“How do you get invited to NYFW?” is without a doubt the second most question I get asked frequently besides “where do you shop?”.
Attending NYFW one day has always been a dream of mine. I think that’s what every other girl who shares this intense love for fashion and I have in common. Before 2016, it seemed like a distant dream that I’ve decided to make come true in my late 20s. Little did I know with the right connects and putting myself more out there, it was just a matter of time.
My first show
Since Fashion Week bid adieu to the Lincoln Center back in 2015, I attended my first show one year later at the new hub, Skylight. I wish I can put into words the emotions that were taking over me that day on my way to the venue. I sat second row across Kelly Ousbourne and Bonang Matheba, and one row ahead of Claire Summers (founder of the Fashion Bomb Daily blog) at the John Paul Ataker’s show. The room was so packed with other bloggers, magazine editors, celebrities, photographers that I had to pinch myself just to make sure I was not daydreaming… The show was breathtaking and every piece from his SS’17 collection was equally stunning.
As I was walking through the exit doors to catch my uber, the unthinkable happened! The most powerful woman in the fashion industry was literally NEXT to me coming in to attend the Prada show! ANNA FREAKING WINTOUR, ladies and gentlemen! She was so close to me that I have probably been embarrassingly photographed by this relentless crowd of paparazzi. I’m surprised I didn’t say or do anything more embarrassing other than Just expressing the worst shocking face I could make. As I was gathering myself to look for that uber driver who was getting impatient through this growing crowd, like a group of thirsty bees going from flowers to flowers, I noticed the paparazzi running to Cardi B and her sister who were just a step away posing. Before I could even grasp at what was going on, Jasmine Sanders, Lala Anthony, Shionat Turini, Grace Coddington were all either coming out of the venue or going in. It was pouring so heavily of celebrities that I got overwhelmed and was just standing in disbelief watching everything unfolds. Not bad for a first timer!
What is NYFW?
New York Fashion week is a semi-annual series of fashion shows from national and international designers who have selected what’s in for each season. The Fall/winter collection takes place in February and the spring/summer collection takes place in September. Attending NYFW is such a big deal because of how exclusive it is! Before social media created this new status of celebrities knowns as bloggers and influencers, only celebrities, magazine editors, press were on the guest list.
How do you get invited to NYFW?
Unfortunately, unlike Miami swimsuit week you do not pay for entrance to any shows at NYFW. There are only two ways you could only get in; 1) by getting invited 2) by volunteering. Getting invited how? Your first option is to simply shoot an email to the designer you would love to attend the show of or to their PR agency (because most of the times, the invites are send out by their PR agency. Sometimes the brand is in charge of that list). The chances that you would probably get the email you were hoping for are slim to none. But it doesn’t hurt to try anyway cause you never know! Make sure you send your email three months prior to the shows and a follow up email two weeks ahead just in case someone hasn’t RSVP’ed. Attending NYFW is great and is every fashion lover’s dream, etc… but try not to include that in your email because frankly nobody cares. However what you do need to try to include is why you think you derserve to win that invitation over thousands other people who would to be there as well. Nowadays, the main goal of brands in terms of marketing is to hype up their products on social media for drive sales. So tell them what you can bring to the table by mentioning how you getting invited could be worthwhile to them and your insights on social media.
Your second option is by landing on a PR’s list! I was fortunate enough to network with the right people at the right time and landed on the lists of a few. It is much easier this way because they just send you a list of shows to choose from.
If you think volunteering is the easier route, think again! Hundreds of people are sending in daily their applications to volunteer at the most prestigious event of the year, second to the MET gala. I’m not sure of the criteria required to select candidates, but one thing for sure that resume of yours got to stand out dahling!
What is it like to attend?
Fashion week is what and how I’ve always imagined it to be and more. The attendees fashion game could be very intimidating if you do not own an ounce of confidence and style. You’ll find the fashion victims who consider themselves as edgy by throwing on together any high brand piece they can find, the try-hards who are desperately trying to be photographed in order to land on a magazine, and the effortlessly crew who dress to depress!
Do models trip on the runway in real life? Yes, sometimes but not in a Carrie Bradshaw 360 degrees, and the crowd isn’t much of a help by letting it known with a chorus of “ouuh”. There’s the in-between shows where you get the chance to network with other people who have the same interests as you in the industry, some sponsors of Fashion Week will sweep you away with freebies, or you’ll get photographed by either bloggers or photographers who like what you’re wearing. And this is the only glamorous side of Fashion Week….
The ugly side of fashion week
Attending fashion week is exhausting! Especially when not all the shows are being hosted at the same venue. You could be attending a show in Manhattan then have a next one in 20 minutes all the way in Brooklyn. NY is already a city packed with tourists all year-round, therefore having more people flying in just for the occasion creates a nerve wracking traffic in Manhattan. Sometimes you’ll miss shows for being late because they all start on time and when that door closes, that’s a wrap! Other times some designers decide to start 30mns late which could be a relief. Shows start as early as 9:00 am to hours late as 9:00pm, and it’s likely to get invited to more than 6 shows a day!
Not everyone gets the front row treatment, not everyone even gets the seat treatment at all. Only A listers and the designers inner circle get to seat front row, the less important fill up second row to fifth row, and the very least important get to stand up. It all depends on the venue capacity because sometimes everyone are seated. Photographers are all positioned to the left side of the room facing North, shooting as the models parade on the runway. It happens frequently when a guest is a no show, they give up that person’s seat to someone else who is dressed to the nines. So bring it up dahlings!