Last week, downtown Buffalo was nearly unrecognizable. Buffalo Fashion Week transformed the city previously dubbed “least fashionable” into something magical. I had the opportunity to attend the Walden Galleria Mall Show, Mansion on Deleware Boutique Show, and Main Event as press! I met some fabulous up and coming designers as well as already established ones (take Project Runway Season 10 4th runner up Christopher Palu for example!!). I even saw E.J Manuel, Quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Did you have the opportunity to mingle with some of Buffalo’s elite and fashion forward? I’m thrilled to say that I did.
I must be completely honest and say that September 19-26 (BFW) was not all flowers and rainbows though. The Mall Show was a total flop, communication with the people behind the scenes left a lot to be desired, and the Boutique Show started at 8 (2 hours later than press was informed), and then only lasted 30 minutes… I may not be the Buffalo News, but I still consider my time valuable and I had a lot of homework to do (#collegekidproblems).
The good news is: unlike the Buffalo News, I don’t have to be as concerned with making BFW look good, I can just be honest.
*The mall show should not occur for <10 minutes every hour for 4 hours. If this is going to be the style of the show, you will lose your audience and they will leave (like fellow blogger Meg and I did).
*The boutiques and vendors at the Boutique Show were fantastic, but press had to stand behind the audience, and was given no real direction. It looks unprofessional.
*There was a bar, but no free food or drinks available at the Boutique Show to appease the overpaying audience and underpaid press. This should be changed in the future.
*I know what being a volunteer is like, so please do not embarrass them as well as yourself by leaving them ill-informed. Volunteers need to have basic knowledge: where the bathrooms are, if guests can re-enter the event, etc.
*Do not treat your volunteers as if they are beneath you. It’s slimy. (Note: also do not treat your volunteers as beneath you until you find out they are press)
*Send out a memo of what your volunteers and press are expected to wear: I had no idea about wearing all black, I was just fortunate enough to guess correctly.
*At the Main Event I had to endure the embarrassment of not having prepared interview questions because originally I was supposed to volunteer. This “miscommunication” required that I become extremely innovative, quickly. Also, I was not provided with a list of designers so that I could research beforehand, therefore I had only basic knowledge of “who’s who”.
So that other press/bloggers do not have to endure the same humiliation, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE inform them in advance about where they will be, who they will meet, etc.
Maybe, I’m blunt and “they” won’t want to hear it, but you (preppy readers) deserve to know about how fashion week really went.
I know that there is always chaos in fashion, and that this is only Buffalo’s 5th year, but hopefully next year my constructive criticism will help the rest of the week’s events to improve. The Main Event at the Statler City was well worth going to. I sat front row for a few shows (you can call me Buffalo’s Anna Wintour from now on -LOL), had VIP access, and met other people active in Buffalo’s tiny fashion industry. I hope that my commentary does not limit me from having that opportunity in 2014, but I simply could not leave these comments out of my post and feel authentic.
Take a look at some photos from the Main Event (9.26):
All in all, I am happy that I was involved with BFW. It was a learning experience where I got to connect with some wonderful people.
Have you ever been involved with a small city’s fashion week?