6 Things That No One Tells You About Fashion Week

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We’re coming up on the end of another NYFW and wow I’m exhausted! JK, I’m actually writing this post a full week ahead of the chaos that is another season of shows and presentations in Lower Manhattan but I’m just going to assume that by the time you’re reading this I’m flopped on my bed somewhere mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and trying to regain my strength to do normal things like sort laundry or cook breakfast, because that’s my post fashion week mood and I’m okay with that.

I feel like fashion week can actually be a sensitive subject these days because even though the hierarchy of magazine mastheads that used to be of monumental importance is basically crumbling before our eyes, fashion week is the one place where “don’t you know who I am?” is truly alive and well in the industry, which can cause a lot of stress and even anxiety. So if you just came out of fashion week and you feel like you didn't do enough or you didn’t get invited to the big shows, or you wonder if everyone who attends knows something that you don’t let me be the first to tell you that you’re not alone.

This was my sixth fashion week here in New York and I feel like I finally have an understanding of how things work around here, but I wanted to do a little bit of myth-busting and share six things that I hear a lot of people assume to be true about this crazy week but are actually kind of totally false.

  1. Getting invited to shows is not easy

    The first thing that I feel like people always ask about fashion week is “how do I get invited to fashion week shows?” Now that I’m a freelancer, each season (usually about a month out from the shows) I’ll send pitch emails to PR companies asking them to consider offering me attendance to their client’s show in exchange for coverage of some kind. Sometimes that means me writing an article for one of the many digital publications I contribute to, or other times it just means sharing the show on my Instagram stories or highlighting it in a YouTube video that I create. For more information on how to get in touch with brands or what to say in a pitch email, read this.

    2. The WiFi at the shows is almost nonexistent

    I know this might sound like kind of a random point but it’s really good to know this going into fashion week. Want to know why? Because you and 200 other people will all be trying to upload Instagram stories at the same time and it will take forever and drain your battery, especially if like me you still have an iPhone 6. My advice is always to take videos and photos on your camera roll and upload them immediately upon leaving the venue. That way you’re still sharing timely content but you’re not in competition with everyone else who is slowing down the speed of your phone.

3. Runway Shows never start when they say they will

Almost always, if you have a runway show at 2PM, it will start at 2:30. Presentations are much more punctual with start time and it benefits you to get there early to snap pics before too many others trickle in. Still plan on arriving at the show at its scheduled start time but keep in mind many of them don't even plan on starting until about 30 minutes after when they say they will.

4. Standing tickets are not always what you think

If you’re new to fashion week and you want to be able to see shows, some shows will give out a certain number of tickets marked “standing” meaning that you can attend the show but you won’t be assigned a seat. This is great, but there are still a few things to keep in mind with standing tickets. The first is you will want to arrive at the venue of the show at least 30 minutes before it is scheduled to start. This is a little annoying because typically you’ll still only get let in 30 minutes after it’s scheduled to start (wear comfortable shoes for this unnecessary hour of standing). The other thing to keep in mind is that sometimes the standing section fills up so you don’t want to end up arriving at a show that you have a standing ticket for too late because you may not be let in at all. This has only happened to me once and it was so frustrating. So long story short: get there early so everything will go as smoothly as possible.

5. The parties are overrated

Look, if it’s your first fashion week, I hereby give you permission to do the whole shebang. I get it. But just speaking from experience, the parties are only ever okay. Seriously. And keep in mind I’ve been to the NYLON fashion week party twice and the Interview fashion week party once. Yes, there’s an open bar and yes, sometimes there are cool people there. But those drinks will hit you hard when you’ve barely had time to eat dinner beforehand and those people are not going to want to network with you after a long day of shows and events. Do yourself a favor and unless it’s like THE PARTY go home, take a long hot shower, make yourself some hot chocolate or tea, and get in bed early. You may feel FOMO when you wake up and look at your Instagram stories, but that will pass just like anything else. Nine times out of 10 it’s not worth it for one blurry photo on your stories with the required event hashtag.

6. It’s a lot of work!

Getting up every day for seven days straight to do full hair and makeup, run around to different venues for shows and events, and remember to network along the way is no easy thing. There’s pressure to get invited to “the right shows” and get photographed by street style photographers, and upload stories to Instagram to share with your audience. I mean don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing else I’d rather work hard at, but even though the whole week looks easy and fun on social media, there’s a lot of hard work to make it look that effortless. Don’t be afraid to hand out business cards, pitch brands, and say hello to the person sitting next to you. The connections you make in this industry are important so be yourself and remember to have fun along the way!

Photos by Laurel Creative

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What’s your best fashion week tip? Leave it in the comments!