Oscar de la Renta Meets the Internet

Five fashion bloggers from Tumblr got out of a cab at 40th and Seventh Avenue, and it looked for a moment like a clown car. They waited in the lobby of a big midtown building for 19 others to arrive to take a tour of Oscar de la Renta’s studio.

“We’re one buddy system away from being a field trip,” one of them, Ashley Simko said.

“We are a field trip,” the blogger John Jannuzzi replied.

Tumblr sent 24 bloggers to 2011 Fashion Week and set them up at the Gramercy Hotel. For the most part, they’re on their own, but today they’re traveling in a pack. They had just come from breakfast with Nina Garcia. It takes three elevators to get them to Oscar de la Renta’s studio on the 8th floor.

“Are you all here?” Erika Bearman, who does PR for Mr. de la Renta and was guiding the tour, said. “Should we do a head count?”

They all carried SLR digital cameras and began snapping rapid-fire photographs. They were young and well dressed and looked like they belong in the seats at runway shows. Only three of them are men. The pack created a big roadblock in the studio, which was calm considering the runway show is just days away, but still frantic enough. The staff shuffled about briskly.

“I have to get through!” a designer shouted. The bloggers gazed around the room in awe.

“I feel like a kid,” one of them said.

Ms. Bearman took the group into a room where people were cutting fabric. A row of old women sat at desks with sewing machines, their heads buried in work. One of the bloggers snapped one of the woman’s pictures.

“Hey, you’re gonna be on the Internet,” a younger staffer said to her.

 “Oh, no. Really?”

As the group shuffled by, another woman at a sewing machine smiled and asked, confused, “Are you all from one place?”

“Um, sort of,” Mr. Jannuzzi said. “I don’t really know how to explain it to people.”

One of the bloggers, Geri Hirsch, lamented her point-and-shoot digital camera. “I’m the ghetto blogger,” she said. “I have an SLR,” she sweared. She let loose a tiny sigh and turned to Mr. Jannuzzi.

“Have you tweeted about being here yet? I can’t even formulate the tweet.” (The tweet turned out to be: “With oscar! Dying!”)

Finally, the group went downstairs, where Mr. de la Renta was sitting at the end of a make-shift runway with his CEO Alex Bolen, both with furrowed brows examining a model.

“We’re just making this coat,” Mr. de la Renta said. He moved his hands along the fabric, and opened the coat, revealing the models lanky frame. The bloggers shot more photos. He placed a hat on the model’s head made of silver fox fur. The room let out a collective “Oooh.”

“And Oscar,” Ms. Bearman said. “We invited all these guys to the show.”

“Well, I hope you’ll clap,” Mr. de la Renta said, his voice slightly drowned out by the sound of cameras clicking.






Oscar de la Renta Meets the Internet