I had such a blast on Wednesday (as a pre-pre-kickoff to Fashion Week), attending the Lucky FABB (fashion and beauty bloggers) conference. Filled with smart, entrepreneurial women, we had a chance to hear from some truly accomplished panelists, took home some seriously amazing swag (a LeSportsac bag literally crammed full!), got a chance to network with women who are passionate about blogging and presenting fashion and beauty in some seriously creative ways, and most importantly, learned more about how to make our contributions a REAL business.
Diane Von Furstenberg chats with Lucky magazine editor Brandon Holley.
Photo via the very cool fashion blog, Stylenik.
First up was Diane von Furstenberg, whose speech was take-your-breath-away inspiring. I actually teared up (ok, it's not that hard to make that happen)! A few gems: "Authenticity IS the most important thing in life" AND "Whatever your niche is, you have to stand for what you believe in. You will always have criticism." AND "The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself." Blogging is a challenge, and even though I've been at it for many years now, I'm still learning, so inspiration is always valued, especially from someone as fabulous as DVF.
The first panel ended up being one of my faves. "Building Your Brand" was a panel discussion featuring Scott Lipps (One Model Management), Rebecca Minkoff, Coco Rocha, Rachel Roy and Essie Weingarten (of Essie nailpolish). After freaking out a bit after Essie suggested taking one's daughter to the nail salon, I was relieved to note that all Essie polishes are toxic trio-free (phew!!). Even so, the high probability that a kid will end up ingesting (even less-chemical) nailpolish is high, and I wouldn't suggest it. Though as Essie mused, it might help a child learn to sit still and as an avid traveller, that's the trait I most admire in kids (that and an 'inside voice').
I loved that Coco Rocha has long been involved seriously in various charities (lately, Somalia) and said of her work that her attitude is, "Maybe nobody cares what I have to say, but I'm going to make them care.""Models are evolving into activists, not just faces," which seems like such a smart and modern way for models to make good on their celebrity.
On the second panel, "Brands and Bloggers Working Together", we heard quite a bit about the business side of blogging, how to approach companies with creative ideas (we bloggers have plenty, turns out) and how to present ourselves as a business. "Figure out how to turn my passion into a living. The blogosphere is very powerful & underpaid," said Scott Galloway, an NYU Professor.
After a spot of lunch (I was too busy checking out the J.Brand, new Timberland Earthkeeper boots and sashaying the 'runway' at Express to eat!) the Kardashians came on - all three of them! And I was pleasantly surprised by how totally normal and genuinely smart they came across as. Of working in the fashion world, Khloe Kardashian Odom said, "I like to play. It's fashion. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work." Asked how they balance their relationships (and, in Kourtney's case, a child) with all that they do, Kim responded with, "The men in our lives fell in love with us because we've always been workaholics." They were all very matter-of-fact that they work and they love doing what they do. (hey, even if you don't love what it is they do, that's still pretty awesome). Great attitudes Kardashian sisters! (More here from Lucky mag).
The "Setting the Trends" panel was next, and we were advised to "Put blinders on and look forward, don't look sideways," in response to a question about how to know what trends to follow and which to ignore. And I was really excited to hear Leslie Blodgett, president of Bare Escentuals mineral makeup state that she was going to start a trend of her own: "I think we need to bring reality back. We are going to use real women and not airbrush."
Last, but definitely not least, the blog awards were given out, and what a fantastic bunch of fashion blogs were represented (but none green, vintage or upcycling-oriented, boo!). Check out all the nominees and winners here, and huge congrats to all of them for making our online fashion world more interesting, unique, thoughtful and beautiful.