For the past six seasons, Tumblr--the preferred blogging platform of fashion--has, in some way, shape or form, been involved with New York Fashion Week.
After hitting a bump a few seasons ago, it's revamping its whole approach for the upcoming shows. In addition to six new bloggers who will be working together at Milk shooting the shows, Tumblr is bringing back some of the biggest bloggers from past fashion weeks and pairing each of them up with an industry insider.
"We wanted to celebrate some of the biggest New York based all-stars from past seasons by giving them a different kind of access to designers and partners," says Tumblr fashion evangelist Valentine Uhovski. "I really wanted their collaborative sessions or apprenticeships to be more meaningful than getting that coveted invite to a fashion show." (Though they will be getting that, too.)
So to that end, Tumblr is pairing 20 lucky bloggers with a designer or organization for a photography project. With the help of $750 DSLR cameras and Xperia Tablet Z devices gifted by Sony (which Uhovski calls a "technological Willy Wonka"), the bloggers will document behind-the-scenes during fashion week prep. The resulting photos will be unveiled September 5 at the Tumblr Fashion Photo Showcase at Milk Studios.
Tumblr's keeping the actual pairings a secret until the big reveal on Thursday (though some bloggers have let theirs slip on social media--Mashable says Miguel Yatco of Living in the Stills has been partnered with Oscar de la Renta, Sara Zucker with Anna Sui, and Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio with Donna Karan), but there are some big name designers involved with this project. The blogger/designer pairings came "instinctually, based mostly on creators’ editorial strategy and interests."
For his part, Uhovski is very excited for the new program. He picked the lucky bloggers from previous events, like Tumblr's CFDA/Tumblr "Inside the Designer's Home" series. "Choosing participating bloggers was pretty organic," he says, "and I always try to look for new talent through our events and their recommendations."
And getting designers to participate was just as easy. Uhovski says the companies that have signed on have been "incredibly supportive," adding, "Mentorship spots filled up pretty fast. If we’ll re-create the program next season in some capacity, we’ll already have a healthy waiting list in place."
Tumblr has high hopes for the new strategy. "I’m hoping to see lasting designer/blogger relationships out of this," Uhovski told us. Still, this is Tumblr, a blogging platform based on photo and GIF sharing--it must be hoping for some great content, surely.
"Gorgeous photos and GIFs wouldn’t hurt," he admits.
Bloggers: Ashley Simko Bryant Eslava David Urbanke Freddy Rodriguez Giza Lagarce Hanneli Mustaparta Ira Chernova Jaimen Sfetko Jamie Beck Jessie Cohen Jimmy McCain and Mark Portillo Miguel Yatco Nicole Helmeid Nicole Loher Noah Emrich Rachel Schwartz Rachel Schwartzmann Ryan Charchian Sara Zucker William Yan
Designers/Organizations: Anna Sui Band of Outsiders Billy Reid BLK DNM Calvin Klein CFDA Donna Karan IMG Models Lela Rose Lucky Magazine Lulu Frost Marc Jacobs Nanette Lepore Oscar de la Renta Pamela Love Phillip Crangi Public School Rebecca Minkoff Shipley & Halmos Todd Snyder