Here’s the thing. I started writing this post last year at this time and I guess I never got around to publishing it…so here it is! Are you a micro influencer and think you can’t go to NYFW? F*ck that. First things first, if you want to attend badly enough, you can. Only 2,000 followers? No problem! Are you going to get invited to the Tom Ford show? The chances of that are very slim, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t able to attend Fashion Week in general.
Fashion Week has evolved over the years and in recent seasons, more and more designers are making their shows more exclusive or opting for exclusive presentations rather than a runway show. As the industry grows, it can be harder for smaller bloggers like myself to get invited, but it doesn’t mean it is impossible. It just takes a little work and a resourceful mind.
In this guide I am going to walk you through the steps of how to get invited to shows and parties at NYFW.
How to Get Invited To NYFW Shows
This is the most asked question surrounding NYFW for sure. If you don’t know, it can seem like the hardest part.
Step 1: Find the season’s schedule & map out the show you want to attend
You can find the current season’s schedule on NYFW.com. If you are a micro influencer you will want to begin with the smaller and up and coming designers. You can try to get into larger shows, but without a personal connection, it can be very hard. You will most likely be attending shows of designer’s who you may have never heard of before.
Step 2: Find who to contact to get an invite
– Option 1: Directly via the designer’s website –
One way to find who to contact is by going to the designer’s website and searching around until you find the correct contact. Most website’s will have a “contact” section where you can find all of the contacts they provide. Often they will have a media or press contact, and if they do, the job is easy! If they don’t, you can send an email to the general email address given looking to get in contact with the appropriate person in regards to NYFW. If they don’t have anyone to contact, you may have to do a bit of digging, and this is where you just have to be resourceful and put on your detective hat.
Agency Tip: A lot of designers are represented by an agency. If you find an agency contact when on a designer’s website, check and see who else they represent. They might also represent other designer’s whose shows you may want to attend. If so, you can send them one email requesting invites to multiple shows. This streamlines the process and avoids having multiple email threads going with the same person. Two agencies that handle a lot of shows and events for smaller designers at NYFW are MODE PR and The Riviere Agency.
– Option 2: GPS Radar –
You will need GPS Radar for NYFW. It is where a lot of your invites to shows will live. You will apply for it and when accepted you can request invites to certain shows.
Tip: It is easier to get accepted if you have a professional email address associated with your company. Ex: email@example.com would be accepted over firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Option 3: Blogger Friends –
You can offer to trade contacts with other bloggers if they are willing. Never ask someone directly for a certain contact as it can be seen as rude, but you can offer to trade. That way everyone gets something out of it! If you were to ask outright with nothing to offer back it might be equivalent to someone asking a photographer where one of their shoot locations is or asking to use someone’s homework assignment.
Step 3: Request an invite (what to say)
Begin reaching out about 2-3 weeks before fashion week. When emailing your contact, keep in mind that these people are getting hundreds, if not thousands of emails regarding fashion week. This is not the time to tell your life story in an email. Keep it short and to the point. Let them know who you are and what your blog is, that you are interested in in attending the show or presentation, a quick note for your love of the designer, maybe add your media kit, and what you can offer them in return for an invite. If you have happened to wear the brand before you can share certain posts featuring them to share your ture interest.
Note: You don’t have to offer blog posts, and specific coverage, just let them know you would be happy to cover the show via your channels.
Step 4: Wait
One of the most annoying things is that invites do not get sent out until about a week before fashion week, if not only days before. This means you will have already have your trip booked before knowing what shows you will be attending. This can be nerve wracking, especially your first year, but do not overload their inbox with multiple follow up emails. One follow up email a week before the show’s date is sufficient. You will get invites. Don’t stress.
Step 5: RSVP
When you finally get your invites make sure to RSVP either yes or no. You will want to say yes to everything, which at first is totally fine, but if you don’t plan on going after putting your schedule together do not RSVP yes.
How to Get Invited To NYFW Parties/Events
If you ask me, most often the NYFW parties and events are the best part of the week. This is a bit trickier though as most of the time you have to have a personal connection with a brand or company to get invited. Most of the time they will reach out to you if they are interested in having you attend. The other hard part is that if you don’t have a connection, you won’t really know what parties and events are happening during the week; there is not a form online outlining ever event and party. With that being said, sometimes you have to be resourceful to get invites. For example, I have attended events with Nylon Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Coach, Lulu’s, Bollare, etc.. all by way of knowing someone, or getting contacts and asking for invites. The best part about a lot of events is that if you attend one season, the likelihood of getting invited again is pretty high as many people will recycle their lists from the previous season or event.
Option A: Brands You Have Worked With
Often times, the brands I work with throughout the year will invite me to their events/parties if they have one during NYFW. A good example of this is RewardStyle and LikeToKnow.it. They have events every season, and most bloggers I know are apart of their platform. Another example of this would be any agencies you may have worked with, an example of this is Bollare. If you get wind that a brand is throwing a party and you have worked with them in the past, use your contact to reach out to them. This is a good reminder to always have a good rapport with everyone you work with for future opportunities.
Option B: Become a Plus One
If you have any blogger friends going, you can always share your schedules and see what they are going to. Usually you can bring a plus one to any event, so if you happen to be so lucky that a friend is going to an event and they aren’t using their plus one, that could be your key in. As always, don’t straight up ask for invites, contacts, or plus ones. Usually if you are a plus one, they have you on their list for next time to receive an invite. There is a private group on facebook for RewardStyle bloggers going to NYFW, check that out as a resource.
Option C: Use the Most Recent Past Season to Your Advantage
This can be a bit tricky, but I have done it and it has worked for me. I do a bunch of digging and research on the most recent past season of fashion week, I see who had parties and events, then I reach out to those people to see if they are planning to have another one this coming season. This is not a for sure thing, but sometimes they will come back and say yes!