Like I mentioned in my first NYFW recap post, it’s always been a dream of mine to go to New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
When I found out my boyfriend was moving to New York for a year, I instantly got excited at the prospect of things I was now able to do, one of those being NYFW. Although it probably wouldn’t have been able for me to attend even as much as five years ago, now, since blogging and being an influencer is such a popular form of marketing, lots of brands are opening their doors (and seats) to bloggers to cover the shows.
So friends, you’re wondering how to score invites to those coveted shows? It’s super easy, but takes a fair amount of planning.
Rule #1: Start planning early
Although the schedule won’t be released until a few weeks before (you can find it on NYFW.com), take a look to see which designers had shows last year and try to find the PR contacts. PR contacts can typically be found on Modem Online and the best thing I did in terms of planning was to start an Excel spreadsheet to keep everything organized. I had multiple tabs to organize the shows I was pitching (include columns for show name, contact name, contact email, date of original email, date of follow up, and notes for what they said), the companies I was pitching collabs to, my schedule, as well as what I confirmed to.
Once you have your contacts, generate your pitch email and then start emailing! Since PR companies get thousands of emails from people, it’s best to keep it straight to the point. I had a similar email for each person I pitched to keep it easy and it basically said who I was, what I wanted (a show invite), what I can offer (social media and blog coverage), as well as my analytics.
I literally spent hours sending emails and then more hours sending follow ups. I sent my initially emails out probably three weeks before the shows and then a week before for the follow ups. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get replies right away or a lot of “we are unable to accommodate”. Also, I got the bulk of my invites about a week out from NYFW and even some during NYFW. I guarantee you that you’ll get at least one show (even if it’s a designer you’ve never heard of) and that’s something to show these PR companies next time you’re heading to fashion week (but seriously, I ended up getting too many invites, including ones that even some other bloggers with larger followings didn’t get). Just keep positive and the invites will come, I promise!
Although nothing actually came from fruition from this route, you can also look to see who the various beauty partners are and pitch them as well. I had pitched Redken since they do a lot of hair, and although I didn’t get backstage access, I did get invited to their styling suite, which was one of the highlights of the whole event for me. Also, I have to admit that I had way more fun at the events and presentations anyways. Presentations are typically held for a few hours and you can just pop in and leave, and events are awesome since there’s free booze, you get something for going, and it’s a huge networking opportunity (for both meeting other bloggers and meeting the brand).
Rule #2: Make some online friends (and IRL ones too!)
What really helped me the most was connecting with other bloggers through Instagram DM groups or Facebook groups. I was lucky in that I knew a few other Canadian girls going, so we had a DM group and shared what the responses were from the different people we pitched. It really helped out in sharing the right contacts, as well as letting people know what was going on. Since there is more than just shows (there’s also presentations and events), this was extremely helpful in getting to know who to pitch, as well as what was going on since events aren’t usually made public or they can be hard to find.
I know that there are groups out there you can be a monthly member to (I believe ShopStyle is one of them), and prior to really diving in deep I was considering it, but seriously, doing the leg work on my own proved to be way more helpful and didn’t cost me a penny. Plus, it was nice that I knew some friendly faces at these events since we ended up getting invited to some of the same things and I had already connected with some of these girls online through these groups (#InstantFriends).
These groups are also great too if you don’t get a lot of invites or RSVPd to too many things. I was in the Rs NYFW Facebook group and a lot of times people would ask if someone else wanted their tickets to different shows since they may have RSVP’d to two shows at the same time.
It also helps to chat with people in line, as you’ll literally meet so many people and everyone (for the most part) is super friendly. New York Fashion Week really is a giant networking event, so get out of that bubble and add some new faces on Instagram. It will definitely help in getting to know what’s going on around town.
Rule #3: You can wear literally whatever you want
Prior to coming to New York I started about a month in advance in getting my outfits together. The thing about fashion is that you can wear literally whatever you want. Although people do get dressed up and wear some pretty weird things, whatever you choose to rock totally works at NYFW (and you don’t need to go out and spend a million dollars on clothes you’ll probably never wear again).
Rule #4: It’s a hustle, so be prepared
Yes, wearing your tallest heels may go with your outfit, but girl, it’s New York City, and there is A LOT of walking involved.
Since I was coming from the Upper East Side (I highly recommend staying in SoHo or near Spring Studios), I had to travel everyday to get to the shows and that usually included 40 minus of travel time each there and back. What I would recommend would be to bring a roomy bag where you can toss those high heels in and wear foldable flats or flip flops anytime you’re not in the show venue (or standing in line). Speaking of which, NYFW is a lot of standing in line. Literally nothing starts on time and most of the event is waiting in line, then waiting in line again once you’re in the venue, then waiting for the show to start, and then hustling to get out of there. The show themselves usually last only 15 minutes or so.
Another thing you’ll hustle on is the seating. Although your ticket may say “standing room”, very rarely will everyone show up who was invited, which means that the standing room people often get a seat (I don’t think I actually stood for any of the shows). In true Cinderella fashion, I actually went from standing room to front row at the Pamella Roland show, but be prepared, everyone wants to be front row and it’s cutthroat to actually sit there. Your best bet would be to try and sit second row if there is a spot open, or just kind of hover around and if the show is starting soon, then make your way over, sit down, and act like you’re supposed to be there. And if you don’t get front row? Who cares, it’s a fashion show, life goes on.
So would I do NYFW again? Although I was kinda over it by day three (keep in mind that I had other things going on too, I wasn’t there exclusively for NYFW), but I would say that I would definitely do it again. If you are looking to go for the first time, I would try to limit it to three or four days max, and fly out before the official NYFW actually begins. My busiest days were actually before it technically started since a lot of brands hold events and there are fashion shows going on that aren’t part of the official week.
I would say if you have always wanted to come to NYFW, definitely do it. It really is a lot, but it’s such an experience that I will cherish forever and something that I can officially now check off my bucket list.
Been to NYFW? What are some of your tips?
Like what you read? Check out these related posts: