It is officially fashion month - bloggers across the world have started their month with flights to Copenhagen and over-stuffed suitcases. I have to say, I'm over the moon for fashion month to be in full swing!
For those of you who have questions on how I get invited to shows and how I prepare for fashion week every season, I'm giving you all the full run-down! Here is how I prepare for New York Fashion Week...
Keep my Blog Updated
My primary reason for attending New York Fashion Week is so that I can cover them for my blog and Instagram - of course, these days people also want to see TikTok and YouTube videos, so I love to keep those updated on my ventures as well!
In order to be able to pitch myself, I have to keep all of my social media outlets consistently updated. Although I love what I do, it does get a bit stressful to keep each outlet updated and sometimes leads to burn out. To help combat this, I usually take a little break during summer or sometime during my school semester from posting on my blog so that I can be ready to post again consistently.
Luckily, I plan to graduate this May, so I will have more time to focus on posting to my blog and creating more quality content on my social medias!
As with any career, networking is a must if you plan to pursue further aspirations in your field. It is especially important to network as much as you can in the fashion industry because it often times really is just about who you know.
Knowing the right people in the right markets can get your foot in doors that you didn't even think you were fit to be in. Although I'm certainly not a fan of networking just to further your own career, I think it's still important to seize opportunities when they come your way!
One of the best ways to network is by looking for other creatives in your field and simply DMing them on Instagram - most of us are pretty open to making new connections and it's nice to have other people around you who have the same interests! You can also search on LinkedIn for industry professionals that you'd be interested in reaching out to.
Book My Hotel & Flight
I like to book my hotel and flight around 2 months beforehand to snag the best deals on prices. When it comes to New York, you definitely don't want to wait around - book as early as you can so that you can get all of the accommodations that you wish for.
My favorite places to search for affordable hotels in New York is Expedia. I specifically enjoy using Expedia because they have an option where you can book now and pay later - this way, all you have to do is purchase your plane ticket early and then save up for your hotel.
I highly recommend doing your research on hotels to find the best location to be in. Often times, the best priced hotels will be around Time Square but that's also far from most of the shows during fashion week. If you're not booking a rental car, your cab fare bills are going to be through the roof.
Strategize Clothing Options
As we all know, fashion week is all about what you're wearing and how you're wearing it. Thus, you're going to want to make sure that you have the exact pieces you want lined up and ready for fashion week.
One thing that I did this season was partnering with Nuuly, a fashion rental subscription service. With Nuuly, I am able to rent tons of pieces from them that I might have only worn once and send them right back! You can also purchase any items that you love, of course.
If you'd like to check out Nuuly, you can use my code "FAITHBLACK25" for $25 off your first subscription.
If you're on a budget like me, I recommend thrifting, outlets, and other second-hand shops like Thred Up and Neiman Marcus Last Call!
Reach Out to Clothing Brands
A lot of times, clothing brands will want you to wear their clothes simply because you'll be photographing them in New York. During fashion week, there are street photographers on every corner, shooting anyone and everyone that they see with a cool outfit. This is your chance to get posted on their pages, and possibly a major press release!
I recommend reaching out to brands that you already have a close relationship with so that it seems more genuine in your approach. Often times, brands don't like cold email techniques, instead, they want someone they can build a relationship with that makes quality content for them on a regular basis.
If you don't have any relationships with brands, then I'd recommend cold emailing the ones you'd like to work with. It definitely helps to already have good content under your belt on your social medias, so that they can know what to expect from you.
Create My Email Pitch
Your email pitch is the second most important part of your fashion week experience. If you're not one of the top bloggers today, fashion brands in New York probably won't be reaching out to you to invite you to their shows - you have to put in the work to get noticed.
However, it's not as scary or difficult as you might think. The main points that you need to include in your pitch are an introduction of who you are and what you have to offer, your audience, your social media stats, and links to work that you'd like to add.
I have also heard that other bloggers include how long they will be in town for so it's something that you could definitely include if you wish!
Reach Out to NY Brands
There are two main websites to get the fashion week schedule from: NYFW.com and CFDA.com. Typically, they post the schedule about a month before the shows actually begin so you'll know exactly who to reach out to according to the days/times that you'll be in New York.
As for who to reach out to, most of the brands have press contacts on their websites so you can pull directly from there and email them to ask for an invitation to their show! If they don't have a press contact on their website, you can always reach out to their general email and it will most likely be forwarded to the correct person.
Plan My Exact Outfits
You've finally made it to the fun part! However, this is when I usually have a breakdown about my outfits because I've either gathered a bunch of cool items that I don't have enough events to go to, or I don't have basic staples to pair with my cool pieces. (I am notorious for this)
I usually like to plan my outfits about 3 days before when I'm sure that I have all of my pieces shipped to me, purchased, or borrowed. I also like to make sure that I plan for about 2-3 extra outfits because you'll usually find out about cool events while you're in New York that hadn't been posted prior to your arrival - you want to be sure you have something cool to wear to those too!
Personally, my toxic trait is forgetting to pack enough casual clothing, pajamas, or something I can wear around my hotel. I know it's fashion week, but you still need to be practical, especially if the weather isn't nice to you. This brings me to my next point - make sure that you're buying/borrowing clothes that are appropriate for the season!
As most of you know, I'm an Arizona girl, so I have to remember that I'll need an abundance of layers and thick coats, that are also chic. You'll need to look at how you'll pack all of your items together in your suitcases as well.
Keep My Itinerary Updated
Last but not least - I am an itinerary freak. The best way, in my opinion, to help schedules and things run as smoothly as possible during fashion week, is to have a separate itinerary created in your notes app, as well as on your calendar, of each important stop you'll need to make during fashion week.
When I make my itinerary, here is a little template that I like to follow (example):
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
New York - February 10-15th, 2022
February 10 (Thursday):
- 5:00am: Arrive at airport
- 6:00am: Flight departs
- 1:00pm: Land in New York (airport name)
- 3:00pm: Hotel check in
The Plaza Hotel
768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
- 5:00 Dinner (if reservation, dinner address as well)
February 11 (Friday):
- 10:00am: Breakfast
- 1:00pm: Chanel fashion show
(address of Chanel show)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This itinerary template has saved me a lot of headaches along the way.
My biggest weakness when creating my itinerary for fashion week is planning food breaks - I've certainly gotten better at this the past couple seasons but before then, I never scheduled time for food, water, the bathroom, anything.
I hope you have a fun time planning for your next fashion week venture and good luck!
Head over to my Instagram (@faithblackshear) and TikTok (@faithblackshear) to check out the latest in my life and how my style is evolving!
"For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it."
-- Faith Blackshear