>> This was supposed to be a fun and irreverent post that was supposed to express gratitude for a very tasty perk indeed. It was a perk I willingly accepted and had no qualms about promoting openly. However it seems that instead of celebrating and enjoying the moment, I'm now asked to backtrack and be guilt tripped instead. "Is fashion week for sale?", asks Imran Amed on Business of Fashion, citing my being offered a Rolls-Royce and a driver for London Fashion Week in exchange for tweets and a mention.
The tone wasn't exactly critical but obviously the subtext is that I'm supposed to be apologetic or feel ashamed for such underhand activities. Except that I'm not. When you're hopping from East to West and back again in the hellish traffic hole that is London, and it's pissing down with rain, and you're supposed to be writing on the go for three different publications, and making sure your social media is on fire, then I suppose notions of "selling out" kind of go out of the window. In addition, I was also looking after a competition winner of the Vitamin Water Shine Bright campaign, who shadowed me for two days and was able to make her experience of LFW far more enjoyable. A better reverse question might be… would YOU say no to such a proposal were it offered to you? Are your eyes offended because there's a big (and might I add beautiful… ) car behind me in these pictures? Do you feel you're being cheated or hoodwinked into subliminal brand messaging courtesy of Rolls-Royce?
Je ne regrette rien. It was frickin' awesome and I count myself lucky that I was offered such a ride during what is one of the busiest and most hectic of all fashion weeks. I shamelessly loved everything about it - the plush finishes, the reclining seats (only two in the back), the lit-up fold-down mirrors, the pull-out tables so that you could set up an impromptu photo editing/vanity desk, the numerous plugs for charging phones, the endless amount of buttons, and best of all, Steve, the driver, who was kind of like Parker from Thunderbirds. Oh, and it's a bleedin' Rolls-Royce. This is a rare beast on the roads. It's a car that makes its presence known and frankly, it's probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to be able to ride in one. I lapped it up and enjoyed it thoroughly - the promotion of it was really not a hardship. If people so wish me to run around fashion week, like a ragged cranky sweaty monster, missing shows constantly because I couldn't find a taxi in time or getting on the tube just to be like "everyone else" (except many editors and journalists have comped cars anyway… ) then I'm sorry I have failed you in that respect.
To go back to the original question is fashion week (or in this case, my attendance at fashion week) for sale? Sure, if it enables me to do my job more efficiently and effectively. There. Piece said. I thought I'd also take this opportunity to run through zee outfits in FW filler mode. With a car behind me as an accesosry of sorts.
Photograph by Phil Oh for Vogue.com
Photograph by Gianluca Senese of Nobody Knows Marc