It’s been a fantastic year for LivingLesh – my blog has been growing, I’ve made tons of connections, met some of my favorite bloggers, and have began to monetize my blog in various ways. But one great thing that happened to me recently was that I was invited to NYFW. As a blogger in her first year, I did not even think that I would ever get invited to NYFW shows and events. I thought to myself that next year would be my year and that I would just sit back and enjoy NYFW through everyone else’s posts. But that didn’t happen, I found myself walking the streets of New York enjoying NYFW from my own seat and my own invitations.
So you’re probably thinking – “How do I get invited to NYFW?” And honestly, it takes some work, but it is well worth it. Let me just start by saying that even if you are a new blogger who just launched his or her blog a week ago, you can still attend NYFW. But, do note, that your blog and social media statistics are what determine what shows that you get invited to. But let’s start with the basics, and if you follow these tips, you will also see yourself at NYFW.
2 Months Before NYFW
Advice #1 – Start contacting PR firms and designers. The first thing that I did is locate the schedule of NYFW, which for the F/W ’16 season was hosted on the CFDA website. I highlighted what days that I would be attending and began visiting those designers websites.
I also recommend staying up-to-date with the New York Fashion Week Live calendar – this website’s calendar not only lists the NYFW shows, but also gives you updates on other events/shows occurring during NYFW (and they even have the contact emails listed!).
The first thing to do when you get to those websites is look for the contact information. There you will typically find their contact information or their PR firm. If you see both, the best person to contact is the PR firm because that is who will be arranging and sending out invites.
There will be occasions when you will only see the contact email displayed as “firstname.lastname@example.org” and though I would still send an email to this contact email, I would not leave it there. Most of the time, these “info” contacts will get lost and have no connection to the NYFW show. Though some will respond with a confirmation that they have received your request or an automated email showing the correct email address to send you request to, you still want to look for an email address directly linked to the NYFW contact – which is typically the PR firm.
In the email, tell them who you are – kind of as if you are pitching to a brand for collaboration. You want to explain what you like about their brand and that you would like to make a connection. The emails that I sent stated that I recognized that a specific designer and brand would be showing at NYFW on the specific date noted in the schedule, and that I would love the opportunity to attend the show, meet a representative, or stop by a showroom. Also, don’t forget to tell the person who you are and show off your blog. You don’t have to mention your statistics, but if you have high numbers it wouldn’t hurt. Also, if you’ve covered previous shows or have done a post on that designer or brand send the contact that link to show how invested you are in the brand/designer.
Advice #2 – If you have blogger friends then buddy up! When I attended NYFW this past season, I went with another fashion blogger from my area and we were able to share contacts which basically allowed us each to split the work but receive double the work. Now, I will admit that even with both of us contacting the same people, we did not get invited to the same shows. There will be times when you have to split from your buddy and attend the show yourself, and don’t be afraid. And honestly, you can try to bring your buddy with you or vice-versa to events that one is not invited to and try to see if there is space. For presentations, they are a little more lenient but it’s not a definite for fashion shows since they even run out of space for the people that they invite themselves.
But whatever you do, DON’T ASK FOR A PLUS ONE TO FASHION SHOWS! When you receive an email back confirming your invitation to a show, do not respond asking for another person to come with you. Though they may allow it this time, it will burn that bridge and you may not be included on the list for following seasons. If it is a party or open event that you are attending, it is okay to ask because the space is not as limited.
Advice #3 – Get in contact with the networks you are apart of. Currently, I am a member of Fohr Card, Shopstyle Collective, InfluencerHer Collective, Blogger Babes, and a few others. And almost every season, these networks host events, parties, and have opportunities for bloggers attending NYFW. They typically send emails out in advance letting you know about upcoming opportunities for NYFW so make sure that you are a member early so that you don’t miss that email at it gets closer to the event.
Advice #4 – Sign up and get the GPS Fashion Radar app! I highly recommend doing this because this app/site was a big deal for me before and during NYFW. Before NYFW, they list almost all of the shows for NYFW and most of the PR companies use this platform for their tickets and invitations. All of the events that I was invited to connected to this app which allowed me to basically go into the app, click on the event that I was attending at the time, and my barcode showed up to scan for my ticket. It saved me having to wait in line to check in with one of the reps, and while I was sending out requests, I was also able to see who was posting the events on GPS Fashion Radar (which were the PR companies) which showed me who I needed to contact.
Advice #5 – During my time in New York during NYFW, I didn’t just attend shows, events, parties, and showrooms, I also worked on collaborations. For NYFW F/W ‘ 16, I performed various collaborations such as with two restaurants: Ayza NYC and Giovanni Rana. For these collaborations, I was able to attend their restaurant and eat (for FREE) in exchange for a blog and social media posts. I did this by doing my research on brands/restaurants/designers and contacting the PR rep with my pitch. Some agreed and some didn’t, but for those that did, I was able to make connections and do a little more work for my blog.
1 Month Before NYFW
Advice #1 – Plan & Schedule! One thing that I learned while attending NYFW is that you cannot get around very fast. Even when taking the subway or an Uber, you have to add an extra 15 minutes onto your planned time in order to be where you want on time. For example, when I attended a show on Day 2 of this past season, the show began at 3 and I left my hotel at 2 even with the Uber time showing it would take only 20 minutes. The Uber app doesn’t always factor in traffic, lights, pedestrians, and the fact that the Uber driver can never really find you and parks across the street from where you are.
So with that in mind, keep in mind that you will not always be able to attend everything that you are invited to. Some of my invitations included shows that were back to back (one starting at 2pm and ending at 3pm right when the next show started across the city), and I had to determine which show I wanted to attend over the other. The best way to keep yourself on time and attending as many shows as you want is to keep a schedule – whether it be in a planner or simply on your phone. I used my iPhone calendar because it also allowed me to keep the address right on hand when I needed directions using the subway.
Advice #2 – Follow up with your contacts. I don’t necessarily mean that you should send another email to the same exact email address, but look for another way of contacting. Do your research! Sometimes you have to dig and when you do, I guarantee you will find gold.
Also, as you are receiving emails back noting that they don’t have room, follow up with an email asking to be put on a wait list in the case that space opens up later. I actually received two invitations last minute and though I wasn’t able to attend those events because they overlapped, it still felt good that my asking to be on the wait list worked.
Advice #3 – Get in contact with showrooms for designers and/brands. By doing this, you can actually make deeper connections with the brands/designers and you can lighten your packing load. There are many showrooms around New York and when you making an appointment, you are sometimes given the opportunity to borrow clothing to wear to the NYFW shows. This past season I attended the Amelia Toro showroom and was given a outfit to wear during my first day of NYFW. The only thing I had to do was return it the next day. Also, some showrooms don’t even require you to return it – on various occasions they pick it up from your hotel.
Advice #4 – Reach out to other bloggers in blogger networks that you belong to. This past season, I was actually offered a few invitations/tickets to shows (which can be emailed and scanned at the kiosks – keep that under wraps), because they couldn’t attend. Just stay tuned to bloggers posting and see whether they offer them or if you have friends who received invites and you know they aren’t going, just ask. Even I would be willing to give invitations to other bloggers in exchange for that person providing me with the pictures that they take so it just looks like I was there.
I will openly admit that I did not learn all of these things on my own. The one thing that I did was take notes from some of the bloggers that I truly love who have been to NYFW such as Amanda Miller from the Miller Effect – check out her blog! She made a post featuring tips for NYFW, and though I didn’t use them all exactly how she described, they did help me a lot. So don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers or take notes from their tips – they are providing them for a reason.
And don’t be afraid to reach out around the NYFW season for additional tips on how to take on NYFW! You can contact me directly and hopefully I can provide you with some insight!