Fashion UK(www.fuk.co.uk) is the oldest and boldest of UK fashion websites. It’s a major voice supporting new design talent and challenging the old guard of British Fashion. Now 10 years old and with a new look this month PSFK’s Simon King caught up with founder Marian Buckley in a Soho wine bar to chat fashion, cutting out the gossip:
PSFK – Congratulations on 10 years of FUKing, What inspired you to start FUK in 1996?
Fuk first went live 21 November 1995. We were inspired initially by the rich variety of street styles around us – as Londoners we have a fantastic heritage of style subcultures and this, along with the way the web is ideal for fashion because it is immediate and accessible. We especially keen to bring down the barriers put up by fashion print magazines – long lead times so the info and photos are always months old and dictatorial editorial which doesn’t pay respect to the way folk create their own trends.
PSFK – How have your objectives changed in the last 10 years?
We are now better able to foster our fashion community because of advances in technology. When we started out we were very restricted as to what we could do design-wise and the interactivity on Fuk wasn’t anything like what we are developing now. With the redesign, all our registered users can comment on any piece of content instantly – not just on our Message Board but throughout Fuk. We now are also well experienced at covering fashion events in an effective way that works online – we like mixing media and always pushing ahead as you know Simon so we were the first to cover London Fashion Week online, the first to broadcast videos from the shows and first to do podcasts from LFW.
PSFK – We’ve noticed in the re-design you give more prominence to the user discussion groups, was it your users who inspired your re-design.
Our users inspire us daily – we have such an incredible community of people who use Fuk – there is barely a day that goes by when I’m not directly inspired by our regulars. They are an infinite source of inspiration on all fronts. We also involved everyone – the new logo came about via a competition which many users entered and many more then voted on. We prepared everyone for the change over explaining how and what was occurring – it was a massive deal to us and our very active regulars to get it all right. It was a huge amount of work technically, but we lucky we have such a cool community – we can collaborate with them and are constantly tweaking.
PSFK – FUK was there at the beginning and end of the last golden age of British Fashion, many people are saying that london is now past it and its just the worlds design university, is London past it?
Past it? London? You are joking. These things are cyclical aren’t they and I personally think exaggerated for headline purposes. To me London is totally where it’s at.
An Extract from FUK’s latest press release follows, for more information visit www.fuk.co.uk
THE UK’s No1 INDEPENDENT FASHION WEBSITE RELAUNCHES WITH A NEW LOOK AND NEW FEATURE
For 10 years, FashionUK (http://www.fuk.co.uk/) has brought you fashion
with gritty passion from the streets and the catwalks of the UK, now we’re relaunching.
Up until today, you may have visited fuk.co.uk for UK fashion news, competitions, trends and reports from all the main fashion events. Or maybe your visit focuses on the Threads message board, which receives
hundreds of posts every day.
On the new website, you can glide seamlessly from community to editorial-led content. From students to industry professionals, all manner of fashion life lives on fuk.co.uk. Regulars on our message board, Threads, have been sharing and contributing content for some time. From May 1st, once you have registered, you can comment on content throughout the website. Fuk.co.uk regulars enjoy more privileges – maintaining their own individual blogs as well as uploading images.
Fuk.co.uk covers UK fashion, from the street to the catwalk. Back in ‘97, we were the first to deliver coverage of London Fashion Week online. In the days before digital cameras, we brought laptops to the shows, biked the films to processing lab, and scanned in the photos by hand – all on the same day. Since then, our independent catwalk reports and photographs have become increasingly respected.