Vogue: fashion in the digital age

Navaz at Apple in Covent Garden

We went along to the Vogue: Fashion in the Digital Age event at the Covent Garden Apple store on Thursday night, to listen to creative director Robin Derrick talk about creating the new Vogue iPad app and all things digital/fashion/advertising/brand/blogging related. It was also DisneyRollerGirl's first event as proper person (she unveiled herself this week) and we wanted to support her too.

Robin is a top dog in the fashion world, it doesn't get much better than creative director at Vogue and he's been there a long time (17 years I think he said) so what he has to say is very relevant. And he didn't disappoint (although we would have liked a less scruffy look Robin, you're at VOGUE for heaven's sake).

He didn't mince his words about how ground breaking the new digital platforms were for communicating and how fast everything's happening. The new Vogue app is, he feels, just the start, the 'christening steps' of what is surely going to revolutionise the way magazines and brands talk to customers.

Navaz was a brilliantly poised interviewer and looked VERY chic in her Celine blouse, Gap chinos and Topshop boots.

Here's what Robin said…

On new ways of working with digital content

The 'Road to Damascus' moment happened for me when we were shooting David Beckham’s Armani underwear ad. The You Tube behind-the-scenes film we shot was seen by more people than the £3.5 million billboard campaign.

Now, every meeting I sit in revolves around creating an engaged on line community around a brand. It’s where media spend is shifting to.

We need a new generation of photographers, the current ones can’t do it, they don’t have the training or the desire or the time.….the world has changed.

There’s still a feeling that print ads are better ads, but that’s gonna change…

On using social networks

Tom Ford’s (first womenswear collection) launch was private, super exclusive and heralded as ‘in the face’ of new media. But it worked because everyone was outside tweeting they couldn’t get in, that made it a success, he’s a very clever man Mr Ford.

No one actually browses the web, they get sent places

On Luxury via the web

A whole new definition of what constitutes luxury is personal recommendation. For instance…Ashley Green from Twilight sitting in the front row of a show tweets her personal favourites, that’s a luxury recommendation. 

Net A Porter keep's poaching my staff. Natalie Massenet says she just tells them ‘make it like Vogue…’

On PRs

What the hell is the PR industry doing? PR’s are still taking magazine journalists out to lunch to place their product. PRs are redundant! Brands are going right over their heads direct to the consumers via bloggers.

The press and PR community have got really lazy with magazines… just re running the press releases from beauty brands…the blogging industry is showing them a thing or two.

A lot of criticism about bloggers is actually criticism of PR strategy…PRs are not reacting to what’s going on… It’s quite extraordinary

Navaz, when she got a word in said….

On blogging 

The reason bloggers relate to each other and to their readers is because they are all consumers. They believe in each other and listen to their product reviews…. If that’s the case, where does that leave fashion and beauty editors and journalists working on magazines?

On PRs 

I feel for the old school PRs. It is a transition and they are trying to get their heads round it but also I think, ‘no, its your job, keep up. You work in fashion, utilize and make the most of it.’

Apparently there will be a full podcast of the event to download from the Apple website and we'd urge anyone in the industry to take a listen.

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