>> 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‚Ķ 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‚Ķ ) 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‚Ķ ) 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.   

IMG_0059

IMG_20130913_201218
IMG_20130916_094126Office of dressing table?  You decide…

0126LFWSep.WT13wpPhotograph by Wayne Tippets of Street Style AestheticVintage embroidered jacket and top, Bernstock Speirs veiled beanie, Lucky Chouette skirt, Pollini shoes, Acne clutch

IMG_0449

A_4.5x (1)Photograph by Koo for The Cut - Sadie Williams for Selfridges dress, Uniqlo poloneck, Tabitha Simmons shoes, Kenzo Kalifornia bag

IMG_20130917_115650
IMG_20130917_195829Two Steves in a pod… 

LFW-Street-2-3-FAVORITE_151217120373Photograph by Phil Oh for Vogue.com

A_4.5x (2)Photograph by Koo for The Cut Kenzo jacket, Mary Katrantzou print top and matching skirt, Meredith Wendell rucksack, Nike Air Max.  Oh, hi to Fran Burns' lovely Prada coat!

NobodyKnowsMarcPhotograph by Gianluca Senese of Nobody Knows Marc

Lon-day4-girl8-014_GZOOMPhotograph by Vicky Adams for ElleWearing Chanel jacket, Maarten van der Horst for Topshop shirt, Ashley Williams skirt, Michael Kors bag, Pollini shoes, Sonia Rykiel sunglasses

IMG_3511Giving the Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet ornament a good old rub – love that it's called spirit of ectasty…

Comments (25)

  1. Nina says:

    You know what I don’t get, is that this sort of stuff happens ALL the time in celebville. Celebrities who can afford to be chauffeured around in expensive cars and as well as cars cars are continuously being sent stuff but it seems that in the fashion/blogging world it’s something that’s really frowned upon and to some extent I get why…sure the people that are just accepting freebies simply based on the reason because it’s free is something I will never understand but if you’re going to truly enjoy it then what is the harm in doing so? The company will benefit in the bloggers’ mentioning on the blog and the blogger will get to enjoy their freebie but on some of the big bloggers I am reading snide comments from readers about their blogs becoming full of sponsored comment and it just seems like plain jealousy, it’s obvious that every person that commented would have wholeheartedly accepted the freebie but writes these comments just because they’re not in that position. My other point was that-having just read the BOF article-you have chiara coming out of a car and then you are pictured in front of your RollsRoyce and as you point out-and as many point out-fashon week is hectic and you’re having to work so hard for it so if a car is going to make things easier then why the hell not?! I am in constant admiration of how quickly and thoroughly you get things written and handle all the traveling/the shows etc so it’s not something you should ever feel bad about. In fact even writing this post wasn’t necessary because in a way it feels like you are defending yourself when you have no reason to be. p.s. completely forgot about vitamin winner, I posted some pics it would have been amazing. Hope the winner had fun

  2. Béatrice says:

    Super cool outfits and interresting point of view. ps: I think you meant Je ne regrette rien ;)

  3. Je Regrette Rien says:

    you get mad when people don’t take you seriously as a real journalist and then you also get mad when you get called out for taking what is essentially a bribe
    real journalists get fired or even go to jail for taking bribes
    maybe you should consider that

  4. Danielle korneliussen says:

    I approve Susie! I (who am old enough to be your mother) love that you took this fine offer and managed to do your job more efficiently during one of the most hectic times of the year. Great pictures of you next to that fine machine too!!! One question: did you have to open your own door???

  5. Audrey says:

    I’m going to have to agree with Je Regrette Rien here. They did have some valid points in the article which should be considered. Criticism doesn’t automatically mean that they’re trying to shame anyone.

  6. susie_bubble says:

    Autocorrect in text changed it back to English.

  7. susie_bubble says:

    When did I get mad about not being taken seriously as a real journalist?? I occupy such a weird space that I could never really call myself that either. I write. I style. I consult. I blog. I do social media takeovers. I take advertising on the site. I do open collaborations with brands. I can’t be a “pure” journalist. What I’ve said in the past perhaps is that there are many different types of bloggers that we can’t all be lumped in the same category.
    I’m simply sick of defending this multi-stranded role. It exists. It exists in a way where bloggers do collaborate with brands in order to make a living. It’s still a difficult role to digest. In this instance, I took up an offer that made one part of my job easier, namely the writing part, which I do a lot of during fashion weeks. We just need to all be open about it and acknowledge that this is how it works. Which I think most lucid readers do. In fact i actually didn’t mind the BOF piece that much. Imran was making an observation. He sees advertising through Insta/Twitter as something that inevitable and is trying to make initial comment. I have no problem with that. The implication though of course is that I will be judged.
    If that is the case, then so be it. But I want to fight my corner. I work hard trying to grapple with this multi-headed beast that basically confuses the hell out of everyone I work with. I don’t feel I’ve ever gone about what I do in an underhand way. I think it’s quite obvious that when you’re riding around in a Rollr and tweeting about it, you were given a free ride. At least that’s how most people saw it anyway and congratulated me on the ride (then took a ride themselves…). If that seems ambiguous to readers, I’ve yet to receive a complaint. If I did, I would certainly try to rectify and openly discuss the situation, which is what I’m doing here.

  8. susie_bubble says:

    Audrey, see above. I know the article came from a good place. I contribute to BOF and am good friends with Imran! What I meant was that the initial reaction to a piece like that, would go something like this “Oh dear… more bloggers getting free shit…what losers!” That wasn’t Imran’s intention. I know that.

  9. Charlie says:

    I’m totally with you here, It’s not a bribe in any respect, and as you quite rightly said, editors get cars all fashion week whilst everyone else has to schlep it. Good on you I say!

  10. Matthew Pike says:

    You got it in one Susie, no one is going to say no to an opportunity like that. “Fancy a car for the weekend or you just going to get the tube?” Plus, come on it’s a bloody RR, mad to say no. I’m glad Steve got to ride up front, like a big kid. Such a massive car, it’s nearly taller than you!

  11. This is how the business works and you should feel no shame (which you obviously don’t, so good!) No-one would say no to a Rolls, come on!x

  12. Russ says:

    Susie – Fashion Week for sale? I am shocked. I also think that Imran may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer if he is only just noticing this Instagram trend.
    Here’s a quote from Instagram founder Kevin Systrom in 2010 “We don’t want it to be another photo-sharing service, we want to make big leaps into the Web.” I’m guessing that Kevin may have been talking about making money……….
    I do find your comments a bit more balanced than the post. No need to apologize for doing your job. Keep on rollin Susie!

  13. Christine says:

    You shouldn’t have to apologize for accepting a gift/something that makes your job easier when you do it so well and with integrity. Keep up the good work!

  14. Kb says:

    I know how hard it is to get from place to place during LFW, the tube lines don’t really help as they never quite go to the places you need and walking ends up being the best option when it comes to getting from Tottenham Court Road to Somerset House (for example). Add the unpredictable elements and you’d spend more time worrying about how you’re getting to places than writing about the shows themselves. My coverage is always delayed as I have to get into London (taking 40 mins – 1 hour) and have nowhere secure to leave my laptop, plus all of the walking in wind, rain and occasionally hail tires me out. We all know that editors are not whiter than white, they receive hefty discount cards, freebies and have cars provided for them as a given.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2421491/London-Fashion-Week-Liz-Jones-What-shirt-exposes-corrupt-world-fashion.html
    As my Mum would say, you can’t be backwards in coming forwards and you’d be kicking yourself if you didn’t take up the majority of these opportunities offered to you. I do the same, I was inspired to start my blog almost five years ago because of reading this one and can’t wait to look back on this when I’m in my rocking chair, just thinking ‘Wow.’ Enjoy it!

  15. As Christine said, I don’t think you need to apologise for anything Susie. Every job has its perks and you deserve yours. Never attended Fashion Week before but read from several accounts that it’s very taxing on journalists and bloggers so nothing wrong with you being chauffeured around if it makes your job easier. By the way, there is a slight misspelling on “rein” which should read “rien”. The first one means “kidney” in French while the other one translates “nothing”. Just thought I would let you know as one of your French readers :)

  16. Nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever! Hey, you’ve earned and it makes your job much easier logistically. Plus it was of course pissing down with rain for the past week, so it makes even more sense. Good on you, Ms. Susie!

  17. Caroline says:

    This is such hypocritical shite. As Nina already said, no one calls out celebrities on freebies. (Rolex watches at Oscar time etc) I think the issue here is that people have an expectation that bloggers are somehow held up to ‘normal people’ standards but Susie I’ve seen how much work you do and damn it you’ve earned a freebie or two. I’m sick of bloggers being used as a yardstick for morality as defined by others (or in this case journalists and writers at BoF) as though bloggers are supposed to abide by different rules! Why doesn’t everyone chill the hell out and start congratulating your success. I also have never heard you whine about being a serious journalist. You’re excellent at what you do, end of.

  18. caroline says:

    Or maybe Susie really did mean “I regret kidney”? just kidding!

  19. Steff says:

    I think fashion week was sold long ago when it became ‘Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’. Also, if someone is annoyed by pretty cars on their Instagram feed, they could just stop using Instagram. I still don’t have an Instagram account and have yet to be offended by Susie Bubble, in front of a car or elsewhere.

  20. That could actually work in the context of kidney…beans! :)

  21. Charlotte says:

    If anyone deserved and would have made good use of a comped car at fashion week it would be you. I love that you got the opportunity to use it, I love that you were proud of it and I love that you shared your gratitude for having it and didn’t pretend like it was no big deal.

  22. Rebecca says:

    PRECISELY, if I was offered a car to whizz me around London I would definitely say yes! In many different fields of work there’s perks involved. If you choose to say yes then why should that mean you are selling out? Go for it girl.
    Loving the happy ashley too x
    http://www.yess-please.blogspot.co.uk

  23. May says:

    I totally agree with you, Susie… Traveling by public transport across London during LFW to get to shows on time is a nightmare, and one has to walk to the actual venues as well anyway. When one has to carry cameras, laptops etc. it gets very stressful. Even cab drivers tend to have rather weird attitude towards getting their passengers to the show on time. When one tells the driver to hurry because the show is about to start in 10 mins, one gets replies such as “don’t worry, they’re always late anyway” or “who cares about silly fashion shows, you don’t have to be there on time, I sure”?!? There’s nothing wrong with accepting a beautiful car to help you work more efficiently at all. other professions have their perks too, so why can’t you enjoy yours…

Comment below