Vogue Forces of Fashion 2018

This was my second year at the annual Vogue Forces of Fashion Conference in NYC. Last year I was the very grateful guest of Farfetch. This year, after NYFW and the chaos I felt around the PR machines and invites (I strongly believe you shouldn’t be at a show if you don’t know the brand/designer/collection well) I decided to purchase my own ticket to the conference and attend on my own. Of course I knew so many other attendees, Vogue employees, designers etc who would be there, but I wanted to ensure that I was there of my own volition.

The benefit of this for you? I feel I can tell you truly, and honestly, how I felt about the day!

Last year I attended (2017) was unbelievable! I felt so connected to each of the designers as they spoke, and developed newfound appreciations for their craft, their lines and them as individuals.

I wish I could say what the “highlights” from 2017 were but every panel and discussion that day was intimate, funny, informative and insightful - it was all a highlight! I can’t say enough about the whole day! Being up close with John Galliano, seeing the softer side of Victoria Beckham, hearing in depth how Stella McCartney is trying to revolutionize and change fashion and the manufacturing side for the better, meeting Rihanna, and getting more familiar with Demna/Vigil and Heron was mind blowing and so so inspiring. My favs Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors were also as charismatic and fabulous as always.

I was honestly totally unprepared for the day, and overwhelmed once I got there and was was so enthralled with listening and trying to soak up every minute I didn’t take good notes. So, below are links to the Vogue website and their coverage of last year’s phenomenal event and panels.

Last week I had learned my lesson. I brought a notepad, I made sure my phone was charged (it is a long day 8 am - 7 pm), and I had a back up, external charger ready to go in my purse!

I was so excited to attend - take a sneak peek at some of the discussions we had that day - and you’ll see why I love this event!

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like this years line up spoke to me in quite the same way as last. In some cases the panelists were more lackluster, only two moderators all day did a noticeably great job, and there were many speakers I wasn’t that interested in hearing from. Is this the beginning of the end for Vogue? Are the ever constant rumors of Anna Wintour’s departure starting to affect the way they are able to secure talent? I don’t know if that is the answer to this, but I definitely was less impressed this go round. Maybe the first Forces of Fashion Conference just had beginner’s luck? Maybe I went into the day bummed I couldn’t make that gorgeous McQueen bustier outfit work (do you follow along with my instastories @pretanewporter?!? If so, you’ll know what I mean!)? Maybe I am being too harsh? No matter the drawbacks there were some fabulous moments I want to recap:

Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino

Annie Leibovitz

Ashley Graham and Paloma Elsesser


The women behind both Rodarte and Simone Rocha


Ryan Murphy

The other panels either didn’t excite me in quite the same way, or I literally did not hear them. Four of the discussions were concurrent so I 100% missed out on two of them. For those sessions I have linked the Vogue coverage below. For the above session I will be writing individual posts sharing my favorite quotes, ideas and learnings!

The two panels I missed (while sitting in others) were:

Moving In, Moving Up

Clare Waight Keller (Givenchy) w/ Eva Chen (Instagram)

Clare is the first female to helm Givenchy in its 66 year history. She is putting her stamp on the esteemed Paris haute couture house straight away- not least of all by being the designer behind the year’s most talked about wedding dress.

click here to read more

Don’t Just Sell: Do Something

Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa (Warby Parker), Iman w/ Abby Aguirre

Ever since Neil and David started Warby Parker in 2010, they have made philanthropy a keystone of their business model. IN an era when activism has never been more important, they talk about giving back from the get-go, and how fashion needs to embrace it’s charitable side like never before. They’re joined by Iman, the iconic model, actress, entrepreneur, whose career has long been entwined with her own philanthropic commitments - the latest being working with Blumenthal and Gilboa.
click here to read more

There were then two panels that I enjoyed but didn’t take as much away from as I had hopped. Nothing wrong with the speakers, but just the content wasn’t something I felt as motivated or inspired by.

The Runway is reality

Glenn Martens (Y/Project), Martine Rose (Martine Rose), Rio Uribe (Gypsy Sport) and Yoon and Verbal (Ambush) w/ Chioma Nnadi

IN a trend now playing out across the industry, these four young labels - Ambush, Gypsy SPort, Martine Rose and Y/Project - are disrupting the fashion show model by enlisting members of their own communities and reflecting today’s world right back at us.

click here to learn more

The Influencer’s Influence

Kris Jenner w/ Sally Singer

In the worlds of entertainment, fashion and beauty, who could claim to keep up with Kris Kardashian Jenner? She sits at the helm of a multi-billion dollar business empire that rests on her intuitive and clever stewardship of the careers of her enterprising, breathtaking children. In the age of digital media she has managed to monetize the rituals and routines of daily life - this moment’s Holy Grail -more successfully than any person or corporation… but at what price? And where does she seek inspiration and dazzle, off camera and off line, give that her antennae are so ceaselessly tuned to what’s next? A discussion about family, love, fashion savvy, financial wizardry, and future bets.

click here to read more

EventsBronwyn Newport