Thursday, 22 October 2009

Meet the Media: 'A Conde Nast Special'

Thursday 22nd October 2009
Meet the Media: Online Fashion. 'A Conde Nast Special'

Malmaison restaurant welcomed the online editors from a some of Conde Nast's powerhouse publications. Organised by the Manchester Fashion Network(, the Q&A was aimed at aspiring fashion businessmen and women, and those curious about how the industry was developing alongside technology. The panel included Natasha Aitken, editor of, Dolly Jones, editor of and Jamie Millar, fashion & lifestyle editor of GQ.COM who were invited to discuss their online publications.

The mood was set when the room of meticulously styled fashion zealots were informed that the use of mobiles was permitted as long as they were used to inform other fashionistas about the event. The air of excitement surrounding the panel was demonstrated by the series of questions from the audience. We wanted to know how the panel seated in front of us had gained their positions and ultimately how we could do it (!) The focus, however was put on the development of fashion media online and trends for the future. Dolly Jones, who completed her History of Art undergrad at Manchester University explained that some of the most famous fashion houses such as Dolce and Gabbana had gone out of their way to avoid what they viewed as the over-exposed online retail trend, but that haute couture could now be accessed online. Did this suggest the of fashion normally reserved for the rich and famous was becoming highstreet? Probably not, but it's certainly interesting to consider if tangible magazines or pages and ink will exist in 20, if not 10 years time. Jones explained that the aura of magazines such as Vogue had lead copies of the publication to become collectors' pieces stacked on shelves of fashion lovers. And having measured my ''maturity'' by the magazines I was reading through my teens, I couldn't agree more. As a knowing 14 year old, J17 gave me the confidence of a girl three years older because it was the magazine for that age and I still have the copies now.

Some of the best insider knowledge we gained by the end of the evening was how to grab the attention of fashion journalists who are bombarded by a daily influx of emails, press releases and samples: by sending a cake with your product. Who knew? The humour and informal vibe of the meeting certainly dispelled what I'd wrongly assumed would be a controlled and formulated situation. If you were at the event to promote a burgeoning fashion brand or simply intrigued by the panel, the insight provided and effort given by the panel to answer questions was inspiring.

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