Style.com’s move to the Fairchild Fashion Group got plenty of attention.
But there’s an elephant in the room yet to be addressed publicly. Fairchild has a strict no-press trips/ no-gifting policy. Will Style.com editors be forced to follow those same rules?
If so, that would mean any work-related trip a Style.com editor or writer takes would have to be paid for by Fairchild. And they wouldn’t be allowed to accept gifts. (Aka swag.) According to one source, “it was such an issue when W was at Fairchild that it was one of the internal reasons why they moved W to Conde.”
Fashionista contacted Fairchild to get the specifics on their gifting policy, as well as information on whether or not Style.com editors will be under the same regulations. “For the Fairchild Fashion Group, we’re going to establish a standard that’s consistent for the company,” a spokesperson told us.
Which means that they have no idea what they’re going to do, but whatever they decide will apply to everyone.
How big of a deal is this for Style.com’s editors? Probably not a huge one. Most of these people have worked at other publications with similar restrictions (WWD, New York Times), which means they understand the reasoning behind them.
As someone who has worked at places with lots of restrictions and places with none at all, there are challenges with both. These days, I don’t miss out on important press trips because they’re not within the budget, but I also get gifted a lot of things that I don’t need, want, or plan on writing about. And of course, it’s an ethical thing, too. Most journalists outside of this industry wouldn’t touch a free gift. For some reason it’s readily accepted in fashion.
As a source who once worked at WWD told me, “It was sort of an unspoken understanding that if you were going to accept goodies, you just don’t talk about it. The official policy was that no gifts were to be accepted. I remember snagging a relatively expensive purse after a market appointment, and the editor who I went with said ‘Just don’t tell the other interns.’”