It’s hard to believe it’s almost time for New York Fashion Week, again. I have taken the past few years off from going, but decided to make the trip this fall. Now, with NYFW just 3 weeks away, I’m in full on prep mode, and thought I would share my tips on how to attend fashion week. Truly, anyone can attend fashion week, but photographers, bloggers, writers and others with careers in media, are the perfect candidates for attending.
I’ve only ever attended NYFW in the Fall, as I honestly dread thinking about NYC in February. (brrr!) But I think Fall is the absolute dreamiest time in the city. It’s truly enchanting, and all the buzz around the coming year’s hottest trends, make it all that much more exciting. For those that don’t know, Fashion Week is a glorious week where designers come together to showcase their collections for the coming season. (Fall’s shows highlight Spring/Summer’s trends, and Spring’s shows showcase garb for the coming Fall/Winter.) Fashion Week happens in major cities around the globe, but the one that is easiest to get into, if you are a blogger, is in New York. Buyers attend NYFW to see the upcoming lines, to make purchases for the coming season, but NYFW, in particular, has become more of a media event, in light of all the bloggers in attendance.
2-3 months before – book your hotel/flight. (Or, if you’re like me, you probably booked this 4-5 months before. #overplanner) It’s really hard to get comped rooms during NYFW, but there are plenty of hotels that are willing to give a media rate. And then there’s always good ‘ol AirBNB. I suggest finding a buddy to board with to split the costs. It’s also more appealing to hotels you are trying to pitch to, if you have a great social reach, so pairing up with a fellow blogger can help improve your social score, making you more attractive in the hotel’s/pr firm’s mind. Currently, a lot of the shows are held at the Skylight Clarkson in Soho, so it’s nice if you can stay around there, for ease of access to shows. There are shows, showrooms, and collections all over the city, though, so it’s not absolutely essential to stay in Soho. (I personally wouldn’t stay anywhere North of 72nd, though.)
1 month before – The schedule is released. This is the time to start thinking about which shows you want to see. It’s impossible to go to all of them, and you don’t want to book shows back-to-back because you’ll never make it. Try to pick your faves, and then have a secondary list in case you don’t get into your first choices. If you are a smaller blogger, you may find success reaching out to some of the lesser known brands. For some of these designers, it will be their first show at fashion week, and the PR firms are anxious to fill seats. You can find a pretty good list of PR Contacts and brand contacts here. If you aren’t finding the one you want, you can always visit the brand’s website and search for their PR contact there. There are also tons of parties happening during NYFW, such at Lulu*s, RewardStyle, and many others. Some of these are invitation only, but it doesn’t hurt to email your rep and let them know you’ll be in the area, so they can keep you on the short list.
At this point, I put all the shows I want to attend into a google calendar, so I can start to visualize my schedule. I also drop the contact information in the notes, so I can easily access them. This is also the time I start outfit planning. (I’ll do a separate post on that.)
2-3 weeks before – start contacting PR companies. Fashion Week is a busy time for many reasons, so you don’t want to start contacting brands too early. They likely won’t be responding to requests until the week before NYFW, so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t heard back. You’ll want a good pitch, but you also want to keep it short and simple. There is a lot of discussion on whether or not you should include your media kit in your pitch. I personally lean to the side of not including it. I keep my email short and sweet, and state that I would be happy to provide my media kit upon request. Don’t say things like, “it’s my dream to go to NYFW” because they don’t care. (Sorry, but it’s true.) Think about it from the brand’s perspective, and why they would want you there. Again, be concise though, as they get tons of emails and don’t have time to read lengthy messages.
1 week before – ALL THE THINGS! There is so much to do the week before! For starters, you’ll need to finalize your schedule. Start emailing the brands you haven’t heard back from, and possibly start emailing your secondary options. Remember to put everything in your calendar!! You should have a pretty good idea of your schedule 5-7 days before. If you haven’t already, you should download GPS Radar. This is the system/app most of the fashion events will use to disperse tickets. You should also start packing a week before, so you should make sure you don’t forget anything! I’ll do a full round up of items I’m bringing along with me.
Hopefully that answers some of your questions on how to attend NYFW. If you have any specific questions, feel free to post them in the comments below or reach out to me via Instagram. Also, if you are attending, let me know. I would love to meet you!