Tuesday, March 1, 2016

{NYFW | tips & advice for first timers}

I want to start this post off by telling you something you may not have realized... ANYONE can go to NYFW. I'm serious! Being a blogger doesn't make me special or better than anyone else who loves fashion. If you want to go, then make it happen!!! I've listed some of my tips (lessons learned if you will) and answered a couple of questions that I got. I was able to go with help from my friends so I want to do the same for you. At the end of the day we're all strong women who should support each other, right? :)

Today's post is lengthy so if you're looking for something else check out some outfit posts!


1 // Confidence - I went into planning NYFW scared out of my mind and thinking I wasn't going to go to any shows. I kept pushing my to-do list back because I thought "my numbers aren't high enough" "I don't wear enough designer clothes" "I'm not cool enough" etc. The second I started believing in myself is when things changed. If I had gained this confidence earlier I may have gotten more invites!

2 // Find a Squad - Whether they're like minded people who love fashion, blogger friends, your photographer, or a best friend... you need somebody on your side. While most shows you attend alone having someone to chat with about everything makes life better. Going with my best blog gals was the best experience because there was no competition. We all knew we had to get some photographs in and we knew we weren't all going to be able to attend the same shows. Having very little competition surrounding us made things a lot more relaxed and fun! (and NYFW is really competitive haha...)

3 // Reach Out - Like I mentioned before, you can't be scared! Promote yourself! News flash: I'm not a huge blogger and PR companies don't find me everyday. If they do they probably aren't representing Monique Lhuillier or BCBG! :) Do your homework - search for the PR companies online, look up the runway calendar and pick the shows you want to attend. Ask the contact if they represent any smaller shows. Attending the Yigal Azrouel show was so much fun and I had never heard of him before!

4 // Comfortable Shoes - aka FLATS. Booties. Loafers. Tennis shoes. Just pack them - I wish I had.

5 // Extra Phone Charger - Goodness my phone died after every show!!! Probably because I have the oldest iPhone known to the fashion world. My phone charger (and Kristyn's haha) saved me multiple times. Make sure you charge it up along with your phone whenever you have a chance!

6 // Be Social - You'll most likely be attending shows alone. Don't be afraid to say hi to someone (or ask them to take an instagram for you)!

7 // Drink Water, Eat Snacks, Rest Up - and repeat.

8 // Timeliness - Arrive early if you're standing room (so you can be seated) and if you're seated still arrive on time so you don't get locked out. If you have a seat assignment still arrive on time so you can potentially be moved forward. Plus, it's just polite. Fashionably late was totally coined during NYFW... and it gave me a mild anxiety attack.

9 // Public Transportation - because Ubers and taxis are freaking expensive. Just ask my bank account.

10 // Attend Events - Not just shows and presentations! This is your best chance to connect with new brands and companies. Plus, it's a great chance to get your hair and makeup touched up.

11 // Layer Up - It's freezing and the windchill makes it worse. Don't be afraid to rock a cute beanie, bright red gloves or a fur stole over a leather jacket. Photographers are always snapping street style! This is also your prime opportunity to accessorize to the nines. Renting a designer handbag made me feel a lot more confident walking in with a simple coat!

12 // Location, location, location - Try to find a hotel that is central and close to the shows. I would recommend splurging a little bit if you're there for an extended period. You want to be comfortable and this will be your safe haven and breath of fresh air! (We decided to save on the hotel but I think we paid for it in transportation costs.)

13 // Take a Break - planning lunch and blocking out an afternoon to sit and talk with my girls made me relax and enjoy myself a lot more.

14 // Plan Your Outfits - This will take an additional level of stress off everything because you'll know what to wear every day and night!

15 // SHARE - On instagram, facebook, twitter, snapchat, etc. Brands may see what you're tweeting about and it's a great way to get involved with other people attending the shows! Bonus points: when you ask for invites to shows the following year you can mention how great it was to attend an attach a blog recap or instagram you shared. That's advertising and helps everyone out!


How do you get invited to shows/presentations/showrooms?
Like I mentioned before - Reach out to brands and do the work beforehand. Lots of companies list a press contact on their website (I also searched LinkedIn). Don't be afraid to email multiple people asking about invitations to shows. For PR companies ask them about a specific show and let them know how long you will be in New York, they may send you invites to other shows/presentations that the represent. I started reaching out about a month in advance for the bigger shows and continued emailing for the next four weeks. The bigger brands have more intimate shows which mean less invites so try to make your pitch early. I kept reaching out to smaller brands up to a week before we left. I also reached out to my contacts (companies I had worked with in the past) and asked if they were hosting any events, wanted to meet up for a drink, or if they were opening their showroom to guests. This was a great way to fill the day in between shows and see some new products being released for spring along with continuing awesome relationships.

What do you do if you didn't hear back about an invite?
Don't give up - follow up a week later and check in with the contact you found. If you still don't hear back again send an email the day before. Just be sure to keep it short and sweet - they may have just had someone back out of their ticket and be able to give it to you. I got my ticket to the Monique Lhuillier show the morning of!

What if you don't get invited to any shows?
Reach out to your contacts about showroom visits or ask to grab lunch/coffee/drinks. If you don't have any contacts then reach out to brands that you want to work with. The worst that can happen is they say no - at least they will have checked out your blog and you'll be on their radar.  Email local bloggers about meeting up, too! It's a wonderful opportunity to network and get advice.

What do you do when you get denied?
Thank them for responding to you and ask for media images after the show. It's a great way to keep the conversation going and if a last minute ticket pops up they may pass it along!

How do I find out about events?
Utilize your network - ask blogger friends, email your contacts, put your feelers out!!

What do you wear? Do you have to wear the designer?
Wear whatever best represents YOUR style. You want to put your best face forward and showcase your brand and blog. Be true to yourself and don't be afraid to try something new. Fashion Week is the best place to go out on a limb and shake things up a bit! Make sure you're comfortable and that you can walk in your shoes. You absolutely do NOT have to wear the designer... If I could have afforded some of the clothes then yes, I absolutely would have! But not all of the designs fit with my style - always stay true to yourself! Don't ever feel like to fit in that you have to wear designer clothes. That's not the case at all!! Mixing high and low end was one of the biggest things I noticed on the street.

Did you see my recaps? Day 1, Day 2 and Days 3 + 4
Plus my two looks that I shot while there with Rent The Runway and South Moon Under

Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below!

Love Always,

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