When it comes to annual and/or bi-annual fashion events, we love to dish out a few friendly reminders, as well as some nifty survival tactics for industry insiders planning to cover said events. With New York Fashion Week just around the corner, we thought that now would be a great time to make mention of those things you'll need, and those things that you'll need to remember... Because trust us, there are a lot.
Take A Schedule With You (Everywhere)
Many publicists would gladly argue that New York Fashion Week is the craziest time of the year. If you’re an avid fashion editor or blogger, the same argument likely applies to you. Putting together a legible schedule (chicken scratch on paper does not count) will make your life, and the lives of others around you a whole lot easier. The key to a well-working schedule is to make it as portable as possible; you should be able to take it anywhere! Update it constantly, and make changes the moment they occur… Not 25 minutes later. With events scheduled so closely together, a 25-minute memory lapse could make or break (likely the latter) your entire routine.
The Perfect Tote
Covering New York Fashion Week requires a lot of items; a recorder for interviews, a camera for all of those backstage photos, a notebook and pen to keep track of the looks that you love… The list is endless! None of this is a problem however if you invest in what we like to call, “The Perfect Tote.” The Perfect Tote is your ‘it’ bag; it’s the bag that’s not too large, not too small, not too heavy, and can hold anything & everything you’ve got while still being fashion forward. Yes, it does need to be all of these things at the exact same time!
Dress/Brand Yourself Appropriately
Fashion Week in New York is the perfect opportunity for individuals to brand themselves. Street style photographers are everywhere, and are always on the look out for innovative fashionistas. Bottom line? Dress the way that you’d like to be perceived, because you WILL get your picture taken; and while you’re styling yourself, think about the message that you’re sending. This is a great time to ask, “WWBD?” Translation, “What Would Barbie Do?” Well, when Barbie is a flight attendant, she wears her flight attendant uniform. When Barbie is going to the beach, she wears a great swimsuit. So naturally, when Barbie goes to a Donna Karan show, she wears Donna Karan. Designers love to see that they’ve invited the appropriate demographic. Example: If VOGUE takes your photo at a Donna Karan show, and then proceeds to ask, “Who are you wearing?” The answer damned well better be, “Donna Karan.”
A Show Request and a Show Invitation Are Not the Same Thing
Sending a show request to Publicist X at Design House Y does not necessarily mean that you’re on the guest list (sorry). Unless you have a hardcopy invitation, or receive digital confirmation (issued by Design House Y, and not your desktop version of Photoshop), you are not on the list. Our advice? Make sure that you’re on the list! If you’re scheduled to attend multiple shows inside of a few hours, make sure that you’re carrying all hardcopy invites with you; keep them together in an envelope, and then put that envelope into The Perfect Tote. Whether you end up needing them or not is irrelevant – but at least this way, you know that you’re on the list. At the end of the day, you can’t expect Publicist X to remember everything…
Let’s Talk About Your Phone…
Your cell phone needs to be your best friend during New York Fashion Week (seriously). First off, make sure that your phone is equipped to receive e-mail! We can’t stress that point enough. E-mail is the most used and relied upon form of communication during show week. Install all necessary Apps to your phone prior to setting foot in New York City as well; Twitter, Facebook, FlipBoard, and Instagram are just a few of our iPhone favorites. On all of the previously mentioned Apps, make sure you’re following the leaders; they could (and will very likely) be key sources of information during your trek. It is crucial that you keep yourself informed while hopping from show to show. That being said, know when and where to (dare we say it) turn your phone off as well…
Be Mindful of Fashion Hierarchy
Respecting fashion hierarchy is useful under some circumstances, and useless in others. However, when it comes to taking your seat at a show, always abide by fashion hierarchy. Nothing is more irritating to an editor (this could be you) than getting to their seat, and finding someone else in it. Not only has said editor earned the right to be/sit there; now they have to embarrass the poor soul occupying their seating assignment. Trust us when we tell you that not all editors and publicists are as forgiving as you’d think they might be…
Speak Up… These Shows Cost A Lot Of Money
After spending hours mailing & e-mailing out Fashion Week invitations, and strategically compiling this industry’s most advanced jigsaw puzzle (the seating chart), publicists ask for but one thing from seated patrons in return: Feedback. One of the biggest complaints among publicists after Fashion Week is that they’ve poured massive amounts of effort and resources into Designer X’s show, only to hear crickets as a result. Our point? SAY SOMETHING; just don’t say nothing.