Op Ed. Steve & Barry’s vs. the Fashion Blogosphere by Fashiontribes. Second City Style Fashion Blog

March 27, 2007 • Fashion


R.I.P Here lied a picture of a black wool and silk dress (or skirt and top). The skirt was fitted (hourglass) and rested at the knee. The best of the lot.


R.I.P Here lied a photo of an ensemble that I could never imagine SJP wearing (well maybe when she was 14 and on ‘Square Pegs’). Short khaki shorts, a powder blue t-shirt and a sleeveless gray hoodie finished with red Chucks (Converse).


R.I.P above lied a flimsy cotton charcoal with teal hemmed sleeveless night shirt looking dress. It was paired with a purple t-shirt underneath.


R.I.P Above used to be a photo of cuffed-capri jeans (can you say summer of ’05?), an aqua and white patterned sleeveless babydoll tank and a pair of tan flip-flops.

Public domain or private property?

I decided to re-post this blog entry by Lesley at Fashiontribes in it’s entirety because I feel she nailed the real issue here. I could not have said it better. PR firms love us when they need us, but God forbid, we don’t sing their clients praises even thought they don’t always deserve them.
– Lauren Dimet, Editor-in-Chief, Second City Style

Update: The photos have been replaced since I was contacted by Steve & Barry’s counsel as well. 3/20/07

Budget chain Steve & Barry’s recently launched the press blitz for the new Bitten Sarah Jessica Parker line. They promised an exclusive preview of the line to Oprah
magazine and other traditional long-line media outlets – who promptly
leaked the photos on the Internet, where they ended up widely circled
& easily accessible. The Budget Fashionista obtained the pix from the public domain, and ran them with a less than glowing review (CLICK HERE
to read it).  Steve & Barry’s wrote TBF (below) explaining the
photos were "wrongfully obtained" from a password protected site not
open to the public, and they need to be taken down.

Not only did TBF not sneak photos off a site illegally, but hellooooooo,
this is the age of the Internet, and once the fashionable cat is out of
the bag, it’s out. Times have changed. Interestingly, firms crave
coverage of their products from the blogs, but then act like this. On a
side note, something I particularly love about certain large &
influential PR firms (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty)
is the hard-sell pitches they send to fashion bloggers, but then fail
to give any of us a decent seat at one of their fashion shows, or even
invite any of us to fancy product launches or events, limiting the
invite list to dinosaur print editors only. These companies
fail to realize the reason blogs are popular is because unlike
traditional magazines with a specific "voice" and a faceless masthead,
bloggers are real people – with real opinions (which companies could
probably benefit from). Unlike the blogs, long-line media is beholden
to their roster of advertisers; it’s specious (on their part) to talk
about their "editorial" content, when in truth, it should probably come
with an "advertorial" warning label. 

The letter from Steve & Barry’s Lawyer to TBF:

To Whom It May Concern:

Good Morning, I am the Assistant General Counsel for Steve &
Barry’s asking you to please remove the images of the Bitten collection
from the above captioned website and any other site or link in your
control that may lead to these images. These were wrongfully obtained
from a password protected website, and are not authorized for public
distribution. I hope you understand, we’re a company that as a mission
looks out for our shoppers and the public at large. To keep our prices
as low as they are for merchandise of such high quality requires that
we don’t advertise. We rely on mass publicity as our leading awareness
builder. Having any images appear on the web prior to the launch of
this collection June seriously jeopardizes agreements we have in place
with global media outlets that have been promised first rights to show
the merchandise. We absolutely want to work with you to provide
information and/or images that are unique and special to you and your
audience as a thank you for your cooperation. As a first step, we will
grant permission to you to use the black/white image of Sarah Jessica
Parker in a tshirt and jean jacket. But for now we are hoping you will
cooperate with us and remove all the other images.

Here are Kathryn’s posts:
the review – thebudgetfashionista.com
lawyer’s letter – thebudgetfashionista.com/lawyer’sletter

Please weigh in at The Budget Fashionista with your opinion on whether she should remove the photos or not.

– Lesley Scott Fashiontribes.com

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