Fashion TV’s non-stop images

Broadcasting on 31 satellites and thousands of cable systems reaching over 300 million households all around the globe – which translates into over 550 million men and women on five continents – Fashion TV’s constant flow of images is impressive, whether to a fashionista or not. When did fashion become so important to justify such an exclusive channel with 24-hour, non-stop coverage? «It became important enough six years ago when we began broadcasting with good reception worldwide; fashion, modeling, photography where in good demand,» said Fashion TV’s president, Michel Adam, in an interview with Kathimerini English Edition. In town recently to promote Fashion TV’s Greek debut (it is now available on the Nova digital platform) with a fashionable party at Island’s Private House, Adam stressed that while advanced technology ensured the supply of images, «there was a demand for more content in thematic channels and fashion was not really covered at the time.» So is the channel the CNN or perhaps the MTV of fashion? «We stand somewhere in between,» said Adam. «On the one hand we report news, such as fashion weeks, while on the other we also focus on the musical element of fashion.» Catering to professionals, the young generation, but also to what seems to be a rather affluent general public, according to Adam, Fashion TV takes everybody into account. «Fashion cuts to all age groups,» he said. Yet don’t expect Fashion TV to go to great lengths about Gucci’s stock pricing and other industry business talk. This is really about the image – though breaking fashion news and industry developments are covered on the channel’s website. What you get is a plethora of visual material through 3-minute clips or 10-minute shows featuring fashion collections, new trends, regional styles, Paris haute couture, established models but also new blood, lingerie, swimwear and menswear. As a work in progress, the channel is constantly coming up with novel segments, including flashbacks to older catwalk collections as well as retrospectives – focusing on a series of past and present collections recording the work of designers and fashion houses in the last few years. Time is relevant in fashion, however, and Fashion TV has now overcome one major barrier: While in the past the channel was not allowed to broadcast major catwalk shows live (or soon after) from Paris, Milan, New York and London, since international fashion houses feared automatic copies, nowadays transmission is either immediate or within the next 24 hours. Adam and his team also ventured into the reality field last year, with a highly successful fashion version of Big Brother titled «ModelFlat,» in which six models and 24 cameras shared a Milanese flat. Coming up in the fall is a serial titled «Shoot Me,» with action taking place in London; cameras will follow the lives of five young women with 3-minute broadcasts every day for 21 days. Meanwhile, the channel’s big summer model project is the «Fashion TV Model Awards,» featuring a series of local competitions taking place in different parts of the world. (Winners from various countries will eventually gather in Monte Carlo for the finals.) Clearly, the channel has a (justified) penchant for the world of models. «Modeling is very important,» said Adam. «Each model has a family; for every show she appears on she might have 200 or 300 people following her. Profiles of models are well received, while audiences have a closer relationship with models than with designers.» Besides the model talk, Fashion TV also takes world audiences beyond the fashion industry’s four major capitals. In this way, viewers look at fashion development in India or Brazil, for instance. «We cover all valuable events, wherever they are happening,» said Adam. «Our interest is to show what is happening all over the world and service our viewers in particular countries.» In light of this, Fashion TV can get very local indeed; for instance, the channel recently signed a promotional deal for «Boom,» an Indian film in which the fashion world meets the Indian mob. «We have different signals all over the world, in Asia, South America or Europe, for instance,» said Adam. «In this way, we try to show different things from different places.» Any chance of seeing profiles of Greek fashion designers on Fashion TV? Would there be any interest in broadcasting a Greek fashion week – if that ever happens, that is? «Yes, of course, we have an interest in Greek designers; their brands and their reputations are established in Greece and we want to service our viewers in Greece,» said Adam. «The designers, of course, would be interested in getting their work broadcasted internationally.» Meanwhile, a project that Adam is working on involving Greece is a special broadcast during the Olympic Games. Currently in a negotiating phase, the idea would be for well-known models and designers to show their work against a Greek setting. While image is everything for Fashion TV, viewers, for the time being at least, don’t get to see reporters introducing designers when covering live shows, for instance. There are no star reporters or fashion experts giving their side of the story. «Our staff has a lot of fashion knowledge, a very good understanding of fashion,» said Adam. «We have the ability to focus on contributions from Belgrade to Beirut and from Cape Town to Buenos Aires – unlike Vogue magazine, for instance, because we have the ability to show.» Thus the constant flow of images and endless visual material to digest. «A picture is worth a thousand words,» said Adam. «Three minutes of video says more than 300 pages of text.»