregated in real-time and published on big screens at the show, but you can follow along online at www.WWDMagic.tumblr.com.
Photos: Getty Images