Op-Ed

Fashion Show Invitations: Are Digital Invites Enough?

Venexiana Invitation

Venexiana Invitation

DALLAS, Aug 13, 2008 / FW/ — Ever since I started attending fashion week, I began a collection of invitations because quite frankly, some of them could be considered works of art. But, times are changing and I have been receiving more digital invitations (be it on an email or via evite, an online event planner service) than the past seasons.

Maybe it is a sign of the times. Fashion editors, photographers and buyers have gone digital, i.e., their schedule is in their Outlook or in an online calendar. It is so easy to just drag and drop an email to a calendar than typing the particulars of an event.

On the other side of the coin are the PR agencies and fashion houses who have also gone digital, their list in a meticulously maintained database. It is so easy to just write an email and tell the database to send it. The convenience and speed of email cannot be denied.

Then, there is also the ‘eco-friendly’ factor. Whether we want to accept it or not, Al Gore has been very successful in making his message heard by a lot of people. And though some fashion pundits might disagree and say that luxury consumers do not think of recycling, a true concern for the environment exists in a wide spectrum of the population.

In short, although PR agencies and fashion houses are not really trying to save cost when they send digital invitations, they are doing it for the environment. Of course, there are fashion designers, especially the young ones and just starting who are doing it to save cost. Holding a catwalk show is very expensive and if they can cut costs in some areas, they will. A few years back, the email invite was frowned upon; but the changing ethos has made email invitations more than just acceptable.

There is also another factor in fashion week that makes digital invitations very popular – RSVP is easy to track. People’s Revolution and BPCM, both New York-based agencies and very influential on their field accept RSVP online. It’s expedient and the RSVP line is open 24×7.

With all the technology on our fingertips and everyone knows how to use them, fashion houses still send hard copy invitations! Case and point, both People’s Revolution and BPCM will send invitations to my local address in New York or in Paris, though we have communicated via email. It might be redundant to some, but actually, it is not.

You see, the invitations are actually the TICKET to the show! That’s how you get inside the venue. Without it, i.e., assuming you are not wearing a press badge from the organizers, you will be allowed entry.

Like in this sample invitation from Venexiana. Sent via email with a note to RSVP to another online address, it was so easy to drag and drop it in my Outlook so that it will be on my schedule. I also clicked on the link provided for and voila, I have done my RSVP, all in a click of a mouse.

In true internet style, after a few minutes, there was an email in my INBOX from Blye Media Relations informing that I have been counted! See you at the shows!

[MARI DAVIS]

Related Link:
Fashion Show Invitations, 21st Century Style