DC FASHION PANEL: DC Got F.A.T. on Saturday | Fashion Blogs :: DC Fashion Blog :: Shopping Blog :: Vintage Clothing

Monday, June 21, 2010

DC FASHION PANEL: DC Got F.A.T. on Saturday

On Saturday, I attended the Fashion and Technology Panel at Digital Capital Week. The panel was comprised of a variety of DC fashion industry folks representing various sectors of DC's vibrant and growing fashion world. Lucas Pierce of Durkl clothing spoke about how Durkl is using technology to source clothing for their brand. Their clothes are manufactured in Asia and they use Skype to keep in constant contact with the factory. Vidya Narine Skyped in from Paris to talk about her amazing website, Le New Black, the first online fashion trade show, and how her company seeks to enhance the processes of previewing and buying collections by bringing that information to you all in one place. From the first day of the season, buyers can make their selec­tions and prepare their buying sessions. You can order online from the comfort of your hotel or office before, during or after every Fashion Week. Fabulous!

Nichole Devolites, who is Marketing Director for Tysons Galleria, talked about how online buying has affected brick & mortar business like the luxury brands that have stores in Tysons. She talked about how the loyal customers of luxury brands prefer to "touch and feel" the merchandise. So the in-store experience is one of the top priorities for their luxury brands. She added that there is a clear market for online shoppers who are looking for bargains on luxury brands and Gilt, Rue La La, Ideeli, and others provide that avenue for deal hunters.

Fashion blogger, Betsy Lowther (Fashion is Spinach), talked about subjects that are near and dear to my heart. I was so surprised to hear from her that when she was an editor at Fashion Washington that she didn't get any better response from the marketing folks at stores than I did (as a fashion blogger). She said that she would walk into a store to get the scoop on what was new or coming in and they pretty much ignored her. She made the most brilliant statement that blogging and social media have helped to create "a new era of democracy in fashion.” What was once only for the media and buyers, is now distributed to the masses. That is clearly evident in the rise of designers providing online streaming for their runway shows.

Finally, Christine Brooks-Cropper, President of the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce, talked a bit about the DC fashion scene and how it is imperative for everyone in the DC fashion industry to get "political" and contact their representatives to demand dollars be put into DC's budget. This money can be used to support and help grow the industry. She has been working diligently to get a Fashion Commission started in DC similar to the Arts and Humanities Commission which gets 8 million dollars a year from D.C.

During the Q&A, there were several spirited discussions including the use of fashion bloggers as a resource for designer's marketing and PR efforts, as well as, how to easily reach out to the media since there isn't one particular resource that aggregates that information. But the most spirited came from @JessieX (Twitter handle) who made the most profound statement that DC's fashion industry wasn't making good use of social media and social media firms to help to organize and promote the industry. Her comments brought the room to a stand still. Loved it.

{images courtesy of Walter Grio Photography}

{images courtesy of Vithaya Photography}


Vyque said...

This was a great panel, there is so much more that could be done with DC Fashion, sometimes I wonder if we should just take over ;)

Nichole said...

Awesome, awesome write up! Thanks for being there and it was really great to meet you!

Trade Show Exhibits said...

Excellent post. Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write it! :)