This post originally appeared on the blog MakingManhattan.com.
By Carolina Vazzana
Other than Christmas and New Years Eve, there is no crazier or more exciting time in New York City than Fashion Week. As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “Every year the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future; this is known as Fashion Week.” A time, in my opinion, where the real world seems to be put on pause, and only the “fashion world” exists. But, if you’re just starting out in your career in the fashion industry, landing a ticket and navigating the Fashion Week scene isn’t as easy as it looks. So, to make things easier for you, and to save you from a faux pas, I’ve rounded up my best tips and tricks for navigating #NYFW like a pro.
Be Prepared to Network If you are looking to further your career and make some new connections, there is no time better than Fashion Week. At shows you will be rubbing elbows with some of the best editors and designers in the industry so come prepared. Pro tip: Bring your business cards! When you’re meeting all of these people, it’s super helpful to have a business card to seal the deal so they remember who you are long after your conversation ends.
Always Keep Your Phone Charged During Fashion Week, you will be Instagramming, Snapchatting and Tweeting, so your battery will go faster than a pair of Manolos at a sample sale. To prevent missing out on the perfect shot, come prepared. I invested in a Mophie and a portable battery. Thanks to both of these, my phone was able to last during my twelve-hour days.
Fake it ‘Til You Make It When navigating the Fashion Week scene, it’s super important to pretend you know what you are doing even if you have no clue. When walking into a show (or sneaking into a show) have your game face on, pretend like you are supposed to be there — even if you aren’t. If someone asks you whom you are, say you’re a writer, editor or stylist. (If you have a blog or work for a publication, chances are one of these titles fits your job description!)
Take the Subway Despite seeing editors and celebrities taking black cars to every show, the subway is actually much more practical. Think about it, during fashion week everyone and their mother is trying to get a cab so the odds of you getting caught in traffic are SUPER high. I hate to admit it, but the first half of fashion week I was taking cabs everywhere I went. Not only was I wasting a lot of time, but I was also wasting a lot of money. Sure enough, I tried taking the subway a few days in and realized that it was so much faster. Lesson learned!
Dress to Impress Fashion Week is the one time of year where you can wear the bright printed dress or metallic pants you bought ages ago on sale, but never had the courage to wear. Believe me, you will fit in. People dress up in the most outlandish outfits so that photographers will snap their picture, so, if you want to stand out and leave a good impression bring you’re A-game and push the limits.
Speak Up During last year’s Fashion Week I was attending a show and was seated in the second row. I walked in and happily found my seat. But, as show time began to approach, I spotted a handful of empty seats in the front row. I made it a point to flag down a PR rep working the show and asked them if I might be able to move up and they were happy to accommodate.*
*PR reps want the shows to look full so filling up the first row is their priority. If a few minutes before show time the front row isn’t filled, they will begin asking people in the rows behind to fill it and if you’re outgoing and speak up you will definitely be allowed to move up, as long as there are in fact empty seats.
Caroline Vazzana is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She’s worked for Anna Sui, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She has collaborated with designers including Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for various red carpets like the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director ofMakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC.