I just got back from my first ever NYFW as a blogger. I don’t even know where to begin describing my experience so I might have to do this in a series of posts.
So what is NYFW and why should we care? Fashion weeks happen in multiple cities twice a year and during that time designers – famous and established, as well as newcomers – get a chance to show their collections for the upcoming season. The events in February showcase styles for Fall and Winter for the next season. The ones in September present Spring and Summer for the following year. For more details and reviews of the shows I saw, check out my post High Fashion Brands.
I wasn’t sure if I should attend NYFW this time as I just recently started my blog and I was scared by the brutal NYC weather in February but ultimately decided to make it my little exploratory trip. The only way to learn is to actually do it but I did try to gather as many tips as I could by reading about other bloggers’ experiences. (Read mine here.)
I belong to an awesome community of bloggers called Style Collective and was able to get a lot of information from them. I went to NYFW alone but I knew I was going to meet up with some of these women that I only knew from Instagram. (If you are a fashion blogger, you will love the support and comradery of the girls in this group!) The organizer of the group got us a discount rate at The Lexington Hotel and we were able to go to shows together and split the cost of Uber rides (read about my NYFW lifesavers in an upcoming post.) We were all in a group Telegram chat and exchanged information and tips in preparation for our trip as well as while there.
In addition to Shows and Presentations there are many the events and networking functions held during Fashion Week. Brands and companies from the industries host these events at which you get to hang out, enjoy snacks and drinks, try products and services that are complimentary to those attending. All of the above is very fun but especially useful to a newcomer like me as I learned a lot from my conversations with other bloggers.
But many of you are probably wondering how I got invited to all these shows and events. Did I have to buy a ticket or know the right person? All of the major shows are free for members of the fashion industry – including bloggers as they are considered media representatives. All I had to do is reach out to the designers by emailing their PR reps and request a press pass. As far as the events, I learned about those from belonging to my Style Collective group as well as a couple of other industry related websites.
It all sounds wonderful but I will be honest about the not so pretty side of this experience.
There is a lot of waiting on your feet required – sometimes a whole hour – before the start of the show. There are multiple shows that happen at various locations at the same time and the big shots in the industry have their pick at which one they want to attend. When they don’t show up, their assigned seats remain empty. That’s how someone with a standing pass can end up on the front row (like I did) because the organizers don’t want to have empty seats and they fill them in with people from the back rows. This is also the reason the shows are often overbooked. But if everyone shows up, you don’t want to be late or in the back of the line because you might be shut out if the venue reaches capacity (that also happened to me!)
I am really hoping this won’t be the case in September but in February the venues were extremely hot – maybe to keep the scantily clad, low body fat models comfortable – but add to that the body heat of a large audience and you end up sweating through the whole show. All that heat was in stark contrast to the freezing temps and wind outside. New York got hit by an epic snow storm followed by a day of freezing rain. All of that resulted in snow piles along the slick sidewalks – you can imagine trying to navigate those in high heels!
Fashion Week is also known for last minute details and lack of organization. I didn’t really experience that (other than the super overbooked show I didn’t get a chance to see) but I heard other bloggers complain about shows not starting on time, and organizers scrambling to fix the lights and the runway.
The venues where the shows are held are usually very far out by the West Side High way – don’t rely on public transportation to get around! You will either be late or you will not be seeing many shows in one day and will have to walk very far in your cute outfit and shoes. Make sure you budget for Uber! On the upside, you’ll be saving money on food. If you are doing multiple shows and events in a day, you will most likely not have any time to sit down and eat – bring packable snacks to eat on the go. Read more of my tips for bloggers at NYFW here.
And because in school I learned not to end on a negative note, I would like to say that despite the cold weather, the long wait times, my feet and lower back killing me, and fueling on coffee and Kind bars, the trip was totally worth it. It’s not often that one gets a real life glimpse of a specialized industry from an angle that’s not usually revealed to the general public. I also love any sort of live performance – you probably know that exhilarating feeling you get when the lights dim and the music starts, and if you’ve been to a fashion show, you are also familiar with “First row, uncross your legs!” Remembering all that just makes me smile.