I only have a few soapboxes but this is definitely one of them. (Swanky steps on soapbox.)
The FIRST rule of ethics for fashion stylists/journalists/writers (and because of the recent FCC rules it applies to bloggers, too!) is that you NEVER ask for ANYTHING for FREE (or even a discount) in return for editorial coverage, usage, or credit. EVER. If someone does this and they aren't Anna Wintour — you might want to check their legitimacy and credentials.
Recently I've had more than one designer mention that this has happened (and see it on blogs and video blogs every day) and I'm just appalled. When I worked as a fashion assistant at one of the most popular fashion/shopping mags just out of college, I definitely got my fair share of swag, freebies and "thank you for your mention" in the form of clothing, jewelry, meals and flowers (as did the editors I worked for) ... but we NEVER, EVER asked for it. EVER. If you get it, fine. If you don't, oh well. You borrow clothing, samples, items for use for photo shoots, television segments and editorials but ALWAYS return. Always.
And Swanky steps down. Carry on now ...