Diana Vreeland documentary can teach the fashion industry something about marketing too

In the new Diana Vreeland documentary, The Eye Has to Travel, designer Diane von Furstenberg refers to the memos written by the late editor and museum curator, as being like a blog. “[Vreeland] was, in fact, the first blogger,” she jokes.

The wit, precision and bite-sized content of those memos however, makes that idea, albeit in analog form, not too hard to imagine playing out successfully online.

Vreeland wasn’t of course around to witness the explosion of the social web, but had she been a part of it, she most definitely would have done it better than anyone else.

The film itself, is truly incredible. As the write-up reads: “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is an intimate portrait and a vibrant celebration of one of the most influential women of the twentieth century, an enduring icon who has had a strong influence on the course of fashion, beauty, publishing and culture.”

It continues: “During her fifty year reign as the “Empress of Fashion”… [she invited] us to join her on a voyage of perpetual reinvention and take part in the adventure of life. Through her trained and diligent eye, she opened the door of our minds and gave us the freedom to imagine. Her images and accomplishments are as fresh and relevant now as they were then, and her spirit is just as vibrant and relevant today.”

Part way through the film, one of the many high profile old colleagues, friends and family members (from Richard Avedon and Lauren Bacall to Hubert de Givenchy) featured, says: “She was about ideas, the magic of fashion.”

And it’s that that resonates.

It reminds us once again why the fashion industry can be so incredibly good at marketing: it’s all about storytelling and imagination. Or as Vreeland so aptly says in the film: “We live through our dreams and our imagination. That’s the only reality we ever really know…”

Most definitely something there to be learnt in how to approach digital strategy.

Go watch the film.