Thursday, April 9, 2009

Helen Lee nabs Chic Report

helen lee via

In a story about social media in this month's WISH magazine, I mention the problems encountered by Australian fashion blogger Helen Lee in the leadup to last year's Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. In spite of the fact that Lee's Sassybella blog attracts an equivalent number of monthly unique visitors to Harper Bazaar Australia's circulation - and moreover, in spite of being able to offer an additional quarter million monthly uniques via her collaboration with the popular UK site - Lee found herself not terribly welcomed by Sydney's PR contingent. Many exponents of which, claims Lee, ignored her ticket requests. So she ditched the event altogether. Well it's going to be interesting to see what goes down this season because, as frockwriter can reveal, Lee has just been contracted by organiser IMG to write the Oz edition of IMG's Chic Report blog from the event. Chic Report is linked to IMG's high profile Fashion Week Daily site which, according to IMG, attracts 120,000 monthly unique visitors and 700,000 page views.


Kim said...

Congrats from Catwalk Queen Helen - about time!

Kim x

fashion herald said...

Aha! Brilliant, and congratulations to Helen.

Anonymous said...

Dont you think that, similar to fashion magazines, blogs have to be relevant to the client the publicists represent. I agree PR's are very slow on the uptake in general, not just to blogs, but just because someone writes a "fashion" blog doesnt immediatly grant them access to every show. Harpers Bazaar is not the magazine equivalent to her blog. its more like a shop till you drop.

Patty Huntington said...

dear anonymous -

designers are entitled to invite who they like to their shows. and adam worling made a good point when he suggested that bloggers could do a better job of promoting themselves. but since you bring up shop til you drop, i recall that there was a saga involving STYD not being invited to some AFW shows at one point, quite specifically, from memory, ksubi - i wrote about it at the SMH. i question the sanity of snubbing a magazine such as STYD. but look, far be it from me to tell ksubi how to run its business.

as i mentioned at the time plenty of luxury brands loan STYD product and presumably because, at the end of the day, they would like to sell products to the magazine's readers. i'm not sure i understand your "ivory tower" fashion position, considering what has happened to the fashion market over the past nine years, with the acceleration of speed-to-market, the explosion of fast fashion retail and highend designers falling over themselves in a bid to generate volume sales by doing tie-ins with discount department stores. it's even harder to understand given the current economic climate.

to my knowledge lee has been blogging about fashion for longer than anyone else in australia. before sassybella was published in a blog format, it was a website, so it has been around for 5-6 years. lee told me that she receives 20-30 press releases every day, 98percent of them from international fashion and luxury companies. she has also been invited to international luxury events - events which, presumably due to budget and work commitments, she can't attend. she gets to news so quickly that very large blogs from mainstream media players such as new york magazine, regularly pick up her stories and link back to her. take a close look at the caption on the photo above, it's from a profile done on lee by

please reread the post and the WISH story. i noted that sassybella's google analytics-audited site TRAFFIC (which i have sighted BTW), is equivalent to the audited circulation figures of harpers bazaar australia. i was talking, quite specifically about numbers. shop til you drop is not a good comparison because STYD in fact boasts an audited circulation of 78,000, which is considerably higher than harpers or vogue.

i made the traffic/circulation comparison to draw attention to the fact that in four years, lee has built a media brand that boasts an equivalent audience to a major australian mainstream fashion title. combined with catwalkqueen's figures, she was offering an audience approaching 300,000 - with a huge international reach. you, and apparently plenty of other local publicists, sneeze at these figures. mate, that's your problem.

Peron said...

AS much as I like fashion blogs, it's a little disingenuous of you to compare the circulation figures of a blog to a glossy. The audience numbers are not 'equivalent' at all.
At the moment, it is still far more valuable to a brand to be featured in a hard copy magazine than in a blog that will become obsolete within hours of posting.

I'm not 'sneezing' at your figures, just considering that blog stats need to be examined a little more...

Also,no need for fashion bloggers to get cocky and claim they have just as much reach and influence as glossies.They just don't. Mags like Harper's and Vogue have loyal subscribers who have supported them for many years.

Besides, all this tension for a few media comps?

Patty Huntington said...

peron -

statements such as a blog "will become obsolete within hours of posting" illustrate the breathtaking ignorance that appears to exist among certain factions of the fashion media as to the way digital media operates.

it's the information or image in the offline magazine that is at far greater risk of being dead in the water once it has hit the newsstands. the online image or story has the potential to be flicked from one side of cyberspace to the other.

there are digital media monitoring services via which online reach and influence can be tracked and measured. the savvier marketers are already using them.

Blog Archive