This past Thursday Jennine Jacobs and Independent Fashion Bloggers held the IFB Evolving Influence Conference which marked the first ever blogger conference hosted by a major fashion week. The event was held at MAC & Milk studios on the edge of the super trendy Meatpacking district and was an amazing day from start to finish. Just to put things in perspective, this conference sold out before it was even February! That’s insane. IFB is growing at an exponential rate and it’s so exciting to see the blogosphere explode. Jennine called in some of the best of the best to share their knowledge with us. What a great way to kick off Fashion Week!
The venue was lively and fun and we were treated to some special perks for attending. Aside from the goodie bag that was packed with some makeup, dark chocolate, a bracelet and MAC & Milk t-shirt there were other fun things to do around the conference during our breaks. We were able to get fitted for our very own pair of Levi’s Curve ID jeans (I’ll post about this soon), get photographed at the Shopbop booth for a contest, and indulge in a sno cone near the promotion area for Aldo’s spring line.
Topshop cropped sweater, Free People slip with F21 skirt under, Aldo Basinki platforms, Marc by Marc Jacobs watch
The conference was packed with informative panels that were aimed at educating attendees on some of the uncharted territory and gray areas of blogging that have already been encountered by some of the more established bloggers and industry members. It was full of fabulous advice on “who owns your blog content”, “the business of blogging”, “working with brands gracefully”, and “rise of the professional blogger”. Personally my favorite panel was the “Business of Blogging”. I felt that of all of the panels this one was extremely rich in content and the panelists really fed off of each others comments and helped facilitate a really great discussion among themselves. My top takeaways from the day were…
1) Content is everything (as Rachel Zoe would say). It was great to hear this because they emphasized how it’s not about the numbers of readers you have, or the number of posts you make in a week. Those are important to an extent, but great content has taken some of these bloggers from regular to stellar.
2) Your blog is your brand. Protect it!
3) Stay true to yourself always. Your readers love reading what you write about, so don’t let other peoples’ success and what they do influence what you write about and what you wear. Figure out what your blog is about and own it.
- Karla Deras // Karla’s Closet
- Chiara Ferragni // Blonde Salad
- Keiko Lynn // Keiko Lynn
- Geri Hirsch // Because I’m Addicted
- Lindsey Calla // Saucy Glossie
- Kristin Knox // The Clothes Whisperer
- Yvan Rodic // Facehunter
- Rebecca Stice // Clothes Horse
- Craig Arend // Altamira: Models Off Duty
- Leandra Medine // The Man Repeller
While we had a plethora of panelists (like that play on words? yea…) the most interesting part of the day for me was meeting them in person and hearing what came out of their mouth literally and not on the computer. As bloggers we are what we write and project to world, but what about what you say in real life? Is it the same? Are you different or do I feel like when I’m talking to you it’s as if I’m reading your blog?
I’ll be honest – there were a few panelists who have blogs that I don’t like or read… and that’s ok. Not everyone’s blog is for everyone – and that’s how it should be because we are a world full of crazily different people and I would hope that we all don’t have the exact same taste and preference or else I would feel like Reese Witherspoon in Pleasantville (at the beginning at least). I will say that after meeting some of these people in person I was totally sold on their blog and their personality. Karla Deras from Karla’s Closet? Super humble and sweet. Chiara Ferragni of the Blonde Salad? Adorable and the most endearing Italian I’ve ever met. It was fantastic to get their feedback and hear a little of their own experiences. I appreciated that they were willing to share their successes and failures so that others could learn from their mistakes.
I also heard about several new sites that are instant adds to my “must follow” list. Here are some of my favorite new sites of panelists. Some of these you may have heard of and others you may have not. If you haven’t hear of them yet, definitely check these out…
- Eddie Newton of Mr. Newton | Street style full of gorgeous photography
- Leandra Medine of Man Repeller | Bow ties and harem pants galore
- Geri Hirsch of Because I’m Addicted | fashion, recipes, DIY, etc. – what Geri sees and likes
- Tony Wang of Post Fashionism | experience fashion and the world through Tony’s eyes
- Kristina Medhus of Pretty Shiny Sparkly | all things pretty, shiny.. and sparkly :)
If you’re interested in the Livestream of the conference check it out here!
Carolina Engman of Fashion Squad
Note: I have confirmation that the Celine luggage tote is in fact kind of heavy … sigh. The rumors are true! Oh well sometimes you just suffer for fashion right? Maybe I’ll go for the mini one…
Aren’t Carolina’s rings fabulous? The gold one is H&M… totally looked like Pamela Love which she said she gets a lot.
Darling Emily and her mom.. love that E necklace!
I also had the extreme pleasure of meeting Kristy Elena, Sunglass Hut’s Full Time Fabulous blogger! Remember I was a semi-finalist in the contest? Well, Kristy took home the grand prize and is now living in New York City blogging full time for Sunglass Hut. You can check out her adventures here! It was a pleasure to meet her in person and I wish her nothing but the best for this year of fun!
Proenza Schouler is one of my favorite designer labels hands down. I’m not saying that just because I got to sit within 10 feet of them at the keynote and hear their take on fashion, the industry and their upcoming collection… I swooned for days over their S/S 11 collection here. I took a trip to Opening Ceremony while I was at Fashion Week and I wanted everything Proenza that they had – a regular problem of mine. Here are some of the most interesting things I took from their keynote:
- Their epic PS1 was inspired and because it was their first handbag they didn’t feel pressured to have it done in a certain time so it didn’t come out for another year after they started playing with it. They didn’t want to do it until they were ready so they spent a year changing it and tweaking it to perfection. They felt that being able to take their time made a big difference.
- About 1/10th of their mood board is street style photos. They love getting inspiration from what people are wearing and follow blogs and websites to look for pictures.
- Their Fall 2011 shipment was just coming in from Italy and on 2/10 they hadn’t finalized anything yet – they were still getting the mood and didn’t have anything concrete. Obviously they showed their collection on 2/16 … last minute? No way this is fashion.
- The craziest fitting they have had was over Skype – there was a snow storm and they couldn’t travel so they did a fitting that way. They said it was pretty difficult.
- In terms of celebrities they like Kristen Stewart because there is “an ease about her”. They said they like that she’s not “a ditzy done up LA girl” and that she’s “cool”.
The best thing about the conference was making new friends who all share a common love – fashion and blogging! I am so grateful that I got to meet such amazing girls. Cheers to you lovely ladies! Here are some photos and links to their wonderful blogs.
Kendall of Kendall Donaldson and Lynzy
Francesca, Caitlin of Style Within Reach, and Meghan Ellie the Levi’s girl
To cap off a fantastic day Jennine had setup an after-conference event at the Chelsea Room. We detoured for some much needed dinner and then headed over. Upon arriving, we immediately saw and met Andy of Style Scrapbook. Of all of the “up and coming bloggers” I met throughout the day, she was absolutely one of the nicest. She’s a gorgeous girl from Amsterdam with Mexican heritage (we discussed these things in our chat and how she likes America) and a fabulous blog that is gaining a lot of attention. I look forward to seeing what else she brings us from her unique perspective!
Me, Kendall, Francesca, Lynzy and Marissa (Tastes and Style Files) and not pictured Erika (Style Activist) at the Chelsea Room
This sums up our day and night: lots of laughs and all smiles.
Thank you to IFB and Jennine Jacob for a wildly successful day! I’m excited for what’s to come :) …