How to get into New York Fashion Week (or any Fashion Week) as a blogger
Whew, the million dollar question! "How do I get into New York Fashion Week as a blogger?"....... Well, we sat down with the Brit Olivia from the famous Global Influencer Agency to get all your questions answered! The agency has not only attended fashion week, they have put on designer shows in every major city including New York, London, Paris and Milano, as well as sent their members to fashion week and events since 2015. These tactics that we will share with you are for New York, however, they will work for any fashion show if done correctly.
So lets get started.... Lets get you into New York Fashion Week!
2-3 months before New York Fashion Week - Start pitching to Hotels
New York Fashion Week does not release its schedule of designer shows this early, but you should start planning to attend at least 90 days in advance. New York Fashion Week is every February & September of each year so I would recommend your pitches to hotels going out in November/December of every year and then again in June/July. If you live in NYC or the tri-state area - good for you! You can skip this step.
Do you need a pitch to send to hotels? Let the agency make a custom template for you to send each year. Click here to receive your custom pitch. The agency will assign an advisor to you that will contact you, learn about you and then write a custom email pitch for you for either a brand or a hotel. You will simply copy and paste this to your hotel list and begin to reach out to them.
Things to keep in mind when pitching to hotels:
Remember, hotels are busy this time of year. You will get a lot of NO's... or just flat out "we are busy this time of year." If you get this response, opt for a media or press rate and ask them for a better rate in exchange for photos and / or a post. I would also recommend going with a group of other bloggers. You will see even larger bloggers do this! I watched bloggers with 1 million followers stay with 2-3 other bloggers just to split the cost of hotels - as remember, this is New York! The most expensive city in the world!
Pitch to a minimum of 50 hotels and be realistic. If if your first pitch of even your 3rd - do not try to stay at the Plaza or Four Seasons. Look for boutique hotels. They are everywhere in Manhattan! Manhattan is an island - with over 150 blocks of hotels and tourist attractions. That means there is a hotel literally every BLOCK. But they are boutique hotels. So I would go to google and search things like "boutique hotels in NYC" or "best boutique hotels in New York City". When the search results appear, click on the websites and find an email address for their marketing team or just their generic email (something like info@) and send your pitch to the hotel. If you start to get really desperate, call the hotel and ask for the email address and name of their marketing director. This will for sure get you an answer!
Keep your email short & sweet. Include your instagram link, highlights of you, your blog name and other important facts about you. Maybe something like a large brand you have worked with (mention you have worked & are an ambassador for CHIC NYC - everyone knows Chic in the city - to collab with CHIC NYC use the code SELECTED on any item from their website www.chicnycrunway.com - then you could add this to your pitches), a magazine you were featured in, press release, etc. anything that shows you a professional in this industry! There is alot of bloggers out there just trying to get FREE items and do not put in the work that the hotel may be looking for. Try to leave emotions out of the email... like your dreams and passions, etc. They just want to see who you are, what you do, your photos and what they will get out of you staying at their hotel. Its blunt but true.
1 month before New York Fashion Week - Begin to email press contacts and designers for show tickets
About a month or so before the shows you will start to see the schedule fill in for what shows will be featured at New York Fashion Week. You can simply google "New York Fashion Week Show Schedule" and include the month and year (if its September of February) and see the official schedule. Remember though that SO MANY shows/presentations are NOT listed on the official schedule, so you’ll have to do some digging. What I usually do it request just about anything and everything, and then see what fits into my schedule and then RSVP YES to those specific shows. It’s a lot of work and emails to attend NYFW, so be prepared.
The best way to get into the show is to email the agencies that handle the shows and to email the designers direct. If you do not want to research for hours, the Global Influencer Agency has these list published each year where you can purchase them for a small fee. You would get every single email address to the marketing managers for each of the brands that are featured at New York Fashion Week, along with Paris Shows and Milano.
CONTACT DESIGNERS TO GET YOUR TICKETS:
FOR NEW YORK DESIGNERS & PR AGENCIES, CLICK HERE
FOR PARIS DESIGNERS & PR AGENCIES, CLICK HERE
FOR ITALIAN DESIGNERS & PR AGENCIES, CLICK HERE
Again, keep your pitch short & sweet. To receive a custom pitch from the Global Influencer Agency, click here.
I would divide up the emails I send out to PR Agencies and then directly to brands since the content is going change. For PR agencies I send a somewhat generic email asking for invites to any shows/presentations they would be coordinating this season (if I’m not sure what they all are) and for brands, I’ll directly ask to attend their show/presentation.
2 weeks before New York Fashion Week - Confirm!
Follow up! Every single ticket request you sent (if they didn’t respond) should get a follow-up email. Nothing long, just simply saying you’re following up on your request. Send this to both designers and PR agencies. A lot of shows will not be full or will have last minute cancellations, so you will be surprised... alot of brands will give you a YES last minute! I usually get more response from my Follow Up emails then I do my original pitch emails…so this is an important step not to forget. And as you get invites to shows/presentations, make sure you don’t RSVP YES to something that you know you are not going too. BIG NO NO. Brands know when you’re a no-show and you don’t want to get the reputation as the blogger that says they’re going to come to things and always flakes. Only say YES to things you know you’ll be at. Otherwise, forget next year. They will remember you.
I would recommend downloading the Launch Metrics App as a lot of agencies and designers use this to keep track of their reservations. You can simply click YES OR NO to attending shows that you have been invited to, along with insert a guest name for approval or cancel your plans to attend the show if needed. Be sure to download the app and keep track of your shows all in one place!
1 week before New York Fashion Week - Start Planning your Looks!
Alright, so you know what shows you will be attending. Now it is time to start packing! Depending on how long you’re going, you’re going to want to start planning your looks at least 1 week in advance. I also reccomend taking photos of your looks before putting them in your suitcase so you remember your looks. Last, don't forget, February shows are pretty cold, there is usually snow on the group as well, September shows usually bring rain and it is chilly this time of year.
Looks for FEBRUARY shows: Blazers, pastels (a lot of bloggers actually wear heels for this show), colored coats, beanies, suit looks, head bands, long dresses with tons of layers, layered looks
Looks for SEPTEMBER shows: Over the knee boots, trench coats, leather jackets, jean jackets, scarf, hats, denim, leather, layers!
Things I have personally learned at New York Fashion Week
- Sometimes designers will give you a ticket to a show but it won't be an assigned seat. TAKE IT! You will see it says standing, but trust me, shows always have someone not show up and a lot of times you will end up in the front row! My first show I received a standing ticket and about 50 people didn't show up from the weather. I ended up landing a front row seat with a guest!
- Invest in your photos early. Start taking beautiful photos now so you are ready every September and February to pitch. Try to get hotel stays now so you can show NYC hotels your other hotel stays and your photos/post. Do not wait until 3 months before to try to talk a brand or hotel into you being a real blogger. Start NOW!
- Take good photos! The time goes by so fast at Fashion Week and before you know it you are back at home. The memories are great, but you want to prepare for future collaborations by having tons of great photos of you at Fashion Week, as well as their shows/presentations. So invest in a good camera or use your I PHONE and learn how to edit photos to make them look amazing. One of my favorite bloggers who knows how to take amazing photos is Leonie Hanne! Her boyfriend takes her photos with a professional camera - and they are amazing!
- Keep a good budget for food/coffee/snacks. Remember, this is NYC so it is hard to get out of that city for cheap. Make sure you give yourself a budget for food, coffee and snacks. I like to keep protein bars or granola snacks in my purse as well as the shows can go back to back.
- Most importantly... HAVE FUN! Bring a business card and get your name out there. You will never see these people again so have fun and introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. You will be surprised what you can get by just asking! Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and get involved in this industry!
Have fun! My very best!
Brit Olivia, Lead Advisor at the Global Influencer Agency