The fashion industry is built on hierarchy and boy, does it like you to know your place. Even if you’re not at the shows there is a kind of virtual seating system for fashion press that pervades every communication, event or meeting, making it absolutely clear where you sit in the hierarchy – and in a brand or a PR’s opinion.
I may have told you before about the amusing and literal gift ranking from certain luxury brands that I used to witness when I was on staff. It ran along the lines of:
Fashion Director gets bag, Style Editor gets purse, Writer gets key ring. I mean, we were all sitting next to each other so, you know, we could SEE!
Now us poor sensitive journalists have to deal with seeing this hierarchy play out on social media too. I was talking to a freelance stylist the other day about how insecurity strikes big time when you’re asked to “come for a coffee and meet the designer” and then later that day see the PR posting pictures of the big fancy dinner they’re throwing for the same designer which they appear to have invited EVERYONE IN BRITISH MEDIA TO.
Prompting howls of Why am I only COFFEE? Why aren’t I DINNER?
And it is then that you must avert the approaching existential crisis by turning off your phone and vowing to never do any work with that PR ever again.
I’m joking! Honestly, I am.