Monday, February 15, 2010

Get off the Front row, Precious Groupie!

I’ve just read an article in New York Times about the nature of the front row at fashion week. Inviting celebrities to fashion week is a strategy designed to attract publicity for the house that is showing; i.e: Madonna at a Marc Jacobs show equals Madonna “endorsing” Marc Jacobs.
It is puzzling, therefore, to go to a South African fashion week- of which there’s a gazillion of- and find the likes of Sophie Ndaba (sorry, Sophie, you just came into mind)plonked on the front rows of a show. Similarly, why the hell does one invite their friends or even politicians to fill up those much coveted seats (hi, Precious)?
I think I know why. There is a lack of knowledge as to why New York or London fashion week front rows are so glamorous and efforts to do the same with local FW’s are falling flat; there just isn’t much credible glamour to go around.
Methinks local organizers should just stick to the aged-old, tried and tested formula of front row being reserved for editors, buyers and industry commentators. It should be filled with people whose voices matter. I really can’t see what is achieved by having a slew of so-called "schlebs" that less than half the country even knows in those seats.
Media practitioners are the ones who- at the end of the day- generate the publicity that translates to a buyer’s success in moving the clothes off the shelves. It’s not rocket science at all. Is this not enough to actually deserve those seats?

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