The Wall Street Journal (paid sub. req.) examines a new kind of reporter attending Fashion Week in New York City–the retail blogger, whose aim is to drive traffic to stores where the latest fashions are available for purchase.
Ken Downing might look like any other reporter at the New York shows. But he’s the fashion director at Neiman Marcus, the Dallas-based department-store chain that caters to well-to-do shoppers. Starting today, Mr. Downing will post his reviews of around 18 shows at New York’s fashion week on the Neiman Web site. They’re part of a new marketing tactic that a small but growing number of retailers are using to help boost sales of designer clothing, which has been a bright spot in a dismal apparel market.
But unlike other media covering the shows, these commentators are in the awkward position of reviewing their own suppliers — and their aim is more to boost sales rather than offer impartial critique.