It’s almost time for another season of New York Fashion Week and today I’m sharing an insiders guide to everything you need to know before attending your first fashion week. From how to get an invite, to what to expect when you get to the show, I’m laying out all the details in today’s post. Here’s how to attend NYFW as a blogger or influencer.
How to attend New York Fashion Week as a Blogger
How to get a ticket to NYFW
In this industry, it’s all about who you know. Although you can choose to buy a ticket directly from New York Fashion Week, most people attending the show these days are either buyers, celebrities or press. As a blogger or influencer your best bet to getting a ticket is by pitching designers and PR companies to prove how your platform can help promote their brand. Send emails out a few weeks before fashion week starts and from here one of three things will happen.
1) You receive no response 2) You receive a thanks but no thanks letter or 3) You receive a coveted invite!
Types of NYFW invites
Currently all the major designers use a platform called GPS Radar to handle their fashion show invitations. Prior to the show, brands will send your invite direct to the GPS Radar app you can download on your phone. On this invite is a bar code which is what you will need to access the show.
There are three types of fashion show invites you might receive. A standing ticket, a priority standing ticked or a seated ticket. An assigned seat is a guarantee that you will be able to make it into the fashion show as long as you arrive at the show on time. People with priority standing tickets are ushered into a second line that will fill seats and standing spots that are still open once ticketed guests are seated. Finally, if there is still room available in the venue people waiting in the standing ticket line are allowed in to fill in standing room around the edges in the venue.
How to get a front row seat at NYFW
If you haven’t been assigned a front row seat, I do not recommend trying to steal one of those coveted spots. Not only does it make you look shady, but it slows down the entire seating process if people have to constantly be asked to move to their assigned seat. I also heard announcements being made at one of the shows I attended that anyone who attempts to steal a seat prior being asked to fill in spots would be removed from the show. Stealing seats is tacky and so not worth it.
If you have a priority standing ticket you will usually be able to get a seat but not likely first row. When entering the show with a priority standing ticket the organizers and pr staff will tell you to take a seat in the back few rows that are left un-assigned. They will usually wait as latecomers who have assigned seats continue to file in (usually up to 15-30 minutes after the scheduled start time). At that point, if the first few rows haven’t been filled in, the organizers will ask everyone who is currently sitting to fill in any empty spots. Usually second row will fill in missing first row spots, and some of third row will move up to second. Everyone else will be asked to move towards the middle of their row. Wait for the announcement to be made to fill in empty seats and you may just be lucky enough to get a front row view.
How early to arrive at a NYFW show
Unfortunately, having an invite, doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get into the show. Fashion shows are overbooked, and not just by a little bit. Designers want to make sure that their shows are completely full so they get as much press as possible. For the first show I ever attended at NYFW I arrived 5 minutes early. BIG MISTAKE. There were already over 100 people with standing tickets in line in front of me. Only the first few people with standing tickets were able to get into the show, while the rest of us who had tickets were turned away.
Another thing to note is that fashion shows are notorious for running behind schedule. Frequently shows I attended started 20-40 minutes past their scheduled start. Because of this you should leave plenty of time in between shows, especially when they are held at different venues. Sadly, it’s impossible to see every show you want to at NYFW. There are multiple shows running at the same time and delays are unavoidable.
How to get the best photos at NYFW
I chose to bring my DSLR to some shows while only using my iPhone at others. While the iPhone generally takes pretty good photos, the lighting at fashion shows makes it difficult. Typically the room is very dark and the models are lit up with hundreds of lights. This causes your iPhone to expose for the room, turning the models into fast moving bright white blobs in your pictures. If you want to only shoot the shows with your iPhone, make sure to download an app that allows you to manually chose the exposure or bring a DSLR so you have full control of you camera settings.
One final tip
Make friends with other people in line! Unfortunately, not everyone will be friendly (I did run into one or two nasty attendees who seemed to think they were better than everyone else in the line). But there are plenty of editors of smaller magazines as well as bloggers, stylists and photographers you can chat with and network with. Also, chatting with the people around you could lead to opportunities to see more shows. Sometimes people have multiple shows scheduled at the same time and may offer you their ticket in exchange for taking a few photos of the show for their own platforms. Last fashion week I gave another blogger my ticket to a show I wasn’t able to make it to, and also received tickets to two different shows other bloggers weren’t able to attend. We all got content we were able to share and the brands got additional press meaning a win-win for everyone!
Fair warning, not attending a show is a major faux pas. Everything is electronic, so your account will be marked as being a no-show if you choose not to attend last minute. If you have sufficient notification that you won’t be able to make it, change your rsvp in the GPS Radar account as soon as possible or pass your ticket along to someone who is able to take photos and videos for you to share.
Need more info or have specific questions on how to attend NYFW as a blogger? Leave a comment and I’d be happy to get you answers! Also, if you have previously attend NYFW tell me about your experience! Did you love it and would you attend again? Let me know!