Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tourism Australia solicits fashion opinion

julia knolle (R) via myspace

Well last night's pre RAFW dinner was interesting in more ways than one. Last year I cancelled at the last minute because I felt a little guilty about having unleashed hell over that photo of IMG's then 13 year-old model Monika Jagaciak over at on the eve of the dinner. Vogue Australia was about to cancel Jagaciak's cover shoot and The Daily Telegraph was girding its loins to claim the story and ask, "Should Monika Jagaciak be at Australian Fashion Week?" - instead of what some might have considered to have been the far more pertinent question, "Should underage models be styled up to look like rent girls?". But back to last night's do - which IMG FASHION Asia Pacific md Simon Lock missed because, according to his 2IC Graeme Lewsey, Lock had to fly out last night for Swim Fashion Week meetings. Beyond the bombshell dropped by Rosemount senior winemaker Matt Koch, that chardonnay is the new black - or rather, white - to my mind the most interesting revelations of the evening hinged on social media.

Firstly, everywhere I turned last night, people wanted to talk about Twitter. I could not escape the topic.

Secondly, it was suggested (by stylist Ken Thompson), that given the likely volume of people Tweeting from the upcoming event, why not aggregate those Tweets into some kind of central bulletin board? IMG is currently looking into the possibility.

Thirdly, according to Koch, my tablemate, Rosemount's PR contingent recently deliberately targeted wine bloggers in Scandinavian markets - instead of traditional media.

And lastly, Scott Schuman and Garance Doré will not be the only international fashion bloggers new to the event this year.

Julia Knolle, the editor-in-chief of popular German fashion site Les Mads, is also en route down to RAFW.

Even more interesting, Knolle is being brought out under the same Tourism Australia program that is funding Schuman's visit - which, as it emerges, is called the Visiting Opinion Leaders Program.

According to Tourism Australia, Knolle's lifestyle, fashion, design and photography blog attracts in excess of 210,000 visits and 830,000 page impressions a month.

UPDATE 15/4: Knolle will now be travelling to Sydney accompanied by Les Mads writer, Jessica Weiß.

julia knolle via twitter

The VOLP is a new program that is designed to target digital opinion leaders, instead of traditional media specialists, who have previously travelled to Australia as part of TA's original Visiting Journalists Progam.

The VOLP recognises the influence of new media specialists.

According to a TA release:

"A key benefit of targeting these digital opinion leaders as opposed to traditional media outlets is that editorial output from one visitis likely to reach a far wider audience than a writer for a magazine from France, for example, by the very nature of the web and its global presence".

This is a fascinating development, especially in light of the problems that are frequently encountered by bloggers gaining access to high profile fashion events (as discussed in this month's WISH magazine).

Other bloggers travelling to Australia under the new Tourism Australian Visiting Opinion Leaders Program include UK nature blogger Andy Rouse and Chinese travel blogger Yibo FAN.


Style On Track said...

I actually havent heard of many of these international bloggers before, but its always nice to find a new blog :)

HotCaviar said...

i think this is great... fashion bloggers are finally being recognised at REAL fashion events as people of influence... it is clear by the number of people that frequent their sites that this is most certainly the way of the future... and what a great way for emerging talents to make their own career... this is a positive step for Australian fashion too to be so forward in their planning and organising of this year's RAFW... once again a great post...

marian said...

PP, USA based blogger Linlee Allen is also RAFW bound.

lauretta said...

Oh really, I'm from Germany and know the blog Lesmads! But Julia is not the only author, actually Jessie writes everything on that side? You should have a look! Can't wait for the reports!

Patty Huntington said...

marian - that's great news. funnily enough, linlee used to work for simon lock.

lauretta - tks for that, i've adjusted the copy.

Anonymous said...

Seriously patty... I used to love this blog. I would check it religiously everyday! But its sooo boring now!!! Please write about something interesting!!!

Patty Huntington said...

"anonymous" -

i note this is the second comment you have left this week. the content, tone, grammar and punctuation are identical.

i wonder if the blog so bores you that you a/continue reading it and b/bother going to the trouble of posting comments.

fact is, i don't go out of my way looking for material about trashed models. if you are only interested in reading material that covers trashed models and celebs then by all means hit up TMZ or news of the world.

this blog costs you nothing to read, but it does cost me quite some time, hard work and energy to put together. i post what i want, when i can. there are times that i feel inspired, motivated and energetic. others when i wonder what the bloody point is. i have occasionally toyed with the idea of hitting the delete button. i do get tired of working as an unpaid research assistant for the fulltime employees of mainstream media outlets who, in spite of their large salaries, seem to have trouble breaking fashion news. perhaps you are one of them.

i'm sorry that you are so bitterly disappointed. but traffic and subscriber stats tell me that the audience is increasing, not decreasing. the blog now finds itself on a raft of blogrolls, including, to my great surprise, the new york times and fashionologie - in both cases nestled amongst a very narrow selection of much higher profile blogs and fashion websites. at the moment i have three separate online interview requests and multiple requests for syndication/content aggregation. i don't know why these people contact me. presumably it's because they hate the material.

beyond writing about fashion and trying wherever possible to cover material that has not already been covered elsewhere, i don't have a specific game plan. i just put it out there and hope someone, somewhere likes it. that's about the best i can do.

Anonymous said...

this is actually me.. and im actually sorry. i guess you dont think about stuff like that when youre bored and after a bit of lame gossip. its just that i literally used to read it everyday and look forward to doing so. i noticed that you were always leading the pack when it came to breaking news .. and gossip ... but it seems like your smartening up a bit. i guess i cant blame you. congratulations and sorry again. i swear its the same person even tho tone language etc probably sounds slightly different. yeah

Grace said...

Go Patty, you rock :)


Smart move considering a blogger would be cheaper than getting a magazine editor.

Caroline said...

Good to see RAFW embracing the social media trend rather than fighting it. And Twitter has definitely hit the mainstream over the past 4-6 weeks. It seems to be here to stay.

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