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Vera Wang at the WWD party. Photo: Getty Images
You know that Diana Ross song “Love Hangover” that plays in the Mad Men ads? DJ Chelsea Leyland spun it at Women’s Wear Daily’s party, too, and just like on TV, it marked “the end of an era.”
Why? Because WWD is done with its “daily” print issues, moving its news coverage online and opting for a once-weekly magazine instead. “It’s like we’re in the middle of a new industrial revolution,” said Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman’s fashion director. “Everything’s changing, and fashion can either go with it or get left behind.”
“Yes,” agreed 76-year-old Carolina Herrera, “everyone needs to be on the internet now… My label is on Instagram—it’s House of Herrera! You should follow it!—but I personally am not. I think there needs to be a divide between your private life and what’s public, or sometimes it can get confused. I like my privacy!”
Vera Wang had another idea: “Designers are always doing everything we can to promote our names, and our businesses, and our work. So whether it’s a fashion show or the internet, self-promotion is an ethos of the business, not unlike film and music. But certainly since we’ve gone online, people want to identify with how we do immediately. And that’s very different… the way people can talk back to you, especially.”
Wait, does that mean Wang reads her Instagram comments? “Of course I do!” she laughed. “I read all the comments, both negative and positive. But that doesn’t mean I change our designs because of them—or my team. It’s not easy to hear negative comments, especially when you can’t defend yourself! But it’s the world we live in today; it’s a reality we all face. And on the other hand, you gain an audience that you’d never reach otherwise.”
Scott Studenberg of the upstart fashion label Baja East had a slightly different take: “Look, we see everything people say about us online,” he laughed, “because we grew up online. It’s part of our generation. But are we going to change our whole collection because of someone’s random Instagram ideas? No. I mean, look, even my mom comments on our Instagram!”