Fashion Television: Sartorialist, Blogging, Ford and Mentorship

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In Canada, many young aspiring fashionistas cut their teeth on Fashion Television (or FT), hosted by Jeanne Beker. I accidentally happened upon the site recently and came across a veritable treasure trove of video content that is relevant to some of the topics recently debated and discussed on The Business of Fashion:

Fashion blogging
Any regular readers of this blog know that I have been a big fan of the Sartorialist, aka Scott Schuman, since I first came across his site almost two years ago. His was the first blog of any sort to really catch my attention because there was something really powerful about seeing clothes that are styled by real people on the street. It brings the clothes to life in a way that high-fashion editorial sometimes cannot.  FT does a great video profile of Scott that allows you to see how The Sartorialist came to be, explains how Scott thinks about his work and reveals that The Sartorialist is now receiving over 1.3 million page views per month. [You can see my own Sartorialist moment here]

The Sartorialist blog also opened my eyes to the potential of what the democracy of blogging could do for a fashion business, particularly emerging businesses with limited profiles and advertising budgets.  What if, for example, you could mouse over a sweater you like in one of Scott’s photos and could discover who designed the sweater and where you could buy it online through phototagging (just like you can tag people in your photos on Facebook.com)? Its Fashion 2.0 folks and its only going to get more interesting.

There is a lot more discussion of the fashion blogosphere is in this video overview narrated by Jeanne Beker, highlighting the pros and cons of the fashion blogging phenomenon, which some say has resulted in a reported 2 million fashion blogs. Jeanne speaks to some of the world’s leading fashion critics  (Cathy Horyn of the New York Times, Kate Betts from Time magazine, and Colin McDowell from the Sunday Times) to get their views on what blogging has done for them. She also speakss to the (love-him-or-hate-him) blogstar Perez Hilton.

Tom Ford’s new store on Madison Avenue
FT also gives us a peek into the much-discussed Madison Avenue flagship recently opened by Tom Ford, and heavily criticised by some observers for being too exclusive and too expensive. Tom Ford gives Jeanne a personal tour of the store which provides some of Tom’s own thinking on what he was trying to accomplish with the store. Jeanne does go through the price points in the store, which are truly astronomical,  including personalised underwear for $75.

Mentoring emerging designers
When emerging designers talk to me about setting up their own businesses, I often encourage them to try to get some time working in the studio of an established design house first.  This video outlines the mentorship of young proteges including Yves Saint Laurent (mentored by Christian Dior) to Francisco Costa (mentored by Calvin Klein) to Narcisco Rodriguez (mentored by Donna Karan). You can see how some of the industry’s biggest names of today started their careers as apprentices to some of the biggest names from yesteryear.

© 2007 Copyright Imran Amed – The Business of Fashion
Scott Shuman photo courtesy of FT.