Lucky's First Fashion and Beauty Blog Conference

J. Crew's Jenna Lyons Lucky EIC Brandon Holley Leandra Medine

Photo courtesy of Rob Kim/Lucky magazine

J.Crew's Jenna Lyons, Lucky editor in chief Brandon Holley, and Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine at the Fashion and Beauty Blog event.

Lucky hosted its first conference for 150 of what the magazine considers the latest It girls: fashion and beauty bloggers.

Held at Apella in New York City, the Fashion and Beauty Blog (FABB) event brought together popular bloggers, online entrepreneurs, designers, social media mavens from major fashion houses—and a roar of laughter in the form of comedian Joan Rivers.

Attendees cheered the work of bloggers like Leandra Medine (aka the Man Repeller), networked with innovators like Ben Pieratt, co-founder of Svpply, and hovered starry-eyed around J.Crew president and chief creative officer Jenna Lyons

Brandon Holley, Lucky’s new editor in chief, has repeatedly voiced her interest in and support of bloggers. With this conference, set to become a biannual event, Lucky hopes to cultivate top bloggers, both as potential contributors to the magazine and as businesses in their own right.

“To embrace these bloggers is our strategy going forward,” Holley explained to FashionEtc. She sees a valuable overlap between Lucky’s readership and the style-blog community.

“This is what Lucky is. It’s the women you see here; this is how Lucky women dress,” she said. “It’s taking something old, something from H&M, something from Marc Jacobs, and putting it all together. Shopping in a boundary-less way is a very Lucky thing.”

To capitalize on this affinity, Holley intends to give more magazine pages to bloggers and shoot them wearing new seasonal looks for Lucky’s spring and fall issues.

But Holley is also eager to nurture these bloggers as budding businesspeople.

“They’re entrepreneurs. They’re running a brand and running a business,” she said. “These women have to be their own marketers, their own PR, their own workforce, their own financial people. How can we help them create these brands and make them bigger and bigger and bigger?”

The conference covered everything from Google Analytics to Tory Burch’s travel socks. Media and PR SVPs, such as David Duplantis of Coach encouraged bloggers to reach out with ideas. Allison Mooney, head of Trends and Insights at Google, led a debate about going beyond blogs to multiplatform brands.

Read on for highlights from the day.

Five Sneak Peeks

During the discussions and Q&As, several panelists revealed up-and-coming projects. We’re especially looking forward to:

 • Marc Jacobs’s Foursquare initiatives for New York Fashion Week. Jonathan Crowley of Foursquare announced that Marc Jacobs will sponsor “fashion victim” badges during this month’s Fashion Week. Winners chosen from the badge-holder pool will get VIP fashion-show access.

 • Lucky’s Style Collective. In April, Lucky will début a blog network called Style Collective. Holley described it as a community- and business-building opportunity, with plans to collaborate with bloggers on editorial content. It will start with 50 bloggers; Holley hopes to double that number quickly.

 • Fashism’s iPhone application. Due to launch later this month, the new app from the social-shopping site will make it even easier to get instant feedback on style questions.

 • Vena Cava’s zine. Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava plan to create a 1990s-style, riot-grrrl-esque print zine. Buhai’s keen on “lo-fi material that not everybody can have” to balance out their online initiatives.

 • J.Crew’s road-trip documentary about sourcing fabrics in Italy. Conference-goers got a sneak preview of a short film following Lyons & Co. on a fabric-finding trip to Como, Italy. The shots of gorgeous fabric archives had everyone murmuring with envy. This next installment in the video series shot by Douglas Keeve will appear online in March.

Blogger Styles

A few trends stood out in the forest of platform booties. There were plenty of animal prints, lashings of black lace, and several carefully mussed topknots, best balanced by Susanna Lau of Style Bubble and Erika Bearman of @OscarPRGirl.

Best-Dressed Blogger

Despite stiff competition, Brit blogger Marian Kihogo had the most head-turning look. She cheerfully jumbled textures with a shaggy faux-fur jacket, a draped black lace McQ skirt over skintight leather Topshop pants, and a DKNY silk blouse in bright cerise.

Best of all was her elbow-high stack of mismatched bracelets, from a bamboo circlet to a heavy, panther-headed Mawi bangle. Bonus point for having put it all together in a bathroom stall at JFK en route to the event.

Inspiring Advice

Develop your particular point of view, including your inner critic. “We don’t want [blogs] that are just going to say glowing things over and over … there’s no credibility,” said Kerry Diamond, vice president of Lancôme public relations. Honest, well-informed, and well-expressed opinions are appreciated, even if they’re less than positive.

Rich Tong, fashion director of Tumblr, advises not spreading yourself too thin across different media platforms. “The content is so different for each platform; choose one and do it right,” he said.

Bloggers shouldn’t be afraid to approach a big brand. “I would be thrilled to hear about a special project you would want to do,” claimed Diamond. If you don’t get a reply, don’t take it personally, since most companies struggle with small social media staffs and can be too busy to return each message.

Blogger Karla Sugar observed that while starting with a small readership might be frustrating at first, that low profile can be a good opportunity to experiment with form and tone. It’s a chance to take risks before the stakes get higher.

Over and over, speakers stressed the need to keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration. Bloggers described lighting up over online discoveries, art gallery shows, music, and more—all feeding into their creative projects.

As Lyons noted, it’s a good rule for everyone, blogger or no!