It’s been a big dream of mine to visit the New York Fashion Week at least once. Being a blogger, I knew there must be a way to pitch my platform for press coverage.
Through my research however, I realised that even non industry people can attend. So here are my tips on how to get into Fashion Week NY, no matter if you are a blogger or not.
**** This post isn’t sponsored nor commissioned. I got free press access to the shows.****
Why did I care about NYFW?
New York Fashion Week has been a seemingly unattainable dream for me for so long that I nearly forgot that I ever dreamt of going.
Back in school I spent the lessons doodling away dozens of fashion designs, which actually helped me stay focused (and not drift off) and also kept my creative juices flowing.
I absolutely loved fashion. I held presentations on socio-cultural trends and changes in the fashion industry over the century, I studied fashion photography books, I taped the Oscars simply to stop the recordings to look at the tailorings… you get the idea. I was obsessed.
But it was never deemed a solid career so I let the dream go. Even when I basically ran into a chance to change my studies into a fashion related fields, I didn’t even consider it feasible. Fast forward to the spring of 2019 when I stayed with my cousin in Hamburg.
She happens to be a fashion blogger and gets invites to fashion weeks worldwide, including New York Fashion Week tickets. We talked a bit of business and I got really curious how she started out with all of this.
And naturally I was particularly wondering how to get into New York Fashion Week at all. And if I couldn’t get official invites, where there ways how to get tickets for New York Fashion Week through other channels? (Like buying them online.)
When is fashion week anway?
There are basically two fashion week seasons in the fashion capitals of the world. Fall/winter collections are shown in January to March and spring/summer collections are showcased in August to October.
The fashion shows run back to back. It’s usually New York Fashion Week first, then London, Milan and Paris. Men’s fashion and haute couture is about a month prior to women’s fashion week. However, the New York Bridal week is in April.
When is New York Fashion Week? It’s typically around February and September. In 2019, it was from February 7 to 15 and September 5 – 13.
Isn’t Fashion Week super exclusive?
It used to be! From the days of its conception in 1918 in Paris, it has been an industry only, invite only, super exclusive (and elitist) event to introduce what was to become fashion trends in the coming seasons.
But times have changed and thanks to social media, more people are let into the hollowed halls. (And it’s no longer mostly photos of celebrities in front rows you get to see.)
Entire shows are streamed and you can really see ALL the new pieces as well as the elaborate stage decor, live music and set up that goes into it.
For that, you can thank Alexander McQueen, who was the first to think of streaming in 2009. Now, Fashion Week has embraced streaming to the public since 2011 and you can see the shows even weeks after they found their conclusion.
How to get tickets to fashion week easily
First, I recommend signing up for the Fashion Week Online VIP membership, which costs 10 USD for one year. Through it, you can will get an email of the schedule and some events, for which members get exclusive access.
If you are a member of the public and not part of the industry, be prepared to pay for tickets to fashion week events, individual shows and parties. They range from 25-1500 USD, depending on how much you want to shell out.
Really, the lower prices offer decent tickets. From what I found, it just comes down to added perks, such as VIP seating and included food and drinks.
Another good way to score tickets for fashion week is through the website Eventbrite. You don’t even need to print your ticket. Showing the digital receipt and QR code is enough; but do bring your ID.
For example, StyleX hosted a string of shows with various designers in an underground bar near Times Square and it was super fun! Tickets for these were available for purchase and offered a good range for various budgets. Each show featured three designers.
Even if you cannot make it at all (getting a flight ticket and affordable hotel in NYC for a week can be tricky), there’s always social media. Since 2007, fashion brands have been increasingly streaming their shows on social media. So follow your preferred designer to stay up to date.
How I got in
Over the summer I made it my mission to get invited to at least one show and attended Berlin Fashion Week for that purpose. The online fashion site About You had created a week-long fashion show that was accessible to the public.
And the early bird tickets to individual shows only cost 14€! So I created a video about it, which I used to showcase my abilities and love of fashion. It really helped opening doors!
Being a blogger with an established following, a monthly blog reach of nearly 50,000 views and weekly videos were also very helpful.
But that’s not possible for the general public, and I do have tips on how you too can go there without any of the online media and blogger background. Keep reading.
How to get in as a blogger, instagrammer or vlogger
If you are a blogger, intagrammer or vlogger, you are familiar with pitching. Well, it’s the same with getting comped fashion week tickets and invites.
Media Kit & Pitching
Your first step should be to get your media kit in order. I created one especially for fashion week, to highlight contents more of interest to fashion and lifestyle related interests and projects with relevant brands.
Being a travel blogger, why should designers care about having created a campaign around using the Japan Railpass? Or doing a safari in South Africa? Think about hotel stays, visual instagram projects and show what value you can offer them.
Are your instagram stories epic and have a great reach? Are you a freelance photographer or writer selling to publications? Do you create event videos? Market yourself!
Be aware that none of this is typically paid, you are here to offer exposure during the fashion shows in NYC, so don’t oversell. We bloggers tend to have our skills undervalued as they are. Don’t feed into that.
Important: Always make sure you rsvp rightaway and check if you did in fact get a confirmation. If you didn’t, you might not be on the list. Often, it’s on a first come first served basis as space is limited.
Also, it might be a good idea to respond to your confirmation by repeating the details of date and location. I showed up to an all day event just to find out it took place a few days prior. The invite I received had the wrong date printed.
Do you have any established contacts with PR companies? Check if they are operating in the fashion and luxury segments. Typically these agencies are managing the media and PR relations for the designers and send out the fashion week invitations. You need to make yourself known.
How do you find them?
You need to get a hold of the fashion week schedule. It’s usually published about a month in advance, so you really need to get your ducks in a row by then. Expect to send dozens of pitches once it’s out.
Spaces at fashion week NYC are limited and fill up on a first come, first served basis, with more influential and well known publications and bloggers being preferred. So you need to use speed and perseverance to your advantage.
Then, get the timing right!
I signed up for the Fashion Week Online VIP membership, which is 10 USD per year. This way, I got on the newsletter, which alerted me to their calendar with regularly updated New York fashion events.
It lists the various days and designer shows during NY Fashion Week, often with links to websites and social media. Find their PR agency or get in touch with them via mail or Instagram. If you really have trouble finding anything, check out this website with contacts from the past years.
Keep checking the schedule up until the actual fashion week as new shows are continuously announced or details revealed.
I hope you liked my short guide on how to attend fashion week. Do you have any more questions?
More special events worth travelling for
- Attending the first About You Fashion Week in Berlin, 2019
- My experience at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2014
- What the ComicCon in Leipzig, Germany is like
- Have you heard of Anime Japan, the world’s biggest anime convention?
- How to pack your wigs for travel
- What to expect at the ITB Berlin travel trade show