CNN called Budapest one of the top cities in the world and I could not agree more with this statement. Does it mean that this stunning city has a chance to host a proper fashion week and fit into the calendar of the “big four”?
I think about it pretty often, if I have to be really honest with you. On one side, I see an amazing city which can be easily called the party hub of Europe, offering its guests delicious food, breathtaking architecture and the best pampering session in various resorts and spas around the city and the country itself.
Where is the problem then? I think the lack of cooperation between the main players in the Hungarian fashion industry.
This hit my mind after the latest Marie Claire Fashion Days, which I wanted to cover as press.
I would love to provide you more info about the event itself and the collections of not only the biggest designers but also the emerging ones. Unfortunately, I am not able to do it, as I did not really see the shows. I mean I saw it for the first few minutes, shortly before being pushed to the dark corner of the room. Lack of seating arrangements and a huge crowd made it impossible to check what was going on the runway. Instead of loosing my nerves inside, I took a glass of wine and decided to study the list of the sponsors up on my invitation. I was truly shocked to see how big the list was and how many big brands have been involved in this event.
L’Oréal, Vagabond, VAN GRAAF, Perwoll, Lancôme, Toyota are just some of them and this reminded me of a conversation with a girl from fashion PR agency here. She pointed out how hard it is to convince the top brands to sponsor a fashion event, in Hungary. Taking into consideration the list of sponsors from the latest Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Central Europe, which happened just a month before, adding the ones who supported Marie Claire fashion event and still keeping in mind a few of them which Elle magazine got during their own fashion days, I bet there was a huge improvement.
MBFWCE took only 2 days and showcased the collections of the biggest Hungarian designers (there were a few from abroad). What if it would be prolonged to 5 days (following the biggest fashion weeks) and showcasing all Hungarian designers or any other ones who design in this country? After studying the impressive sponsor list during Marcie Claire Fashion Days I bet it would be really possible but only if all the parties come together and use their strengths to attract investors.
This would mean that the magazines such as Marie Claire or Elle should give up their own “fashion days” in order to help Big Bag PR agency and Design Terminál to organize a proper fashion week. If all parties use their own connections and bring the sponsors, after some proper selection procedures, we could choose the best one who could cover the cost of organizing such event. I am not sure if I am that smart or if nobody else thought about this idea before but a suggestion like this needs to be considered.
Stand alone events do not make much sense in Budapest, as they don’t attract any international press or buyers. Front rows are usually occupied by celebrities or loyal clients. If all those little events would collaborate, we could get a really thing on a proper fashion week and with good marketing it could attract prominent people from worldwide fashion industries.
On the other hand, being involved in the “big business” myself, I know how hard is to negotiate in order to satisfy all parties. More people means more demands from each side and achieving a compromise is almost as difficult as organizing the event itself.
Coming back to the sponsors, well it is not the secret that they have their own demands too. Remember like few years ago in Poland during one of the fashion designer show, one of the main sponsors, the producer of sparkling water wanted to put a huge balloon at the entrance in the shape of his bottle. Well if this would be a circus or an amusement park, nobody would actually protest.
How am I able to imagine this kind of cooperation then?
I think that in Hungary already exists a good portfolio of potential sponsors. I would definitely see there MAC or L’Oréal cosmetics for make up. Schwarzkopf, Toni &Guy or Kevin Murphy premium hair products. Vodafone, Samsung, LG or any big brand from mobile or telecommunication sector. Madison Perfumery, who could provide nice samples of the latest fragrances for the invited guests. I will try to encourage the biggest players from the wine industry – Hungary has plenty of them. Free water and coffee – Jana, Nestle, Tchibo, Nescafé – we do have some choices here as well.
Of course we would need some top sponsors such a Mercedes Benz or maybe BMW, who could actually put a good amount of money on the table.
Goodie bags should be also prepared in a more selected manner – similar to MBFWCE. If the brand ‘xyz’ is the main sponsor for make up it is more than mandatory to put some of the products into a goodie bag. It can be a make up product (nude colors) or hair products. If we could finally encourage some premium perfumery – like Madison it would be more than obvious that a sample of nice perfume shall be there as well.
Marie Claire, Elle, Glamour are supposed to take media patronage and make sure they cover everything what is going on during the show and the backstage. Having interviews with designers, top bloggers and of course with prominent people from the international fashion industry. Real time updates on Instagram Facebook and website would be one of their main task as well.
This might be a wishful thinking – but the sooner we start to collaborate the better chances we have to improve fashion scene in Budapest. It will surely required some compromises but keeping in mind the main goal could push each party to make some additional efforts in order to find a common solution.
Budapest should be finally known, not only for its party scene, but also for its fashion one which is growing day by day.
What do you think about this idea? Do share your comments.