No sooner had last year’s first ever Vogue Festival finished, and we were all asking for more. Never before was there such an up-close-and-personal with all the fashion greats (such as Christopher Bailey), with talks and a chance to hear questions from the audience, listen to ‘success stories’ from our fashion inspirations and meet up with fellow bloggers all under the one roof.
Such was the success of last year, that it was music to my ears to hear that Vogue was investing in another event – no doubt to be bigger and better than the first. They work with Vertu as their event partner, and personally I felt that last year Vertu was ‘lost’ in the whole event, with not a lot of guests taking a great deal of interest in the brand awareness experience that a partner expects when investing in such an event.
This year, the venue changed to the Southbank Centre, which is so much bigger and allowed for a real guest experience from the entrance to the Vertu branded luxury lounge, the Vogue retail shop which this year featured coffee cup holders, Versace tees, Coach clutches and a Gap grey sweatshirt – sooooo much more than last year. And of course the theatre where the stage was set to hear from the greats – Paul Smith, Victoria Beckham, and a personal inspiration of mine, Natalie Massenet.
Just a note from me on the Natalie Massenet session. This woman brought luxury shopping to the world of online retailing with Net A Porter. Natalie created a new past time that has become a very important global business strategy no matter what the business – and that is the consideration of marketing your business online and capturing as much of the market as possible. Once upon a time, luxury brands were only accessible with a visit to London or New York. Now through the likes of Net A Porter, luxury is accessible to everyone with a click of a keyboard, any time of day or night. And there is nothing like receiving your Net A Porter order direct to your office for all your colleagues to ooh and aaah over. Natalie’s recent appointment as chair of the British Fashion Council will be a very exciting development to watch as I am sure she will continue with her crave to create a digital communications era. It is a very exciting time for BFC HQ.
The caliber of talent was immense, and of course Vogue kept us in suspense until the very last minute. For example, to bring blogger sensations Susie Bubble, Garance Dore, and Anna Dello Russo to London for a chat – it was like they were our best buddies sharing a bottle of Pinot while us fashion blogger’s minds filled with thought bubbles of enthusiasm and inspiration. Keeping our blogs alive and interesting. Could we too be the next big thing? What are our readers looking for when they decide to ‘click’ on our blog? What is interesting to us, could be interesting to others? When is street style too much? Should I start including more street style?
It was an impressive line up of speakers, and also an equally interesting line up of interviewers including Alexa Chung who chatted candidly to Sir Paul Smith who revealed his influence on his mother’s wedding dress. I’d only ever heard Alexa speak at November’s British Fashion Awards when she accepted her British Style Icon award. I was pleasantly surprised, but you are never going to get a real nitty gritty, reveal-all with this style of chit chat. But none the less, what an amazing event to witness.
Last year’s Vogue Festival was good and at £75 a ticket, we made sure we got as much out of it as possible. But it did feel like a bit of a grab-what-you-can fest filled with wanna-be ‘IT’ girls looking to be snapped for street style. And I personally got a little cranky with a few individuals who raced ahead for the best seats only to get up mid-conversation and leave???
This year felt more business-like, with a real professional injection of attention to detail. The Vertu lounge experience was a real thought out plan of action, which makes business sense! Of course you could still experience a make over and be photographed with lots of Chanel goodies including that fabulous circle bag.
The question in this digital age has and is how publications such as Vogue will continue to survive. We have seen GQ for example, investing in their stunning GQ bars and event/venue experiences with a luxury edge. Vogue which is a part of the Conde Naste group has invested in events which bring the social media set together to Blog, Instagram, Tweet and more. With clever partnerships between two luxury communication giants, Vogue and Vertu, this event can only go from strength to strength. So, when is the next one?
Instagram highlights from Day One of the Vogue Festival.
Middle picture is British Model of the Year, Cara Delevinge.
When asked how he would dress The Queen, he replied: “I think she dresses really well, I don’t think she needs me!
Alexa Chung in conversation with Paul Smith (Sir).