Happy Friday loves! Today I’m wrapping up my NYFW coverage, which includes what I wore to the Erin Fetherston show (oh so dreamy…) and a highly anticipated post: the unexpected truth about New York Fashion Week.
Let me preface this by saying that one of my favorite parts of attending season after season, is getting to connect with other social media influencers from around the world. We each live in our own little social media bubble, where everything is perfectly curated to fit a 9 box square, when in reality, its not. Whether it’s killing time in between shows or during a scheduled meet-up, these are times I look forward to: connecting, relating, and building relationships. I love to dig deeper and go beyond the normal and boring “where are you staying?” and “what’s been your favorite shows?” type questions. So, this entire post is a result of all those conversations and what I have encountered over the last three seasons. SIDE NOTE: If none of this interests you, feel free to skip!
1. It takes a lot of time and effort to attend NYFW. For most of us, we don’t get flown out to NYC and have our entire trip paid for via specific brands or events. I’m not knocking those who do, kudos’ to y’all… But it is an investment, both personally and financially. I’m not kidding when I say you have to hustle from the moment you decide to attend, until you’re on that flight headed back home. As you can imagine, NYC hotels jack their prices up during NYFW just like any other peak time, and only the top 10 percent of social influencers get free stays. Like they can’t afford it, right? But that’s a whole other subject… After sending 25-40 emails to different hotels in the area, you’ll maybe hear back from 3, and then you’re extremely lucky to even get a half way decent media rate to make your trip more affordable. There’s countless hours spent researching the brands putting on runway shows and presentations, cross referencing several different websites to find the correct contact, and a whole lot of trial and error. I kid you not when I tell you to be prepared to spend an entire day sending out 300+ emails initially, then allow time to follow-up and track down a new contact if your message is returned undeliverable. As a social influencer who’s worked with numerous companies over the last three years, I realized how important it is to build relationships with brands you collaborate with, keep your contacts organized and be friendly towards your peers. This season I challenged myself to network within my peer group, and I can’t say I’m too surprised as the result. Personally, I find myself as the type of woman who gives, and gives, and continues to give until she can’t give anymore. Whether that’s my time, energy, or in this case, sharing contacts and results. I willingly gave away information when I was invited to shows, hotel contacts when I secured a media rate, seats to the presentations I couldn’t attend, etc. I know you’re thinking, “Anna, are you really surprised people weren’t willing to return the favor?” and the honest answer is YES! I’m in several different Facebook groups that preaches about a “supportive community,” when in reality, it’s a one way street. Its true what they say, you find out who your true friends are in situations like this, and I am extremely thankful for those people who I connected with during this season. But man, this was an extremely popular topic of conversation during my time at NYFW! So the whole point of this ramble is to remind you two things. One, if you plan to go to NYFW in the future, know that what you put into it is what you’ll get out. Be ready to invest a lot of time and money, and if you do it right, you’ll walk away with a great experience! Two, if you were someone who received a contact, a seat, or any assistance throughout this seasons events, pay it forward! Whether it’s a simple “thank you,” or helping someone in the future, a little bit goes a long way. Don’t take your friends and experiences for granted!
2. Don’t be that girl. There’s no surprise that there’s a pique of interest as soon as you announce you’re attending NYFW. Whether it’s through social media, or people wanting the 411, there’s an influx of followers. You’re giving them access to world that was once guarded by an elite group of insiders. Do not, and I repeat, do not, spend your time complaining, “I’m so tired running from show a to show b,” or “my feet hurt from walking all day.” It’s not a marathon race… Not only do you come off sounding unappreciative, but you contribute to giving social influencers a bad name. Your followers don’t want to hear it! They want to see their favorite designers through your eyes, whats going on in NYC, and maybe be inspired by an outfit you’re wearing or the street style looks.
3. Know your audience. This ties directly into #2. Always be aware of your surroundings; where you are and who is near. I cannot even begin to tell you how many conversations I overheard while walking around in between shows or waiting for the doors to open. Girls (emphasis on girls, because it genuinely concerns me that grown women would engage in such inappropriate conversations to begin with…) gossiping about another blogger they just met, a show they attended or a person they sat next to. You never know who you are standing next to, whether it’s said person’s friend or a PR representative, don’t be that girl. I’d also like to remind you that not everyone is going to be what they “post” to be via social media. That’s okay. I’ve had my fair share of “OMG I’M SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU!” moments, then walked away completely disappointed because that person was standoffish and rude. Again, don’t be that girl. First impressions are everything and crucial when you’re trying to grow your niche and inner circle.
4. You can sit with us. In the front row I mean… This is actually stems from a funny story I thought I’d share. It isn’t unheard of for a show to start anywhere from 15-30 minutes late during fashion week. Actually, its pretty normal. As an attendee though, its important to be on time, especially if you have an assigned seat. Travel in between shows can be a nightmare when they are in two totally different locations, so I often found myself running in at the last-minute and my seat was gone. Instead of being a complete bitch, throwing a fit and causing a scene by kicking someone out of my seat, the usher sat me down in the front row to fill in empty spot so the show could start. No big deal. On the other hand, there were shows that I received priority standing, meaning you find yourself leaning over the rows of attendee’s to “ooh” and “ahh” at the models coming down the runaway. In this once instance, myself and other bloggers were grabbed 5-8 minutes prior to the show starting, and ushered to fill in seats. Keep in mind, designers don’t want empty seats to be shown in their photos and will often fill where needed, as well as let you bring in a +1. Seated, camera in hand and ready for the show to begin as the lights were lowering, two girls came rushing over to our area at the last second to sit down and mouthed “you’re in my seat.” So, we scooted to fit them in, as they expected us to get up and leave. Now, I can understand if we just walked right in like we owned the place and found ourselves a spot on the front row, but that’s not the case. The entire time the models were coming down the runway, these girls proceeded to text, not take photos or lift their eyes from their screens, and complain about how we were in their seats. So, let me pose these two questions to think about. One, why are you at a fashion show if you aren’t even paying attention? Two, why do you show up late and expect your seat to still be there? These ladies weren’t first timers, they obviously know the way it works. So rather waste their time and energy being mad at us, they could have redirected their energy at the usher’s or showed up on time. With all that being said, if you are a blogger, don’t be that girl. Don’t be mad if you’re late and your seat is gone. Don’t jump down to the front row unit usher’s are pulling people. And definitely don’t allow your yourself to be so caught up in someone taking your seat, that you miss the show!
Y’all, I could seriously go on forever. But I’m hoping that today’s post can give you some insight about attending NYFW and what I’ve learned. Remember, this is based solely on my experience and knowledge is power! Hopefully if you are a social influencer who is considering attending next season, you’ve learned a thing or two. If you have attended in the past, please let me know some of the “untold truth’s” you’ve discovered, I’d love to hear your input in the comments below or feel free to email me!
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