From catwalk to laptop, fashion houses embrace web
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Photo blogger Tommy Ton used to wait outside exclusive venues for fashionistas to arrive and leave catwalk shows, but at the latest Dolce & Gabbana womenswear run this season, he proudly sat in the front row.
Sitting close to the creme de la creme of fashion editors -- Vogue's Anna Wintour and Glenda Bailey of Harper's Bazaar -- the Toronto fashionista excitedly blogged about his privileged treatment in Milan on his site www.jakandjil.com from his seat.
"I've been going (to fashion week) for two years and I was lucky if I even got a response," he told Reuters. "But being embraced by Dolce & Gabbana, that was a defining moment."
Soon after his success in Milan, French maisons sent him invitations to Paris fashion week, eager to have him at their shows.
Fashion brands, increasingly aware of the power of bloggers, are making room for them in their front-row seats to try to grab consumers before they visit their stores.
For years, traditional houses have shunned the Internet, seeing it mostly as a place for those in search of bargains.
But as younger buyers and working women are set to replace aging customers as the main luxury consumers, the Web and its social networking sites represent strong prospects for growth.
In the September fashion week run, such design houses as Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen, streamed their catwalk shows on the Internet. Continued...