No, I didn’t arrive at Skylight Clarkson Square in a Lexus; did not appear in Harper’s Bazaar’s “Best Street Style Looks of NYFW,” or sit next to a famous celebrity at Oscar de la Renta’s show (although I am working on that for the future).
Instead, I got to attend New York Fashion Week like a true fly on the wall – how I typically enjoy attending events, regardless. Every season, bloggers from all over flock into the city for industry events, runway shows, and the general aura and glamour that is New York Fashion Week. As a little girl growing up in Miami, Florida, fashion week was always a dream of mine, one I knew I would make a reality. Like most things, fashion week is glitzier when you’re younger. For someone like me who immensely enjoys fashion and the artistry that goes into its production, New York Fashion Week is everything I ever thought it would be while being exactly the opposite of what I dreamed of.
How to Attend New York Fashion Week Shows
Probably my most frequently asked question (especially after posting an Instagram Story from one of the shows), attending New York Fashion 2017 comes down to who you know and your social media standing. It’s that simple.
Having industry insider connections can be useful, especially because a lot of the shows are invitation-only. As a blogger, networking is crucial for fashion week attendance, and having amazing friends and acquaintances with additional tickets are a great resource. I firmly believe there will always be enough room for everyone in any industry; different perspectives bring fresh, innovative ideas and stories to an elusive industry.
Another way is to use your social media standing to cover fashion week as press. As a blogger, you can go online and see what shows you’d like to attend, email the PR team and see if there is standing room availability as press. You’d be surprised how much mileage you can get from this as well as the many doors it can open for coverage opportunities in the future.
It’s also important to not get discouraged! When I first started attending the fashion week circuit so many emails to PR teams got unanswered; keep going! Everyone must start somewhere and you can’t get a “yes” if you don’t at least try, right? Right! I once had a standing room ticket and when someone didn’t show up for their front row seat, guess who got to sit there?!
A couple of things to keep in mind for New York Fashion Week:
- It’s easier to walk or take the subway.
I know we all want to feel important pulling up in an Uber or taxi, but with fashion week being at various locations and traffic being as bad as ever, you’ll either have to leave with plenty of time or understand attending every show may not be possible.
- Get there with plenty of time, especially if you’re standing room.
Having a confirmed seat is a great feeling, but if you’re standing room, getting to the show early can always be a bonus. You’ll most likely be able to get a good view, and if any changes happen, you can most likely get a seat.
- Remember, this isn’t about you.
Fashion week is about fashion, designers, their teams, and the hard work put into each collection. It’s an honor to be there; take in the experience and don’t ruin it for anyone else by thinking it’s about you.
- Take in the moment.
Seriously! Put the phone down and really appreciate what you’re seeing. I’m guilty of it, too – we want that perfect picture for the gram or amazing Instagram Story post, but that’s when we miss what’s right in front of us. Take a few snaps and then enjoy. You can put your phone away for 15 minutes.
New York Fashion Week 2017: Street Style Chronicles (And Why I May Never End Up In A Vogue Roundup)
While most of New York Fashion Week happens behind closed doors at amazing presentations and social events, Street Style fashion has catapulted and, in many ways, exceeded the often private shows. The Street Style scene is to Fashion Week as social media is to fashion magazines, and the fight to stay on top (thanks, Tyra) is fierce.
The thing is, I see Street Style fashion as a separate event that was birthed with the rise of social media. Like its mothership, street style is open, filtered, and attainable to the masses. Moreover, it offers a sense of inclusivity, something the fashion industry has never been privy to. Raw, energetic, full of hustle and grit, street style fashion offers that foot-in-the-door as credible sources within the fashion and influencer industries.
For well-known bloggers, Street Style is an opportunity to boost credibility as a “style authority” of sorts and is an integral part of the industry. According to a recent Refinery29 article, influencer Zanita Whittington states, “By wearing certain brands that appear in viral street style photos, influencers create new business and strengthen existing relationships.” In the same article, Whittington also noted of bloggers who show up to fashion week without invitation to shows, “If people don’t know who you are, you can’t monetize it.”
There’s always a chance you may appear (unknowingly) in street style roundup, but odds are you won’t (myself included). It may sound like a bad thing, but one of the downfalls to street style culture is lack of authenticity when it comes to style. We no longer see women dressing for themselves, but rather, for the hopes to be featured. I am and will always be for influencers breaking barriers and making a name for themselves; , there’s a level of smoke and mirrors that will always come with influencers because the world we come from originates with smoke and mirrors on social media. Also, how many real women have three-to-four outfit changes in a day? Most women struggle with just one!
Interning For New York Fashion Week (And Is It Right For You)
One of the highlights of my burgeoning fashion career was the ability for me to be a production intern for the SS 2016 New York Fashion Week season. This was set to be the last show at Lincoln Center, and if there was any job I’d like to have in the fashion industry, it’s production. Sure, I didn’t sleep for a whole week, worked from 6am to 11pm most days and followed around models, but it’s the best way to fully immerse yourself in the fashion week experience.
It may feel like many moons ago, but there are still a few tips and tricks I learned from my days as an intern.
Some of the things to note:
- You don’t get the job unless you apply.
There are so many opportunities for you to intern in the fashion industry; if you want to get your foot in the door, the first step is to apply. My favorite website was Fashionista.com, which posted both internships and entry-level jobs in the field, but Indeed.com, and fashionweekinternships.com are other credible sources.
- Don’t be afraid to do the grunt work.
Believe it or not, the fashion industry is not as glamorous as you’d think. It’s late nights, early mornings, little-to-no-pay as an intern, and always thinking one step ahead.
- Put in the work.
If this is your true passion (and even if it’s not) do as much as you can to make yourself stand out and be indispensable.
When All Else Fails, Network.
Let me be the first to say as someone who heavily suffers from anxiety, I hate networking. Talking to strangers, small talk in general, introducing yourself, all of it is an introverts nightmare. That being said, I fully believe in doing things even if they scare you, and networking is one of those things that are vital to any career.
Fashion Week is optimal networking potential because it puts all of the industry newbies and heavyweights in the same locations at the same time. Where else will you be able to run into anyone you’ve ever admired or wanted to work with in a semi-casual setting?! Aside from the fashion shows, Fashion Week is chalk-full of events (most of them free).
As a blogger, you should always:
- Carry business cards.
As much as we’d like to think our social media handles will suffice, at the end of the day, these are potential business ventures and you want to be as professional as possible.
- Talk to as many people as possible.
Fashion Week events bring people from all over the industry – I’ve met bloggers, editors, reporters, people in the technology sector, the list is endless. What’s more, I’ve been able to hone in on these relationships and build viable opportunities from them. At one event I even got to meet my idol (and completely fangirl over) Hillary Kerr, co-founder of WhoWhatWear. The picture is still hanging at my desk. You can’t always get that from cold calls and pitches!
- Immediately follow-up.
This is crucial; we meet so many people during Fashion Week and keeping track of everyone can be a daunting task. I always suggest following up throughout the week and scheduling coffee dates with people you made genuine connections with. When trying to break into any industry, connections are vital.
All in all, New York Fashion Week 2017 was an amazing time, and one you should definitely try and attend if you’re trying to break into the fashion/influencer industries. For me, the fashion industry is always bittersweet. I came to New York City in hopes of having a career in fashion – never did I think I would say it wasn’t the industry for me.
That said, I love being a fashion blogger, writer, and contributor, having found a way to still be involved but in a way that works for me. I’m excited for what fall/winter will bring in 2018, as well as seeing the rest of the shows in London, Paris, and Milan via Twitter. Until next time.