Better late than never! I’ve finally gotten around to doing a recap of my trip to LA for Lucky FABB. The Lucky Magazine fashion and beauty blogger (FABB) conferences will always hold a special place in my heart. After all, the first Lucky FABB in February 2011 is where the idea of starting my blog, Ageist Beauty, came to me. Lucky FABB conferences are typically held in New York City just prior to New York Fashion Week. This time, Team FABB decided to head west to Los Angeles and FABB West was launched in, well, a fab way.
On Sunday, several bloggers attended a fantastic brunch at the Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica hosted by RewardStyle, the invitation-only web tool that helps fashion bloggers find and monetize their content. It was wonderful to network in a relaxed atmosphere and reconnect with some of my favorite bloggers from past FABBs and meet many amazing bloggers from the West Coast. After the brunch, we were taken on a double-decker tour bus to the famed Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice. The “shopping safari” was sponsored by Have to Have, a registry site that allows you to track everything that you “have to have” from across the web. The site also notifies you when your coveted items go on sale. Lucky’s West Coast editor, Marlien Rentmeester curated a tour of some of the unique boutiques on Abbott Kinney. During the tour, we took photos of our favorite items and posted them on Twitter. The photos were then posted on HavetoHave.com for members to vote on the items that they “have to have”. The blogger that tweeted the most popular item wins some amazing prizes.
FABB West weekend Day 1 culminated with a cocktail party at the West Hollywood store of designer, Kelly Wearstler. Kelly, her husband, and adorable children mingled and took photos with us while we checked out her amazing fashions and home accents in the store.
After such an amazing day, I could have already gone home happy, but of course the next day was the main event. The conference was held at the beautiful Annenberg Community Beach House nestled between the scenic Pacific Coast Highway and the beach. Lucky editor-in-chief, Brandon Holley kicked off the conference with an intimate conversation with the very talented designer, Zac Posen. The audience was captivated as Posen talked about how he got started, his inspirations and also shared photos of his more accessible Z Spoke line.
However, the main focus of the conference was helping bloggers to grow our businesses as burgeoning entrepreneurs. There were several panel discussions featuring brands and well-established bloggers, such as Geri Hirsch from Because I’m Addicted, Wendy Nguyen of Wendy’s Lookbook and Tina Craig of Bag Snob on topics such as staying true to your voice, how brands work with blogs, ways to monetize your blog and building your brand.
Given that the event was held in Los Angeles, a major sub-theme of the event was how Hollywood and the media influence fashion. As such, we were treated to conversations with Jessica Alba, who talked about her new eco-friendly and organic baby product company, The Honest Company. Jessica was even more adorable and sweet in person! I’m still coveting the gorgeous Alice & Olivia sequin tie sweater that she was wearing. We also heard from actress, Elizabeth Banks, who is seriously comedian-like funny, as well as super down-to-earth and smart. Elizabeth revealed that she was a hardcore TJ Maxx “Maxxinista” while growing up in New England. Who knew? Everyone should check out her website, elizabethbanks.com. The Mad Men fans in the audience were thrilled to meet the very mature, yet super cute Kiernan Shipka (AKA “Sally Draper”) and hear how the show’s fashion and costume designer, Janie Bryant, creates the looks for its characters.
A first for FABB was the addition of breakout sessions. These sessions allowed bloggers a chance to attend a session tailored to the specific needs of their blog whether it be using Facebook more effectively, fine-tuning your writing skills, improving design, etc. I attended a session on search engine optimization led by Toby Evers, SVP Media Operations from Morpheus Media and walked away with some great tips on how to improve my blog’s rank in Google.
During the breaks, not only did we have opportunities to network and nosh on yummy snacks, but we enjoyed brand experiences in the suites set-up by Lucky sponsors, such as P&G Beauty (Pantene, CoverGirl, Olay, etc.), Tacori jewelry, LeSportSac, Zappos.com and more. In the suites, we had an opportunity to learn more about the brands, have photo ops, and in one case do a fun DIY craft! Of course, any Lucky FABB conference would not be complete without the legendary Lucky swag bag (weighing in at 25 lbs and requiring a trip home via FedEx!). It was stocked full of products by TOMS, Paige Denim, Michael Stars and many more. This beauty blogger’s heart squealed with joy when I saw beauty products by OPI, Kate Somerville, Bliss, and Olay.
In a preview of FABB West 2013, EIC Brandon Holley promised an even more fun and multi-day event. I’m already holding some space on my calendar!