Having come from the Midwest, it’s not uncommon to hear people talk about fashion week as if it’s one of those far-fetched dreams none of us will ever be able to achieve. The truth is if you’re a blogger, it’s not all that difficult. I’m here to break the rumor that only New Yorker’s with money, fashion editors like Anna Wintour, or socialites of Olivia Palermo status can get in.
I remember hearing Kelly Cutrone say in an episode of The City (yep, I watched) that it’s not worth going to fashion week unless you’re sitting in the front row. That might be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. Now granted, maybe if you’re a celebrity it could hurt career if you’re caught standing back with the pack of normal people, but if you’re a normal person standing with other normal people it isn’t going to kill you or your career. In fact, it will help it.
Bloggers Sitting Front Row at Herve Leger by Max Azria
I’m not a fashion blogger that’s going to tell you how to blog your way to the front row. That takes time, effort, publicity, and a heck of a lot of clout. That being said, I can give you specific steps to take matters into your own hands and attend something only a few people get to go to in their lifetime, on a regular basis (as regular as two weeks out of the year can be). Consider this post your fashion week pamphlet and me as your fashion blogging tour guide. Now, if you could please watch your step and locate the nearest emergency exit… Who’s up for the ride?!
10 Steps on How Fashion Bloggers Can Get Into Fashion Week
1. Write a Post about Fashion Week (even if you’re just watching it on YouTube)
- If you want to attend fashion week you need to look like you care about attending and covering fashion week. There are many ways to cover fashion week without being there in “real life”. You can now watch the live shows on YouTube, discuss the new fashion trends specifically from the designers who showed, or street style from the realway rather than the runway. There are a million creative ways to cover New York Fashion Week without having to actually be in New York.
2. Apply & Get Approved
- Go to www.MercedesBenzFashionWeek.com about 3 months before hand. In fact, they should have a date posted letting you know when applications begin. Just know ahead of time it’s approximately 3 months before fashion week begins.
- To get approved you must pay $80 (only charged if approved).
- You must fill in at least 2 pieces of your previous work (posts). Your best shot is to have your work relate to previous fashion week coverage.
- You must fill out your affiliation with the press such as your blog & blog address.
3. Receive the List of Designers
- After being approved, you will receive an e-mail letting you know when Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will release a list of the correct contacts and their info of the PR firms representing the designers showing at fashion week.
- Don’t wait until you get this list to craft your e-mail. Have it ready so that the day you receive the list you can send it out.
4. Craft & Send an E-mail to PR Firms
- The way you craft your e-mail is very important. This is MUST READ article when creating your e-mail: “6 Tips for Requesting Show Invites”
- On the day that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week sends out the list of PR contacts, start sending out your e-mails. Make each one somewhat personal with the core of the e-mail staying the same.
5. Receive Invites & RSVP
- Join FashionGPS. This is how most PR firms will conduct their invites and their RSVP’s.
- Once you receive your invites, RSVP immediately.
- Print out your invitations with barcodes on them or organize them on your smart phone for when you check in at fashion week. Trust me, it will make things a lot easier!
6. Get Your Press Pass
- Congratulations you made it! Now, once you get to New York Fashion Week you will need to get your press credentials. In order to do this, you must go to the “Press Trailer” normally located across the street from where ever fashion week is currently held.
- Do not lose this! It’s your key for the week.
7. I’m In, Now What?
- Once you get into fashion week there will be a couple different kiosk scanner centers. These are where you can scan your press credentials to print out your tickets for the different shows you’re scheduled for on that particular day. Sometimes the scanners don’t work which is why it’s important to have your RSVP e-mails organized or printed out with barcodes included so that you can scan those directly if all else fails.
- If worst comes to worst and you didn’t get in to a show you were dying to see. You can stand in line (photo below) to see if there is any extra standing room. Often times, they will give you a standing room only ticket.
8. Standing, Priority Standing, Seating Assignments
- Your “seating assignment” may not actually be a seat. If that makes any sense at all? If you received an e-mail with an invitation saying you have a seat assignment it means you’re guaranteed to get into the show, but this doesn’t mean you physically have a seat. It’s likely if you’re not “well-known” or are not an editor etc… you’ll have standing or priority standing.
- Standing: This means you have last priority for this particular show. They will seat in this particular order: the people with seat assignments then priority standing then standing. Don’t let this discourage you. You’ll still have a great view (honestly, it’s better for photos).
- Priority Standing: This means your importance level is somewhere between seating assignment and standing. You’ll get priority when it comes to a prime spot behind the people who have seats. Another prime location for photos.
- Seating: You are admitted anytime once they begin seating and have a specific seat assignment for the show. The perk, some designers will leave gift bags for you on your seat. However, be sure not to show up too late. Otherwise, your seat will be filled in by those who are standing.
9. How to Get a Seat
- One of the tricks of the trade is to pay attention to open seats. The girls working the show will only wait so long before they are told to start filling the empty seats (from people who didn’t show up). This is your opportunity to get as close to the rich & famous as possible, not to mention the opportunity to see the amazing detail of the designers runway clothes. Pay attention to the girls working and let them know how many people are with you so that if they see 1 or 2 seats open they’ll look to you to fill it.
Second Row at Zang Toi, Third Row at Falguni & Shane, & 5th Row at Reem Acra
10. What to Expect
- Expect Paparazzi/Photographers to take photos of you walking into Lincoln Center or where ever fashion week is held. They are looking for street style, detailed accessories that fit a story, or the most ridiculous outfits. Want to get noticed? Wear something utterly outlandish and I can guarantee you’ll have your photo taken.
- Chaos. The crowds for the morning shows are normally pretty calm, but by the time night comes around expect the lobby to be packed with people. It’s like a mini Times Square only less foreign people with tennis shoes and more style.
- Celebrities, socialites, & everything in between! You are going to see celebrities, so don’t stalk them. Get used to it, grab a quick photo, and move on. Don’t be a creepster, period.
- The runway show itself only lasts around 15 minutes, but prepare yourself for some serious standing. You will start lining up an hour before hand. For example: if a show starts at 2pm expect to start lining up at 1:30pm and not getting into the tent until 2:30pm.
- The Box, Studio, Theatre, Stage: these are the names of the different tents where the shows are held.
- The Box is a presentation only show. You can go in anytime throughout the entire hour. Models will be standing in their outfits, and you can walk around and take photos of them. It’s not a runway show.
- The Studio is a runway show, but it’s a smaller tent with only around 6 rows or so.
- The Theatre is a runway show and it is the biggest stage of all of them.
- The Stage is a runway show and it’s the second largest of all of them.
Check back tomorrow for a full post discussing what fashion trends to watch for this season!