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Second Annual Fashion Forward Conference Recap (Part 1) #fashforward

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All photographs were taken by Bellamy Blue Photography © 2013

Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference

A few days ago Momtrends, Mom Generations, Lady and the Blog, and Power Moms Media held the Fashion Forward Conference, a business, fashion and lifestyle conference for bloggers, editors and brands.

Fashion Forward COnference
Fashion Forward Conference

Held at 404 in NYC, the event was filled with networking, fashion shows (more on that in part 2), informative sessions, brand meetings and giveaways as a way to bring connect moms, bloggers and brands to learning all about the business side of blogging by industry experts.

Fashion Forward Conference , Rosie Pope

The event started with a celebrity red carpet with famed reality stars, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and Rosie Pope as guests mix and mingled and made their way to beautiful circular tables.

Fashion Forward
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference

The event began with the adorable kids' fashion show (more on that soon) and then the panel, 'Creating Winning Partnerships with Brands' with American Express, GM, Calypso St. Barth and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps for the Countess Collection. During the session, moderated by Brooke of Power Moms Media, bloggers and editors learned what brands are looking for. The common theme centered around having a genuine and organic mission and voice. Rachel of Calypso noted that they like to work with creative people while Jocelyn of GM stated that they are looking for "long-term relationships and not one-night stands" when they partner with bloggers. American Express also noted that they are looking for bloggers that can bring great ideas to the table. Jocelyn of GM also spoke of how bloggers should know the brands that they are pitching and to be specific in what you are asking for when you pitch - including how much money you are asking for.

Fashion Forward Conference

We then had lunch with keynote speaker, Rosie Pope. As a mom of three (and another on the way), Rosie was incredibly insightful and down-to-earth as she spoke about how she became successful in her business. She started by addressing the concept of "having it all," and honestly said that she doesn't, but she feels the better way women can address all of the challenges in their life to ask the question: How can we manage it all while being the best we can be. She also spoke of her success and noted that "success does not happen overnight." She says she was everything from a waitress to a private investigator before she found her calling in maternity fashions and pregnancy services.

Rose Pope, Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference

After the lunch, we then enjoyed the Style Panel: Trendsetting and Trendsetters with celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch, celebrity hair stylist Sarah Potempa, Beauty Editor Erica Metzler of Ladies Home Journal and Lenore Moritz Vice President, Communications for Digital & Integrated Media at NBC Universal who spoke about trends as well as staying true to your brand and voice. Moderated by Audrey of Mom Generations, Leonore spoke of how bloggers' authenticity is based on their core values as well as they don't have to be intimated by what's out there - and to do their own thing. In speaking about trends, Erica noted some trends for fall with a focus on BB Creams, short hair and the color coral. However, Phillip stated that we should all "throw away trends" and focus on knowing what works for you. He also noted that to have your own business, you also need to be an overachiever. We also heard about some hair trends from Sarah who told us that braids and fishtails are hot for fall.

Fashion Forward Conference
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Fashion Forward Conference
New Balance, Fashion Forward Conference

In between sessions, guests were able to mix and mingle as well as visit the various booths from brands. This includes displays with GILT, New Balance, GM, Coldwater Creek, Stride Rite, Happy Family, STOKKE, Tsubo, Sarah Potempa, Kiwi Crates, Nerium AD, Altar and Keepy. This was a great time to have some face-to-face time where bloggers could talk with brands about what they write about and cover as well as see how they could work together in the future.

Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference

After that the final panel, Powerhouse Players, was up with Danielle Smith of Extraordinary Mommy, Liz Gumbinner of Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech Yuli Ziv, Founder & CEO of Style Coalition and Melisa Fluhr of Project Nursery. They spoke about social media and its role in the digital space. During this session, we learned all about how each of these business women uses various forms of social media to elevate their business. Liz shared some great tips like 'Think before you Tweet,' 'Be judicious about what brands you work with, 'Use your energy towards positivity' and to 'Understand that everyone uses Twitter differently' as some general tips. Melisa of Project Nursery also an expert pinner spoke about how to use Pinterest to elevate your brand. She noted that 87% of users are accessing blogs and websites using their mobile devices so it's key for bloggers to have the 'pin it' button for mobile on your posts. Melisa noted that Pinterest allows you to drive traffic where her site receives over 85% of its traffic through this website. She also said that bloggers should join various boards and to keep your descriptions short and sweet to help it get re-pinned. Yuli spoke of understanding yourself when you write and blog and to ask yourself "why are you doing this?" to better understand your goals in the space. As a former designer, Yuli also noted that blogs and websites should have a visual appeal and that bloggers need to see themselves as business people to go to the next level. Danielle also spoke about using YouTube and video in telling a story and she noted that edited videos are great to showcase a polished look to brands, but raw/real videos are just as effective in that they allow bloggers to see their catch phrases (like, so, etc) where they can improve to then invest in the edited ones.

Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference
Fashion Forward Conference

Next up was the women's fashion show (more on that in the next post) and then a fun happy hour with Farmer's Organic Gin,Crop Vodka and Altar Herbal Martini where guests enjoyed some fun cocktails as giveaways were announced.

An afternoon of fashion, style, networking and business was an incredible way for blogger and brands to connect, learn some new tips and discover ways to work together.

Be sure to check out our fashion post recap in a few days!


Ladies Home Journal
Stride Rite
Happy Family
New Balance
Coldwater Creek
Stella & Dot
Kiwi Crate
Charming Charlie
Le Top
Crop Vodka
Farmer’s Organic Gin
Mitcher’s Whiskey
Rosie Pope
Glam 4 Ever
Sarah Potempa
Bellamy Blue Photography
Vera Bradley
Lady Savant Wines
Countess LuAnn
Lands’ End
Maggy London
Brahmin Bags

BB logo

All photographs were taken by Bellamy Blue Photography ©2013

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Are you a brand, editor or writer in the NYC area? To find out how to get involved or invited to a Momtrends event,
email Sherri (at) momtrends (dot) com.

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