How to Attend New York Fashion Week (and other helpful tips)
Hi friends I just attended my very first NYFW. I am a personal stylist and always dreamed of the day I would be in New York running from show to show. It really is a magical, mysterious world. I had a fabulous time and still reeling in all the buzz and excitement. The SS23 shows I attended were out of this world. Since there is so much to unpack under the giant label titled fashion week; I’ve broken down everything you need to know to make your first time a success.
The Set Up
There are different types of shows: Industry Only, Invite Only, and Open to the Public Shows
Official CFDA Shows
The CFDA owns and organizes the Fashion Calendar and official New York Fashion Week schedule . These are shows on the Official American Collections calendar. Designers must go through a formal application process to be included in this prestigious line up. These feature the top American and sometimes European Designers. For my trip, the top hitters were Tommy Hilfger Rebecca Minkoff, Christian Sirano and Alturzzura. For shows of this caliber seats are only given to people in the industry and celebrities. You either have to be somebody or know somebody. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that you will get in to these types of shows. Find the official calendar here.
NYFW the shows
NYFW the Shows includes live streaming, panels, experiences, runway shows and other fashion related events during fashion week. Their lineup also includes some of the American designers as well. So there is an alliance now and overlap between CFDA and IMG. In tandem they work together to build out a jam packed NYFW with over 100 designers and labels participating. It is still tricky to get in to these shows. They first reserve for those in the industry. You can try your hand at emailing IMG or each designer to ask for an invite to their show. Find the line up here.
Fashion Week Online is another amazing resource to find all things fashion in one place. They have great articles, model casting calls, exclusive events, and more. Be sure to check them out here.
Because Fashion week is such prestigious spectacle, every designer, store, artist, model, etc is dying for a chance to be part of the action. This opens several opportunities to participate in some runway shows and events. These shows are still over the top, amazing and will give you a runway true fashion week experience.
There are so many shows that you can attend. First start by checking Eventbrite for a list of open to the public shows and events. You can check sites like vogue, NYFW the shows, fashion week online for inside tips on shows that have tickets available.
Follow your favorite NYC boutiques on instagram to find out if they will be participating in a pop up event. Many charities will also sell tickets to their shows in hopes to raise money and awareness to new emerging designers. I attended a fashion show for a charity and it was fun to see new and emerging designers and support artist in a more intimate setting. Check eventbrite for these opportunities.
More Helpful Tips
The calendar is always changing
Make sure you stay on top of your emails and fashion week calendar. You’ll notice a couple of weeks before the start of fashion week is when things really start to fill up. Shows are being added last minute as designers feel the buzz and want to be a part of the action. I received emails the night before shows confirmed my spot for the next day. I even got alerts the day of that there was a show happening in a few hours. The secrecy of the shows, and the buzzing schedule additions is just part of the fashion week magic.
The shows never start on time
Literally ever single show we attended went to started at least an hour after it’s start time. The delay added to the standing in line time to get in, make for several hours on your feet.
Only plan to go to a few shows a day
The shows are not all in the same place. The shows are spread out in a variety of venues. Some in Times Square, some in Tribeca and downtown. All the shows we went to lasted about an hour. They also had an hour delay start time and we waited in line on average a half an hour before that. That is around 2.5 hours for one show. There is also heavy traffic and high demand of taxi cabs and Ubers. If you are going back and forth between midtown and downtown, you can expect about a 40 minute travel time. I recommend not planning more than attending one show in the morning and one in the evening. This allows time for breaks, lunch and to check out all the fun pop up shops and experiences.
Wear comfortable shoes
See above for the long wait times. If you don’t want to sacrifice your statement shoe for a sneak, then be prepared and bring a tote bag with a pair of flats or sneaks inside.
If you can go, stream it
NYFW streams all the official live shows. Sign up for access to view all of the shows here.
I truly hope you find this information helpful. NYFW is crazy, confusing and o so magical. My wish is that you get a chance to experience someday! XX
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