Fashionable Fingers Are Wooed By BlackBerry

Thanks to their sleek design, superior cameras and express connection to those all important social networking sites and fashion blogs – the BlackBerry has become an indispensable tool for the novice or seasoned fashionista.

Despite the novelty of sending pictures of your new lust-have never losing its appeal, serious bloggers and industry insiders are now utilising the latest BlackBerry technology to stay on trend. From revealing what editors think of this season’s collection, installing apps that track down designer handbags, to shooting your own creations – fashions focus may be what’s on the outside, but they like their phones smart on the inside it seems.

Most of us take for granted that our mobiles now come with video recordings and powerful cameras as standard. The new BlackBerry Torch advances these standard accessories meaning its 5 mega pixel camera will capture a crystal clear photo of your latest vintage treasure, picking out minute detail and realistic tones that can be loaded straight onto your blog or Twitter page. The busy stylist can also be inspired by watching the latest collections using the phone’s video player.

The introduction of phone apps is nothing new, and fashion apps are largely available on most smartphones. In keeping with their tradition of initiating rather than following trends, BlackBerry has run the inspirational London Fashion Week app for the past three seasons. The app feeds information to all the journalists on show times, details of individual show content plus any delays or changes. Thankfully it’s not reserved for the industry professionals – anyone can use the app to have an insider’s view at what’s going on with regular news updates and highlights throughout the shows.

BlackBerry fashion apps have become essential tools of the trade for the industry big wigs and dedicated followers. If your day feels incomplete without the latest words of wisdom from Tavi, then Fashion News Service offers up to the minute news from 360fashion.net, alternatively Trendtracker previews the latest runway looks, fashion news, trend ideas and coverage of the shows.

For the past two seasons BlackBerry has also worked with House of Holland on an app that lets you buy catwalk creations as they come off the runway, months ahead of the retail launch.

Get yourself logged into Twitter via your Curve and start following the fashion pack. Many fashion editors were novice Tweeters until just two seasons ago. Now they’re not just tweeting but posting pictures live from the catwalks. Make sure you follow Karl, Carineand Anna from your phone to discover their favourites from Paris or Milan, and make the bus journey to work slightly more glamorous.

Not content with reading what others have to say about the latest must-have? Make your mark with a blog. WordPress – a tasty piece of software that enables you to create and design your own blog – has developed an app that allows you to update from your handset. Just sat through a fabulous fashion show and want the world to know about it? Take pictures with your phone, add some blurb and upload the lot via the app in a flash.

Whichever way you stay connected to the fast paced world of fashion, it seems that BlackBerry have all the latest features for the glitterati.

7 Reasons Fashion Brands Should Be Nice to Bloggers

In the fashion world bloggers are rising to prominence as a force to be reckoned with. For some reason many new and established fashion brands still seem to treat them as second class citizens. We think this is a mistake, and here are a few reasons why we think so.

1. 40% of the press at New York Fashion Week are bloggers.

According to Reuters the presence of online media at fashion week has grown more than 20% over the last six months. This means that of the 3, 600 members of press present, nearly 40% are fashion bloggers.

2. Major fashion brands are inviting them to shows.

Designers like Carl Lagerfeld and John Galliano are inviting bloggers to their shows. In some cases they are even paying all costs to fly the bloggers to the show. If top end designers are doing this, don’t you think it’s time you start being nice to your local fashion blogger?

3. In the USA fashion bloggers are becoming very popular.

Blogs like Style Bubble are getting up to 25 000 hits a day. While some bloggers have tens of thousands of twitter followers. If this isn’t enough to make you sit up and notice then I don’t know what is.

4. Bloggers are now judges for CFDA

For the first time ever bloggers have been invited to be judges for the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This is a landmark event for the fashion blogging industry. It is an indicator of the power and influence that is moving into the hands of fashion bloggers.

5. Traditional fashion editors are losing control.

Just like the film and music industry is struggling to come to grips with the fact that the internet has made them largely irrelevant; the fashion editorial industry is losing much of it’s power. In the good (or bad depending on your point of view) old days fashion editors could control what and who the public sees. With the advent of the internet and growth of fashion blogs this power is now gone.

6. Enthusiasm = Influence

Everybody knows that the thing that sells clothes is enthusiasm and passion; not knowledge. The average person out there doesn’t care about technical details and high-brow descriptions of the “silhouette” and “architectural lines” of a garment. On the other hand, having somebody who clearly loves clothes recommend an item they love carries much more weight. Bloggers mostly do this because they love clothes and fashion, yes some of them make money from their blogs, but they only make money because they are passionate about what they do.

7. The rest of the world lags behind the USA

If you are based outside the USE this might be the most important reason to start building relationships with local bloggers. The developing world runs 3-4 years behind the states when it comes to the adoption of internet trends. This means that before long all the major local brands will be beating a path to the door of your favorite blogger. Shouldn’t you be there first?

How To Do Your Own Fashion PR

Having a fashion publicist is definitely worth the cost, but if you’re an emerging fashion designer, that may not be a business expense you can afford just yet. If you’re working with a zero budget for your PR campaign, don’t sweat. (Well, try not to.) Here are a few ways to get around that dilemma and pitch your fashion label on your own:

1. Do research on how to pitch effectively.

One of the biggest gripes that magazine editors have are weak pitches! If you’re going to go head-on with an editor, especially in fashion, have your pitch down to perfection as a PR professional would. Research what to say and what not to say. Know whom you are contacting by first name, last name, and title. Think of the “elevator pitch”. Can you introduce yourself and describe your company within 15 seconds? That’s how direct your pitch should be. List the basic who, what, where, why, when, and how in an easy, conversational tone, and conclude with an open-ended question about following up with you to send more information about your label.

2. Getting a follow-up and properly responding.

If you’re lucky, a fashion editor will get back to you in regards to featuring your collection in an upcoming issue. Be prepared for any requests that may be asked, i.e. designer bio, line sheets, lending agreements, or lookbook images. At this point, your lookbook or press kit should already be completed for your current collection, and make sure that it’s updated for every new season. Be swift in your responses to editors when they ask for things because they can easily move on to the next designer if you’re not keeping up with them. Remember, they have frantic deadlines and you’re considered to be on their time!

3. Sending your press release to the media.

A well-prepared press release can definitely alert the media of your new collection. Spend some time on PR distribution websites and study how the best ones are written. Follow the standard model of a press release and formulate a few paragraphs about the new release of your collection and about you as the designer. Set up a free account with press release distribution sites and schedule your releases to be sent out to the local media. You can also e-mail and fax your press release directly to news stations and newspapers (they’re always looking for local stories to cover). Who knows – what if you’re called in to be featured in a morning news segment? That’s definitely a good look for your press portfolio.

4. Invite the media to your launch party.

If you plan on celebrating the launch of your new collection, you’re responsible for securing the venue, setting up the event, and sending out media invites. It’s best to send formal invites to editors through the mail at least 3-4 weeks in advance so that gives them the opportunity to pencil you in their schedule. Fashion bloggers are also great to invite, of course. Event photos, blog write-ups, and Twitter mentions from different bloggers means more publicity for your fashion line, which you need in order to attract more customers. Make sure to save your press clips and send thank-yous to anyone doing coverage of your event.

5. Make friends with fashion stylists.

Another way to possibly have your fashion line featured in a magazine is to have a stylist hook-up. They’re always pulling clothes for photo shoots and looking for hot, new designers to work with. Get acquainted with some fashion stylists in your area by using social media and going to different fashion events in your city. It’s also good to know a lot of photographers, models, and makeup artists who can probably help get your collection used in an editorial photo shoot.

There’s so much work that goes into handling the PR side of a fashion label that more than likely should be handled by a pro. Once your label starts becoming increasingly profitable, hiring a good PR team to help you market your brand would be the best way to go. While it’s in your hands for now, do tons of research on the job of a fashion publicist and implement some of those ideas into your own marketing campaign.