Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nicole Warne signs with IMG as the MBFWA Insider

via gary pepper vintage
Last year Nicole 'Gary Pepper Vintage' Warne became the first Australian blogger to walk the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia runways – modelling for the Talulah brand. As MBFWA dramatically ramps up its social media program for the Spring/Summer 2013/2014 event, which commences on Monday at the new Carriageworks venue, the twentysomething Japanese-Korean-Australian beauty is about to add a couple of other blogger firsts to her resumé.

This morning IMG Fashion Asia Pacific announced MBFWA's first comprehensive live streaming schedule that will see all 39 on-schedule, on-site shows live streamed to the web and a purpose-built live site at Martin Place in the Sydney CBD. 

Although it's not the first time there has been an MBFWA live site in the city during the event, this time it comes complete with a pop-up MBFWA Bar that will be managed by Pelicano. The initiative is a joint venture with that will also see the live streamed collections available for pre-order from the e-tailer.

In addition to live cameras in fixed positions at the end of the runways in all three of the MBFWA show spaces, there will also be several roving outside broadcast camera crews capturing the behind-the-scenes action.

Tapped as the "MBFWA Insider", Warne will host this BTS coverage, doing running commentary and interviews for approximately 15 minutes before and after each show – similar to what model Jessica Stam did for Marc Jacobs in and around his Fall/Winter 2013/2014 show in New York in February. Let’s hope Warne does a better job than Stam – who amusingly told pre-show interviewee Debbie Harry at one point that she had "no idea" what to expect from the show. Reporter fail.

Frockwriter can also reveal that Warne moves into her new MBFWA role under the management of IMG Talent, which is quite a significant step in her career. 

Warne signed with IMG's Australian Talent division last week and if we are not mistaken, becomes the first Australian blogger to be signed to a major talent management company. Which only goes to show that someone with half a million Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers can carry equal - if not greater influence - than a legacy media star.

She joins a roster of local IMG entertainment talent that includes Rachael Finch, Miranda Kerr, Tom Williams, Sara Groen and Anthea Callea. 

Although CAA now represents several high profile bloggers, including Grey Yambao, we believe this may even represent the first time that IMG has signed a blogger to its talent division anywhere in the world. IMG, that is, the world's largest sports/lifestyle marketing company, as distinct from its IMG Models division - which represents, among others, in its own talent division, US casting director/blogger Natalie Joos. IMG Australia was unable to clarify this for us at press time. 

In a statement, David Malina, Director of Client Management IMG said:
"Yes, IMG is delighted to be representing Nicole Warne, best known via her popular blog Gary Pepper Vintage. Nicole is a multi-faceted personality who has carved a niche for herself as a blogger, model, stylist, business woman and brand consultant. 
Digital media and blogging present significant potential moving forward and Nicole is at the forefront of this both in Australia and globally. We’ve been immensely impressed by what she has achieved thus far through her own hard work and dedication and we feel IMG is well positioned to work alongside Nicole in taking her career to the next level.
Through her association with IMG, we plan to further develop Nicole's already successful brand by building strategic opportunities through our global network. Maintaining Nicole's authenticity and integrity as a blogger will of course always remain the most important consideration."

Warne is pretty good tv talent – at least as an interview subject. We shot this interview with her backstage before last year’s Talulah show:

In addition to the live stream program, IMG Fashion is also adding on a social media aggregator service to this year’s event via Stackla, which will collate SM communiqués throughout the week from IMG's designer partners, favourite bloggers and key international media delegates. The latter include Bryanboy's Bryan Grey Yambao, Susie Bubble’s Susie Lau (who will double as a reporter for The UK Telegraph), Jak & Jil's Tommy Ton, Streetpeeper's Phil Oh, Facehunter's Yvan Rodic, Candice Lake, Harpers Bazaar US executive editor and 'The Look' host Laura Brown, Who What Wear’s Hillary Kerr and's Maya Singer. 


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