It seems that almost every year when the round of fashion weeks are underway, the inevitable question always comes up, is fashion week still relevant and does it still really matter? For the last seasons, fewer Swedish designers are showcasing their collections for the press at SFW. However, it was only three years ago SFW attracted the fashion media elite such as Miroslava Duma and her Russian fashion mafia and high profile bloggers such as Brya Boy and Sussie Bubble.
Question is, what happen? After Mercedes Benz dropped out from SFW shoe-goers started noticing big changes. At that time, big brands such as Acne Studios and H&M showed their collections at Paris Fashion Week. Why? Probably because Paris draws a larger internationally press, in other words they most likely wanted to get their money worth and strategically place themselves amongst other big brands.
Moving forward, as some brands re-locate to show their collections in other cities, it opens up a new opportunity for other brands to steal away the show. One of the major challenges they have been facing is the fact that far less fashion publications actually write about the collections. Instead, reports are being published on who sat front row – but what about the designer? Maybe you’ll be lucky to get a article if you’re brand is popular enough, maybe. To be real frank, one could almost perceive some Swedish publications to be more interested in what international designers are showing abroad – or if you’re a Swedish brand that present your show abroad. Problematic, well yes because if the media doesn’t report on the collections or the trend, who will report? The bloggers? Truthfully, I rarely see other bloggers actually report on the collections – same goes for them, it’s about who sat where and got published on what (street-style or fashion) site. So basically one could almost argue that everyone is screaming for attention, which isn’t something to condemn but after a few seasons of designers dropping off, budgets getting cut, locations are being changed due to lack of funding’s are the presentations are going from 150 seats to small presentations for 50 people one can’t help to wonder how many seasons Stockholm Fashion Weeks will live to see?
However, it’s not only the Swedish press responsibility but also the PR-agencies. There are bloggers who actually want to see the show for the clothes, but if you don’t have the right profile and big enough following you will probably not get a reply back when requesting tickets. Harsh? Well, it how the industry looks here in little Stockholm.
No one can deny that the Danes have been very progressive – so much that Stockholm fashion week has lost a lot of international coverage due to the massive growth of Copenhagen Fashion Week. The Danes have some really heavy designers and since the Danish government funds the event each time, it enables them to maintained a certain quality. A quality that we’re lacking more and more here in Stockholm.
Are the Swedes tiered of loosing press to Denmark? Well yes, why do you think this seasons starts on a Sunday instead of Monday (as it usually does?). Several people whom work in PR and brand-side have confirmed that’s why this season starts earlier, it would overlap too many days with Denmark otherwise.
Stockholm Fashion week is actually only three days, the fashion school of Beckmans show their graduation collection. I always like their show because it’s always nice to see new talents and hopefully the next big designers of this country. Important one would think, especially if we want to stay relevant in the game and you should know by now that the swedes have a good reparation for their designs, but who will maintain this reputation if their not getting enough press. It also gets a bit problematic when a big media-house decides to throw a big dinner on that exact time.
The swedes have a lot to learn from their neighbor, the Danish government understand the importance of Danish design – especially in times like these where many designers are struggling and therefore a generous donate a generous amount to Copenhagen Fashion Week each season. Today, Copenhagen Fashion Week is Scandinavia’s most relevant Fashion Week. If you ask me personally, the Norwegians are next since Sweden is loosing its momentum. However, I’m not saying everything is lost – however many changes need to be actualized or this will be last seasons we’ll see.
Swedish press needs to acknowledge their responsibility, so does the influencer who actually go to the shows to report (but end of reporting their own faces from the shows) as well as the PR-agencies to get their priorities straight. Yes, the list is long and these topics blossoms up each season prior to SFW. Both amongst the influencers, press and PR-agencies have these discussions, the opinions don’t really differ much, the industry is worried yet the attempt to pump up some life into SFW remains.
As always, I’m eager to know what you think. Has this topic crossed you mind? What d you think will happen? Suggestions on how to improve? Make sure to follow along on Intsa-stories for live updates, and a full review on SFW followed up by a round up of a conclusion when fashion month is over.