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Fashion Week in Images: Tumblr Leads the Way

By distilling Fashion Week into its purest form -- the photo -- Tumblr succeeds in creating a starkly meaningful landscape in which one can really enjoy the aesthetics of the week. No retweets, no "@"s, just streams and streams of images. As a service, Tumblr is embracing its role as the world's best inspiration board, a repository for the bloggers and reporters who capture the lovely digital images they encounter as they traverse the Web. In fact, Tumblr has its own fashion director in Rich Tong, after the micro-blogging service realized that the fashion world was quite taken with the simple "love"-ing and reblogging format. "We want people to know that brands and labels need to have a Tumblr, just like they have a Facebook and Twitter. We want them to have that outlet," Tong explains. "But we still need to cater to our audience, which has grown very organically."

The haute couture-Tumblr link has occurred because of the fashion bloggers' tendency to scrapbook, to find something they like (or something they once forgot, like an early nineties Sassy ad), and post it on the site. Quickly, the community reblogs, spreading the image around. These images become themed, reposted, and a part of a growing community, one that is suddenly seeing major players step in. Vogue, Glamour and Women's Wear Daily have realized they need a Tumblr presence, like the strange bird of Twitter before it, in order to keep up with all the writers combing their archives to achieve page views.

To perfectly capture this momentum, Tong and Tumblr have stepped in to create the official tumblr.com/nyfw, a space for all things Fashion Week, modeled after the cleanly designed page for the tag tumblr.com/directory/fashion. For its first official Fashion Week coverage, Tong has created a three-tiered system. "The top tier will be a stream of content coming from major different sources, like The Cut, Lucky, V Mag, Vogue. We'll pick select content to make it onto the site." The second tier is less official, but still uber-connected, composed of industry insiders like brands, photographers or PR houses. "This group of people have great access and a really interesting perspective," Tong explains. The last layer belongs to Tumblr's top bloggers, handpicked for their unique take on fashion, by Tong himself. "We wanted bloggers who have done interesting things on the Tumblr platform. We wanted something beyond just 'style' bloggers, but those who have given their Tumblr their own character." Among the 24 bloggers being included in the feed are Peace, Love and Chanel, What I Wore and The Clothes Horse. "What we are hoping for," Tong says, "is the most comprehensive view of Fashion Week."

Besides the dedicated online space, each of the chosen Tumblr reporters will actually get to attend Fashion Week, getting to express their own take on the fast-paced proceedings. After attending high profile shows like Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Hererra, the Tumblr team can go back and put their own personalized spin on the coverage. And Tong? "I'm just going to be marching around, following all 24 of them making sure we don't lose one!" A wild, fashionable Tumblr-led blogger brigade, then.

Tumblr Partners With Fashion Week

Tumblr's partnership offers a textured, multifaceted approach to a large scale event, calling on experts and amateurs. The result, we expect, will be one filled with images without comment, or pithy ruminations, just like our Tumblr feeds themselves. Check out tumblr.com/nyfw, but we've got a few of our favorite Tumblrs as well if you want to pick and choose, instead of getting the full (and fully overwhelming) big picture.

Our Picks

  • Dazed Digital: The home of the British It-Mag is one of the most reblogged fashion Tumblrs our there.
  • Purple Diary: No one does backstage images with more finesse.
  • Textbook: A part of Tumblr's blogger package, this blog takes literary figures and applies fashion inspiration to their legacy.
  • A Fashion Week: A veritable Who's Who of any model on the catwalk each season.
  • 9th space: One of the most prolific blogs around, 9th Space scours the Tumbl-sphere for truly unique images.
  • Juergen Teller: The world famous photographer shows off his exquisite eye.
  • Oscar PR Girl: An example of how a PR firm can really embrace new media, without being overtly self-promoting.
  • Fashion Check: A smattering of Fashion Week, street style, and models.
  • stylelist: This Tumblr specializes in hair and makeup, and the beauty shenanigans that occur backstage.
  • W Magazine: A part of the official Tumblr coverage, W focuses on nightlife and celebrity.
  • Models Galore: Take a look at the faces that will flood Fashion Week.
  • Glamour: A stoic, classic glimpse at the high-end world of fashion..

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