I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks now but life is happening to me as we speak, (if you follow me on Instagram then you know I am stressed). Since New York Fashion Week is coming up I figured this information is better late than never, right?
I’ve been going to NYFW for what feels like decades. I think my first fashion week was back in 2009–which was a huge disaster. My boyfriend at the time (don’t worry now he’s my hubs) bought two round trip bus tickets, found a semi-gross yet affordable Manhattan hotel and made our way up to Bryant Park for the shows. A designer “friend” of ours promised us tickets and said, “Just meet me there!”
God bless his entire soul…
Because of course, there were no fashion week tickets and he was, of course, no where to be found (supposedly in Tokyo picking up merchandise. SIR!). We made the most of that trip and did some sight-seeing and stood on the steps of Bryant Park like the rest of the nobodies and watched celebrities go inside to enjoy the shows while we shivered outside in the cold.
Fast forward to six years later…
I’ve been able to navigate the fashion week circuit and garner thousands of show invites and a few hundred backstage passes. I was finally able to secure official press credentials from IMG (the company who owns and manages NYFW). There was a time where I was going to 80-100 shows in one season (read: all in one week, twice a year #TeamTooMuch).
But something happened around 2012, 2013…
Bloggers, Bryan Boy and Tavi Gevinson sat front row at a few shows and all of sudden, blogging became even more popular! IMG wanted in on the rise of this new influencer. It ultimately would make their Fashion Week seem cooler to the masses of fashion lovers.
You could find every blogger decked out in some over-the-top outfit blocking your view of a show that lasts maybe seven minutes. And that was just one of the many complaints that buyers and publication editors had about us bloggers attending the shows. We won’t dare say that all of the hanging out at the fountain led to the moment NYFW was kicked out of the Lincoln Center. But, I digress!
That all ended in 2015. IMG had enough of your blogger shenanigans and wanted to get that old thang back—EXCLUSIVITY!
“The Shows Spring/Summer 2016 Collections will reflect an evolved event with new venues, new activations, and new, streamlined policies and procedures.
As part of this evolution, IMG will only be issuing credentials to major media outlets. Individual agencies or freelancers interested in attending must be on official assignment from said outlets and have supporting documentation.”
In case you don’t speak fluent shade the above statement means no bloggers will be given press credentials from IMG. Too bad they don’t know how resourceful we are. And while I have absolutely no desire to ever attend NYFW again (but I do still cover it on my blog), I’ve got a few handy tips to help you gain a few show invites (or your first one for that matter).
1. Request Invites
Not many people know that even with a press credential you still need an invite from the designer’s PR. That press pass is cute and all but it’s only getting you in the building to sit at the free lounges and look cute. The blogger OG’s might slice me for filth for giving you guys this information, but oh wells.
My go-to resource has always been Modem Online. This site has everything you need to know about the fashion show schedule (and not just New York), trade shows, and of course, press and showroom contacts. So be ahead of the game and stalk the website so that you can request invites as soon as the schedule is listed on their site.
Here’s a sample email to PR. Keep in mind, this isn’t the bible kids. Don’t just copy and paste. Add your personality and flair to this!
My name is XXX and I am the editor of XXX, a beauty and lifestyle blog sharing the latest on fashion news, product reviews, brand launches, and event coverage.
I’d like to request invites and/or access to the backstage area to the _________ show. To give you an idea of my reach here are my latest stats from Google Analytics:
Page Views: XXX,XXX
My past New York Fashion Week coverage can be found here: (include a tag URL of your previous coverage)
2. Check with your contacts
Remember those annoying PR emails you get that are usually filled with information about some product you may or may not care about. Well, that PR girl may know a PR girl who is doing something with a designer or a brand at NYFW. Here’s where being nice and polite will always work in your favor.
If you’re a fellow beauty blogger, start by reaching out to PR companies that represent your favorite beauty brands and check to see if they will be sponsoring any of the shows during NYFW. If you’re already backstage “working” an hour before the show starts it’s a pretty good chance that you can ask for a seat at the show. Or you can just quietly slip into a spot in the back of the room. If you keep quiet and act like you belong, no one will question your existence.
3. Do the work first
Before I was able to attend the shows I would write about them from the pictures I found on the Internet. Getty images now have a comp image feature so it’s, even more, easier to get exclusive images. These days you guys have it so easy because everything is live streamed. Adopt a “fake it until you make” attitude and write about the shows that you want to get an invite to as if you were there. You can also live tweet the designer and send your post coverage to them via email. Google works, I swear! You have to make people see you. But you’ve gotta do the work first!
4. Contribute to a bigger blogger or mainstream site
I get that sometimes we just want to experience things just so we can say we did it. #FOMO is a bih! But maybe your followers don’t care about NYFW? So now what do you do? You reach out to the bigger bloggers (or larger sites like Essence, HelloBeautiful, XO Necole, MadameNoire, etc) that you admire and volunteer to cover the shows for them. This means work though. You will have to be a stellar writer and deliver on stupid tight deadlines and still get up and get pretty and show up for 7 am call times. Posts generally need to go up within hours of the show. Which unfortunately means no blogger party for you!
5. And lastly…
DON’T GIVE UP! You’ll get a trillion no’s before you get your first yes. I know everyone says this but I promise you no truer words have been typed or spoken. Plus, it takes time to develop trust with people in the industry. Enjoy the coffee dates because this will be the beginning of some career-long relationships!
So what did I miss? Do you have any tips for fashion week goers?