Big city, Bright lights, Glam nights.
1 of the goals on my 2019 list was to attend #nyfw at all costs! I used to wonder how regular folks get to attend this prestigious event seeing as tickets can't be purchased and tons of celebrities and models attend. So like any reasonable person on a mission, I started doing my research. I realized that there are 5 ways you can get into a show at NYFW:
1) Be famous
2) Know a designer or have ties to a PR company that represents a designer showcasing on 1 of the days
3) Work for a well-known magazine,buyer or fashion brand
4) Be sponsored by a company or fashion brand that flies you out (mega influencers get this treatment)
5) E-mail over 100 agencies and companies and hope that 1 says yes and adds you to the list.
I happened to fall under category 5 in this case. From January 1st, while everyone was partying or recovering from a party, I was at home in my pj's e-mailing PR companies, communication departments and brands basically selling myself on why I deserved to attend their show. The tentative schedule gets released by the CFDA about 6 weeks ahead so this allows you to see which designers will be showcasing and when.
The website is: NYFW: The Shows. After 2 weeks I got my 1st response - it was from Kate Spade and it was a No! I was actually happy and I smiled when I received the email. A response was better than no response. It was a kind 'No' though because they offered to keep me in mind for future opportunities. This sounded great to me. now if they actually do contact me in the future is another thing but I don't mind. I'm just grateful someone at Kate Spade read my email!
After about 3 weeks from the date I sent my initial email, I sent a second one out. This time, I got 2 more No's (they all said "due to limited capacity this year...") which is very true. Brands actually get limited seating at these shows and of course they want the media, press, fashion giants and celebrities to fill the spots first! It's a good look for them. It is good to follow up weeks later after they have probably gotten most of their RSVPs in as things may have changed and a spot may have opened up. I assume that's what happened when I got my 1st yes! I was confirmed for my 1st NYFW show as me, Theankaraqueen. Not with some big company behind me; just me!
Here's the thing. You have to make sure you are truly putting your best foot forward when you email these companies and agencies. They probably receive hundreds of emails from bloggers right before NYFW so you must stand out but you must also be as honest as possible while keeping things concise. How do you do that?
a) Keep your email professional and not dreamy. Don't go on about how you have always dreamed of attending NYFW since you were a little girl because that has been overdone and is too cliche. State what you can do for them, their brand. For example, in my email, I focused on the fact that I am a blogger of colour and that I could be introducing them to an audience they may not be particularly focused on but with strong purchasing power.
b) Polish yourself up without lying. What do I mean? You can say you are an influencer with a significant daily reach (you can mention exact stats) but don't say you are THE BIGGEST influencer in a certain niche unless you are absolutely certain you are and have proof to back up those facts. Don't say you have over 100k followers when you have 10k because trust me, they will probably check you out! Mention your biggest milestone or achievement (fashion-related would be better).
c) Ensure your social media pages are public, polished and a reflection of your brand before you go on an emailing spree. This means, if you want to attend NYFW next year, (or in the Fall of this year) you should start working on your brand now. Imagery sells and so does engagement - which are 2 things brands look at when deciding who shall attend their shows. They want the most buzz for their events and want to ensure that everyone in the room can give them that.
Right before NYFW starts, e-mail [email protected] and see if you can be added to the list for other NYFW events (like the talks, movie screenings etc). These are also great events to attend and it's at least one way in :) They are also quick to respond.
Let me know if you have questions, I'll be telling you more of my personal experience at the show and NYFW in general in the next post!
Photos by https://annavivare.com/