The parade of fashion shows have come and gone in Paris. The socialites, fashionistas, and sea of black clothes are gone. But now it’s time for journalists and stylists to go into the Parisian show rooms and get a first hand glance of the inspiration and stories behind the collections of this new spring/summer season. It’s time for Press Days!
Usually done a month after the fashion shows have passed, press days are an opportunity for brands, designers, and showrooms to open their doors to the press and have them look and touch the clothes that are hot off the runway. So what does it take to make a successful Press Days event?
I have gotten a couple of invitations via email so far and expect others to be trickling in soon. The invitations are very similar to the showroom invitations given to buyers and posted in the Modem small/thick book of Paris Fashion Week. If you recall, I did a little post about redesigning one of these invitations here. You can see the most updated list of which showrooms are open for Press Days, dates & times, and which designers they are representing on Modem Online. So far I am a little underwhelmed by the invitations. Totem’s example above is clearly relying on their designers to draw the crowd in. Not to say this shouldn’t be about the designers because the goal of Press Days is to get them in the press, but there is also no sense of theme. There is no excitement on the invitation, its just here is what we have and RSVP if you want. Not very enticing for a journalist who has to attend many of these over the course of weeks. And most of the time, these overlap with another PR company. So if you want the press to show up, then give them a reason to. The invitation is the first step in getting traffic in the door.
Press days also give a chance for the showrooms to express themselves and wine and dine the journalists in their favor. Its supposed to be a small party and the journalists are your friends. So share a cup of tea or open a bottle of champagne, but whatever you do, make sure to brand yourselves thoroughly. My favorite example is MIH Jeans. I love the way they have place cards in front of every food item. The place cards are clean, simple, reflect the company’s logo and tells you what you are about to eat. It may seem silly to have a place card with your logo in front of every food item because you know where you are, your journalist knows where they are, but does the social media world know? MIH took pictures and shared them on instagram for the world to see. These pictures quickly got picked up on pinterest and were repinned all over the place. If MIH had not included the place cards with their photos, then most pinners would not have known who made the adorable cake with the MIH logo stenciled on top because seriously, who has the time to write a caption for all their pins (hint: you should be writing captions with hashtags on every photo).
It should go without saying that your PR team should be posting pictures and status updates leading up to the event, during the event and after the event. Whatever your social media poison is, make sure you are using it to its fullest. Make a hashtag of the event that can be used by the journalists and stylists visiting your showroom. This will help expose you and your designers to another network of people you may not have accessed. Make this hashtag visible somewhere in the event. Creative Door handed out personalized bags filled with lookbooks and goodies from their designers. These reusable bags are perfect! It gives an opportunity for the press to show off where they have been and can reuse the bag over and over so they will be constantly reminded of Creative Door.
I always love a good party and can’t wait to see what these upcoming Press Days will be like 🙂