Welcome back to my Newbie Guide to NYFW: Part Three, the final post of this series. If you need a refresher, be sure to browse through Part One and Part Two. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. The positive feedback I’ve been receiving has been above and beyond my expectations and it’s really encouraged me to continue to put myself out there and offer more helpful resources and tips for fellow bloggers like me. I have some exciting things in the works for people interested in becoming a blogger, wanting to take their blog to the next level, or for those of you focused on growing your Instagram following. If any these things interest you, be sure to pop your information in here so you can be the first to know when it’s available!
Part Two heavily focused on the different ways to get invitations to runway shows and presentations, or set up meetings with different brands and showrooms. Some of you may be lucky enough to get an influx of invitations sitting in your inbox without any effort on your end. Other people [eh hem, moi] will have to go after what they want, and there is no shame in that! So before sharing my final advice on mastering NYFW, let’s review what you can expect at these different events, shall we?!
If you plan on going to your first Fashion Week, I highly recommend going to as many runway shows as you can. Prior to my trip, I was told by several people that the shows are overrated. I couldn’t disagree more and I think only YOU can make that decision [after you’ve actually been to several]. Once invited, you will have a designated seat assignment, unless you’re in the Standing Section. The Standing Section is typically in the back behind the last row of seats, or there may be a section off to the side. Don’t be discouraged if you’re in the Standing Section. I stood at Zimmermann and was able to see everything perfectly!
Tip: If you are in the Standing Section, but have a friend with a seat, just tag along with your friend [as long as they’re cool with it] because there’s probably enough room to squeeze your tushie next to theirs. Walk with confidence like you know what you’re doing and you belong there. Security isn’t that strict [will vary from show to show] and they certainly aren’t checking every single person’s ticket to make sure everyone is seated in their exact seat. Most of the shows have benches versus individual chairs, so it’s easy to make room! And if you do end up getting caught or stopped by Security, they’re just going to redirect you to your section.
Some shows begin promptly; most don’t. Do your best to arrive before the scheduled time. Some may have a lounge area where you can get a cocktail beforehand but there’s no food or beverages during the show. You may see fellow bloggers or people you recognize while waiting in line. Be sure to say hi and introduce yourself! At the Monique Lhuillier show, we sat in the second row, directly across from Hilary Duff, Ashley Madekwe, Niya Rivera, Jamie Chung, Jacey from Damsel in Dior, and a few Victorias Secret Models. I didn’t introduce myself to them…instead just stared at their ridiculously beautiful faces! I did however get to mingle with several bloggers before and after the shows and met some really cool people.
The actual runway shows are not very long. Depending on the amount of looks [an average of 30-40], it can be anywhere from 10-20 minutes long. When trying to plan out your day, figure an hour at each show, because again, chances are they won’t start on time. I sat around for about 30 minutes before each show started. If there are a lot of empty seats, minutes before the show starts people may be asked to slide down to fill in the gaps. This is an ideal time for those in the Standing Section or sitting in a back row to work their way into a good seat! You have to act fast though! Once the lights go down, the music is turned up and it’s showtime!
It’s possible to get invited to go backstage before the runway show starts, however that doesn’t necessarily mean you have an invitation to the actual show. Often PR Firms that represent clients in the beauty industry will send out invitations to press and social influencers to be a part of the behind the scenes shenanigans. It’s really interesting to view the entire production of hair, makeup, nails, and see the designers vision come to life.
Tip: If you only have access backstage, but want to see the show, stick around. I was invited by Aveda to go backstage before Leanne Marshall. The PR person from Aveda told me if I went to the entrance, showed them my Aveda Backstage Pass, and asked to get into the show, it would be a possibility. So, I went to the front, told them I was with Aveda and that I was a Fashion Blogger and was hoping there was an available seat. The woman told me she could get me into the Standing Section. When I got inside, I ran into a few of the girls I had previously met backstage who told me just to walk in with them. I did just that, then squeezed my butt next to theirs and had a perfect front row view! Not too shabby for someone who didn’t even have a ticket to the show in the first place!
Lots of brands like Kate Spade, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, and J. Crew opt to have presentations versus runway shows. During these presentations, models basically act as mannequins showcasing the designer’s upcoming collection. It’s a little more informal than the runway shows and it also allows guests to get a very close look at the clothing since you can walk right up to the models. Some presentations may have a certain theme with relevant props and fun decor.
Meetings & Showroom Visits
Networking is extremely important if you want to work with different brands, land sponsorships and campaigns, and hopefully make a nice little business out of doing something you love. Before your trip, contact companies that fit your aesthetic and try to set up an appointment with them. Every meeting and showroom visit will vary. Some places may gift you tons of amazing goodies. Some may show you their new line or pieces they’re working on. Some may be an introduction meeting that can lead to future collaborations. And get this! – some will even let you borrow clothes to wear for the week, as long as you tag them and give them proper shout outs. For showroom visits, reach out to them 3 to 4 weeks before Fashion Week and try to set something up. Know who you’re contacting and know what you want from them [whether now or in the future]. Companies aren’t just going to offer you the moon and stars. You need to make things happen for yourself. Here’s a list of the 10 best fashion PR Firms.
Tip: Be prepared. Do research on the brand if it’s one you’re less familiar with. Have updated business cards and be sure to get business cards from everyone you meet!
I had mentioned in Part Two that Bloglovin’ and Ferragamo hosted a party this NYFW called My Life Is A Play. It was an intimate performance at The Box, which was kind of like a burlesque show/bar. There were about 140 bloggers that attended. I know last September, Gigi New York hosted a Boat Cruise/Fashion Show, and I believe Yosi Samra co-hosted. I wasn’t there, but remember seeing tons of pictures and snapchat stories from other girls They cruised the Hudson and we went to Ellis Island, so got an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty. I’m pretty sure all the guests got spoiled with a Gigi New York purse and pair of Yosi Samra flats. Lucky biatches!! Hehe 🙂
Vogue, ShopStyle, and RewardStyle are a few others known to host a good party, but every season there will be new events and parties to go to.
Step 6: Be Confident!
Attitude is everything! It doesn’t matter if you just started your blog and may not have the most impressive following. You deserve to be there and have the best time ever! Your first NYFW will be a great learning experience and hopefully be the start of many more Fashion Weeks and blogging milestones to come! Try to really enjoy everything as much as possible. If you aren’t able to seal the deal and book back to back meetings and appointments, who cares! You’re in New York City! If all fails, go shopping or somewhere great to eat. Take in everything you can!
Step 7: Prioritize
When RSVP’ing to shows and backstage access, respond Yes to everything. Once you start filling in your schedule with meetings and parties, you can always end up skipping a show. Before I suggested seeing as many shows as possible, but if it comes down to going to a show versus connecting with a great brand or attending a fun party, choose the latter if you really want to take your blog to the next level.
Step 8: Stay Organized
I am so disorganized so need my handy dandy planner to get through life! I’m not one of those who can enter all of my appointments in my phone calendar. I NEED to write things down with names, addresses, numbers, the whole 9! Because you’ll be running around NYC, try to map out your day the night before and look up the distance between each appointment to get an idea on time/distance. Each day I tried to plan one good meal, whether it was brunch, lunch or dinner.
Step 9: Pack Like A Pro
Even if you have showroom appointments upon arriving to NYC and plan to rent outfits, always bring backups. Yes, worst case scenario you can run to Bloomies or Zara if need be, but you may not have that much free time and you certainly don’t want to stress about not having anything to wear. Because it was so miserably cold [and I’m such a baby when I’m freezing], I bundled in my jackets the majority of the time. Here are a few of the pieces I brought with me:
Pack cute flats! There is nothing worse than being in pain. Days are long and you’re feet will definitely kill you if you’re out and about in heels all day long. Get Sole Serum and have it in your purse at all times!
Photographers are lined up in front of the buildings before and after shows, snapping away at anything that excites them. You may end up being featured in a publication so you always want to look your best.
Step 10: Follow Up
Within 3-7 days after meeting someone, shoot them a quick email letting them know how great it was to meet them. You can use this email to set you up for future interactions and business deals. They are meeting with TONS of social influencers, so sending a little “thank you” goes a long way and reminds them how amazing you are!
Welp, this is it my friends! I know we covered A LOT and half of it may make no sense to you at this time. The next Fashion Week is in September [unsure of exact dates at the moment], so you have time to do research, collect PR contact info for different companies, and plan your attack when the time comes!
Hope to see you there!