NYFW 101 – How to Get into New York Fashion Week Shows

Y’all…I’m POOPED. ICYMI, I was at New York Fashion Week the past few days, and it’s really one of the most exhausting experiences *ever*. Namely because you just don’t sleep. You don’t sleep, you don’t eat well – it’s just an insane circus of Vogue come to life on the streets of Manhatten. TBH, it’s not totally my cuppa tea anymore. It’s definitely a scene, and you have to be into the scene to enjoy every second. I usually enjoy the first 2ish days, and then I start feeling OK with heading home to my husband + cats + a glass of wine and a good night’s sleep. HA. 😉

I’ve talked about New York Fashion week before (here + here from September, ICYMI), but I’ve gotten quite a few Q’s from those of ya interested/in the biz for more comprehensive tips/tricks of seeing shows, heading backstage, yadda yadda yadda.

SO, I put together a lil’ New York Fashion Week 101 guide, so to speak, with tips for before, during, + after your trip. Hopefully this gives a pretty solid overview of what to expect if you haven’t been yet, slash tips you might not have thought of if you have! Also sharing some outfit details from Day 1 + Day 2 of NYFW 2018.

How to attend New York Fashion Week Shows - NYFW 101 by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger Coming Up Roses

Black tee (only $19 – comes in a buncha colors, super great for versatile layering! I have in black, black withe white stripes, and white with black stripes. A total staple! Size down one size (I wear XS)) // Longline blush coat (c/o – similar here + here for under $30! I am OBSESSED with this coat!!! Feels so chic + glam.) // Striped pants (Only $20!!!!! SUCH a flattering looks, since they’re high-waisted – they make your legs look so long, bless up. I’m in a Size S and it fits my waist perfectly – there’s slight room on the bottoms where I need to wear with heels. I’m normally a 26 jean and I’m about 5’6″-5’7″, for perspective!) // White booties (on clearance for $32.28! SUCH a fun statement bootie, and can easily transition into springtime.) // Earrings (similar) // Sunnies (LOVElovelove these – they’re designer inspired, and they’re only 10 bucks. #AddToCart) // Gucci bag

 

BEFORE NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SHOWS

  1. Find the show schedule. This is always published publicly on multiple websites, so you should have zero issues locating it online. NYFW itself has it online in digital AND downloadable PDF formats. #win
  2. Find contacts. Once you’ve got the list of upcoming shows, start doing yo’ research! Look for a media contact for specific designers, or PR firms representing them. If you want/need help in the contact sleuthing, pitching, and/or follow-up categories, BossPitch is for you!!!
  3. Pitch/follow up! Time to pitch yourself for shows! Don’t worry about too much customization here, as every blogger and her mother is pitching for show invites. Ultimately, labels/brands aren’t picking and choosing THAT intensely about who is in attendance – but if you have any quick note that personalized it and makes you an obvious choice for a seat, definitely include that here.
  4. Team up with your gal pals. Divide and conquer! If you’ve got blogger besties coming with for New York Fashion Week, divide your list in half and each pitch, including the other’s details in your joint effort. It makes the process less time consuming AND you greaten your chances of a yes, since your reach is bigger together!
  5. Fohr Card, GPS Radar. If you haven’t, download the GPS Radar app to your phone. It’s a hub of all things NYFW, and many show invites come directly through that platform. They’re then in your calendar on the app for easy access.
  6. PR firms. Do your due diligence! Everyone is repped by someone. Whether it’s shows or events you’re wanting to attend or meetings you’re looking to schedule, PR firms are the key. After you’ve figured out who reps who for show-pitching purposes, I recommend also figuring out which of your own contacts you’d like to meet in person. Meeting in person is SUCH a good way to solidify a relationship, and relationships are the ultimate key in this world! Make a list of all of your own brand partners in NYC, and start reaching out to see if folks are willing to grab coffee or have you stop by the office. Approach it with no motive other than really building that connection!
  7. Head backstage. I feel like I could write an entire blog post on this one tip at this point, since many of the best shows I’ve seen were because of first being backstage! Oftentimes, hair/nail/beauty brands will be inviting some folks backstage for pre-show access, to check out looks up close, track trends, etc. I’ve done this every fashion week so far, and it’s honestly the KEY to getting to see some shows pointblankperiod. I’m not saying you should do anything cray, but…If you’re backstage, you’re more likely to be able to sneak into the actual show. I didn’t tell you that. 😉 So always say yes to the opportunity! It’s a great one.
  8. Pitch for a hotel. This can be a toughy, since every blogger and her mother would lovelovelove a comped stay while in town. Again, you’re looking for PR firms repping hotels – or a direct hotel marketing contact. I’ve learned that you’ve gotta be a bit lenient here when it comes to a hotel stay in NYC for New York Fashion Week. As a blogger, your typical rates, deliverables, etc won’t necessarily fly – you’ve gotta be willing to get creative and give a bit more than usual here if you’re going to get a room comped, even if that room is under $100 a night and you charge much more. Detach from deliverables and think about the total coverage/exposure you’d likely be giving the hotel – everything from daily Instastories, tags in Instagrams via geolocations + captions, a mention in a blog post roundup, etc. Some locations might only give 1-2 nights, so if you plan to be at New York Fashion Week for a longer period of time, know that a hotel switch mid-trip might be needed.
  9. Plan your looks. Every time I’ve gone to NYFW, I’ve gone HAM with look-planning. But here’s the thing. You don’t really NEED to switch outfits before every show or event. Do some folks do it? Yup. Is it a sin to not? Nope. I swapped looks more in September when I was traveling with a photographer, because it made sense to get full shoots in between appointments. This time around I didn’t have a photog with me, so some days I got away with wearing the same look all day long or only changing once, since I wasn’t shooting as much (and it was pouring rain for much of it, casual). If I’m going for 3-4 days, I’d likely pack around 10 looks. You want some flexibility too, in case you’re just feelin’ something different on a given day. The key is confidence – you wanna feel like your best self all week long!
  10. Prep your blog accordingly. Know that you likely will NOT have extra time to just hang out on your laptop. If anything, prepare as much as possible beforehand with pre-written blog posts, etc. You won’t have free time to get work done really, so going into it prepared will lessen your stress afterwards!

 

DURING NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SHOWS

  1. Know that you might very well not make everything on your calendar. But if you end up not being able to make something like an event, etc, make sure you give someone the friendly heads up. Manners matter!
  2. Prep for Uber costs. My Uber total was nearly $300. UGH, amiright? Brace yo’self going into it for a hefty Uber fee if you’re not totally comfy with the NYC Subway system. Whenever you can, split Ubers – and if you can Uber somewhere and just hang out in the area until your next agenda item, do it. They add up!
  3. Budget time accordingly. New York minutes are longer than any other minute I know. If Google Maps says 30 minutes, budget 45. Traffic is CRAY CRAY, and you don’t wanna be caught all up in it. Try to leave as much of a buffer as possible between appointments!
  4. Stay fully stoked on the essentials. Namely SNACKS, water, portable chargers. The thing I dislike the most about New York Fashion Week is constantly feeling malnourished. No joke. Especially because of point numero dos right above here, you might not end up with a solid chunk o’ time midday for a solid lunch. More often than not, I find myself scarfing down protein bars in the backs of cabs to make it to mealtime. Totally not healthy or ideal, I know. So make sure you stock up! Trail mix, granola bars, beef jerky bites – anything high protein to fuel up on the go. Bring along a bottle of water, too, and fully charged portable chargers. You will 100% need them. All of them.
  5. Keep things ready-to-go. I know a lot us might enter a hotel room and just unload all of our sh*t everywhere. Nah? Just me? HA. 😉 But for the sake of your time + sanity, don’t do this for New York Fashion Week. Keep things as *organized* as possible, and easy to find. Last minute invites to things may literally come in in the last minute – like, two hours before something is set to happen – so the last thing you want is to be stuck scrambling for that sequin skirt you know you stuck somewhere…
  6. Recognize how lucky you are. You’re at New York Fashion Week. Folks come all around the WORLD for this. When things get frustrating/tiring/annoying, don’t complain. You’ve got the opportunity to see upcoming trends firsthand on the actual runways, alongside the best of the best in the industry. This is super cool. Be thankful for the opportunity. Cherish it. Soak it in.

How to attend New York Fashion Week Shows - NYFW 101 by popular Philadelphia fashion blogger Coming Up Roses

Dress (I’m OBSESSED!!! We talked about this dress in-depth on my Instastories, so if you’re not following me there – @ericaligenza 😉 It’s a GORGEOUS color that’s pretty much universally flattering – who doesn’t lovelovelove cobalt?! And the overall shape is ultra-flattering, too. It’s a “mini” dress, so def size up if you’ve got longer legs and/or don’t want your hoohah hangin’ out ;). I’m usually a 2 and wearing a US 6, for reference! Also comes in red, olive, + black) // Over-the-knee boots (On sale for 20% off right now! I also have in black, which you’ve seen around here before!) // Pearl statement earring (On sale for $10.39!) // Sunnies (LOVElovelove these – they’re designer inspired, and they’re only 10 bucks. #AddToCart) // Gucci bag

AFTER NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SHOWS

  1. Say THANK YOU! Thank you goes a long way, always. If any of your personal contacts helped make something happen for you, be sure to send a little not their way with appreciation.
  2. Pay attention to who reps who. Make sure you note this for future pitching for projects you have in mind! Remember, relationship-building is KEY. There’s something to be said for being able to re-connect after having already met face-to-face!
  3. Give it a hot sec to die down before doing so, but pass along any coverage you did to the respective PR girls! Don’t do this the second you get home – for as exhausted as you are, PR girls are feelin’ the same! But be sure to collect any coverage you did and pass it along to the respective point of contact for a brand, etc. If you don’t, they’re stuck playing detective and sleuthing out coverage of yours that might be relevant to their clients – which can be totally time-consuming and a pain in the butt. Yes, it’s their job, but if you can make their job easier – who wouldn’t lovelovelove that?!

 

Have you ever attended any New York Fashion Week shows?

Would you WANT to? Any Q’s I can A for ya? Let me know in a comment down below.

IDK about you, but this girl needs a vacay STAT.

Also a coffee the size of my head.

And wine.

And a nap.

OK bye, thanks for reading, peace & blessings!

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