So after two seasons, endless hours, and no thanks, I wasn’t really feeling the love for Vancouver Fashion Week. I felt disappointed and jilted. Covering a Fashion Week (even if only in Vancouver) is exactly the type of thing I grew up wanting to do. I was introduced to the fashion industry at the early age of 10 when I got into modelling and I’ve been hooked ever since. But sadly, no childhood fashion dreams were fulfilled.
I did see some improvements made to my second season attending. One of which was runway training for the models. A runway coach was brought in to work with the models on their individual walks and share the designer’s notes for each show. This was actually something my photog husband had pointed out to me in the first season as perhaps a service I might offer the following season, as I had runway experience. He had noticed that some of the models needed to be a bit more aware of the photogs and what to do when they got to the end of the runway.
So when I saw that VFW or someone had come to this same realization, my expectations for a better production began to grow. Unfortunately, the training sessions were done only moments before showtime. In fact the media were already in their seats and watched the daily pre-show catwalk sessions. This would also cause the shows to start very late and had each evening run about an hour behind. And to top it off, my husband said that there hadn’t been much improvement. These were all the types of things that gave VFW the unprofessional image it has.
From talking to others in the fashion industry in Vancouver, I’d learned that the primary organizer of VFW has garnered a reputation for putting on this event as a means of lining his pockets and for his own personal gain. This seemed to have been done at the expense of others, namely the volunteers and interns, and never for the growth of fashion in Vancouver. This theme seemed to be consistent from one season to the next and not just with those in charge. It was evident throughout, from the “lead photographers” who would position themselves and their friends front and center, to the runway coach who wasted 30 min “training” 50 models, right on down to the self proclaimed “important” woman who sat next to me, and when I introduced myself as a blogger, turned her head away and didn’t speak to me the rest of the week.
It saddens me to see, the opportunity to make something great, wasted. VFW misses the mark in so many areas.
Things as simple as recognizing that Bloggers are a real part of fashion these days; or realizing that catering to some women that thinks she’s important, is not going to get the word out about VFW; or something as simple as sending a thank-you note and invitation to the following season, to those that came to your event and wrote about it, can only help to add that little touch of professionalism.
Since posting my first two parts of this series I’ve had the opportunity to speak with and hear from lots of people who have had their own experiences with VFW. Media, models, volunteers…the stories are all the same. Lots of work and no recognition. Most of the people I spoke with who had previously volunteered for VFW were nothing more than glorified grunt workers.
My intention with this series was to get the conversation going. I can happily say I succeeded. Thank you all for sharing your own thoughts, feelings, and frustrations with Vancouver Fashion Week. My hope is that other reputable events like Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week will take over and help to foster real growth in the fashion industry in this wonderful city.
As for my future involvement with VFW, I don’t plan on attending again, unless there are some serious and fundamental changes starting at the top.