The STLFW Blogger Experience

November 13, 2015 26 comments

For bloggers, Saint Louis Fashion Week (STLFW) is more than runways and presentations. It’s a marathon of curated experiences that give you a chance to get to know the city of St. Louis and bond with fellow fashionistas. And when you talk fashion, no one knows your language quite like another blogger. That’s why for me STLFW is one of the best venues to grow your blogger resume and make strong meaningful connections with people just as passionate as you are about fashion.

STLFW Bloggers

STLFW Bloggers enjoying downtown St. Louis; Photo Credit: Ashley Kuenstler Photography.

Why is this possible? Well the Blogger Experience at Saint Louis Fashion Week is run by the Midwest Influencer Network (MWIN), an organization dedicated to growing the reach of bloggers and brands in the heart of the country. This year MWIN teamed up with Explore St. Louis to give bloggers an immersive city experience during STLFW. Select STLFW Ambassadors are chosen to attend private events around St. Louis to see firsthand why the Gateway to the West is such a gem for fashion, food, business and design. This experience is unlike most other fashion weeks where bloggers are are often on their own getting into events, networking and planning their itinerary.

Each year the agenda is packed with exciting events that captivate the senses. For all of the fashion events, check out my post on STLFW here. In between the hot fashion tickets, we indulged in chef’s selections from the city’s top restaurants, private tours of exclusive shops and venues and meet and greets with artists and local entrepreneurs. If you need a crash course in St. Louis, the STLFW Blogger Experience is a great way to get to know the fashionable side of it! Here are some of the highlights from my week:

Sweet Treats and Savory Bites at 360 St. Louis

One of my favorite spots in the city, 360 St. Louis gives you a panoramic view of the downtown area including spectacular views of the Ballpark. There’s nowhere like it in the city. And if you know me, you know I am a fry fanatic. There’s just something in their fries that is ridiculously good, but it’s a secret. We also enjoyed a pink candy bar, courtesy of our host Socially Jen, who provides marketing and more to small businesses and nonprofits.

360 St. Louis

Enjoying light bites and sweets with Socially Jen at 360 St. Louis; Photo Credit on left: Ashley Kuenstler Photography.

Shopping Spree at The Vault

Home of Style Network’s Resale Royalty, The Vault by Women’s Closet Exchange is a great place to find designer vintage for way less than you’d expect. One woman’s trash is another’s treasure, which was certainly the case as some of our bloggers scored big.

The Vault by Women's Closet Exchange

The Vault by Women’s Closet Exchange; Photo Credit: Ashley Kuenstler Photography.

Dinner with Collections by Joya at Element Restaurant and Lounge

At perhaps my favorite event of the week (I’m partial because I adore Joya’s founder Betsy), we broke bread with the lovely people of Collections by Joya with food by Element’s new chef, Josh Charles. The tasting menu was superb from the arancini to the fried chicken, the perfectly cooked steak and more. But the surprise dessert custard at the end was a wonderful way to end the night on a sweet note. If you haven’t checked out Element, book a table this weekend – the second floor lounge is a sight to see!

Element St. Louis

The Lounge at Element; Photo Credit: Ashley Kuenstler Photography.

Element St. Louis

Left: Dessert and my new bracelet from Collections by Joya; Right: Our gorgeous dinner table at Element – Photo Credit on right: Ashley Kuenstler Photography.

Dim Sum with Julia Li and Lu Lu Seafood

I cannot believe I have never been to Lu Lu Seafood! It is known for its authentic Chinese food and is now my favorite place for Honey Walnut Shrimp. Julia Li of Lu Lu Seafood is also a patron for local entrepreneurs through organizations like Create Space and Activate Art. My ears definitely perked up when she announced Lu Lu Seafood would soon offer private karaoke rooms in December.

Lu Lu Seafood St. Louis

Brunch at Lu Lu Seafood; Photo Credits: Ashley Kuenstler Photography.

Happy Hour with Fauxgerty

Vegan apparel company Fauxgerty sells the raddest leather and suede jackets. The finishing is so good that you can’t even tell they’re not made from animal products. I’m partial to the red suede jacket, but there are gorgeous handbags and jewelry as well for sale. My favorite part of the evening were the gingerbread vegan cookies that taste better than I could imagine.

Fauxgerty

Jewelry and apparel including red suede jackets at Fauxgerty.

Brunch bites and Shopping with Living Collective

Living Collective has a curious selection of jewelry, gifts and apparel from designers you can’t find anywhere else in St. Louis. Why do I say curious? Because I was so taken with every corner of the shop that I had to peek through everything. Pop culture nail stickers, sarcastic buttons, spell candles, novelty sweatshirts (“Bitch Better Have My Money”) are found alongside plaid dresses, well cut winter coats and printed two-pieces. There’s something for everyone!

Living Collective St. Louis

Dinner at Budweiser Brewhouse

To wrap up the weekend, we enjoyed dinner at the Budweiser Brewhouse and continued the evening hopping around Ballpark Village. During our private tour, we hiked up to the terrace seats where you can watch the game as if you are in the stadium. One of the coolest parts of the tour was the new Rubix cube installation of Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

Ballpark Village St. Louis

Left: Dinner at Budweiser Brewhouse with the blogger gang; Right: Stan Musial Rubix cube mural.

By attending my second Fall STLFW, I learned more about my city than I ever thought possible. There are so many amazing restaurants, entrepreneurs and opportunities to inspire you. I also made some fabulous new blogger pals that I hope to stay in touch with, especially if I visit their hometowns of Chicago or Kansas City for any blogger events. It was a wonderful weekend and I gained about five extra pounds that will remind me fondly of the weekend 😛

A big thank you to all the Partners who made this week for me possible including: Explore St. Louis Convention CenterSaint Louis Fashion WeekMidwest Influencer NetworkSaint Louis Union StationBallpark VillageAshley Kuenstler PhotographyCollections by JoyaElement Restaurant and Lounge360 St. LouisSocially JenLulu SeafoodLiving CollectiveCaleres Inc.Fauxgerty and ALIVE Magazine.

Disclosure: This content was sponsored by Explore St. Louis and Midwest Influencer Network.

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