Fashion Bloggers Hit The Front Row

The bloggers who write Bryanboy.com, JakandJil..com, GaranceDore.fr and The Sartorialist had coveted front-row seats in Milan last week at the D&G show and at the more upscale Dolce & Gabbana show. Laptops were provided.

At the D&G runway show in Milan last week, the chief executives of Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman were relegated to second-row and third-row seats. In front of them, sitting primly in the first row, was Federico Marchetti, chief executive of online retailer Yoox.com .

The moment—coming as the super-sexy women's styles for next spring pranced down Milan's runways—marked a shake-up in an ultra-hierarchical world. The privileged treatment of a digital-media figure showed that luxury fashion is ready to introduce styles to the public in new ways—new, at least, to this old-fashioned industry.

Front rows are reserved for those most important to a brand's success—celebrities, important retailers and magazine editors. In past years, Mr. Marchetti sometimes borrowed tickets to shows from other guests. But in the past year, Yoox has expanded its business of creating online stores for luxury brands such as D&G, the casual ready-to-wear line from Dolce & Gabbana, and for Jil Sander—whose site launched just today. And this season, Mr. Marchetti has actually been invited to too many shows. "I don't have time anymore," he said at a party thrown by Versace in Milan.

The warm welcome extends to bloggers. While the New York shows have been inviting some bloggers for a few seasons now, many of Europe's luxury houses have been slower to allow bloggers into the shows. But two days after the D&G event, at a show for the high-end Dolce & Gabbana line, four surprised bloggers found themselves seated in coveted spots near the queen of fashion, Vogue editor Anna Wintour. One of them, Tommy Ton of JakandJil.com, could hardly believe he'd made it into one of Milan's hottest shows. "A season ago I had to wait patiently outside for arrivals and exits, and now I'm sitting here," he blogged from his seat, on a laptop provided by Dolce & Gabbana. [WSJ] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574445222739373290.html

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