Well, we have reached the end of my NY Fashion Week coverage! I have most definitely had such a great time reliving my fashion week adventures through these posts, and I hope you have found them fun to read! For today’s post, I want to share with you all the important lessons I learned from my first NY Fashion Week so that if you are interested in someday attending, you can learn from my mistakes. But, before we get to that, I want to share with you all a quick recap of my last and favorite show I attended at NY Fashion Week, Alice + Olivia!
Alice + Olivia has long been one of my favorite brands. Every time I walk into her shop in Beverly Hills, I just want EVERYTHING. Stacey Bendet, the designer behind this amazing brand, must be my spirit animal. I love how she takes vibrant colors, graphic prints, cool textures, and beautiful silhouettes and combines all those elements for truly unique pieces that have so much personality.
The Alice + Olivia show wasn’t a traditional runway show, but a presentation, which means instead of everyone sitting down and watching as the models march down the runway in the designs, the models are placed in a stylized gallery for attendees to walk around and check out at their leisure. This was the only presentation format show I went to during NY Fashion Week, and I have to say, I really liked being able to to take my time and really take in all the pieces in all their glorious detail, rather than just getting a quick glimpse as the design moves by.
Seriously, I need every. single. piece. in this show!
Mostly, I just really need this jacket!
Now that I’ve shown you all the brilliance that is Alice + Olivia, let’s talk lessons from NY Fashion Week, shall we?
When Prepping for Fashion Week:
- Get started early with everything. About two months out, start researching to find contacts for the shows you’d like to see. This takes a lot of sleuthing around the internet, so you want to give yourself plenty of time to find the right contacts.
- Send out pitch emails for the shows you would like to attend about one month out. If you wait too long, you risk not getting into shows as these shows only have so much space, but if you start too early, you risk jumping the gun and being forgotten about.
- Create a spreadsheet detailing all the shows you’d like to reach out to, and keep track of whether you’ve pitched them yet, if they have accepted or declined you, or if their email came back undeliverable. The latter happens more than you think as people in the fashion industry are often moving around and you may have found an older contact who has moved on to another brand. Keep digging!
- A couple months out, start thinking about what you may want to wear. I created a secret pinterest board where I saved inspo pictures and items that I was thinking of purchasing to wear to fashion week.
- Plan your outfits! I spent a day in front of my mirror mixing and matching all the pieces I amassed, seeing what worked and what didn’t. When I found an outfit I liked, I took a photo of it on me, as well as a flatlay of all the pieces to make it easier to put it all back together once I was at fashion week.
- Pack enough clothes, but leave some room! You can also bring an empty duffle bag, but make sure you have some means of bringing home anything you buy or acquire while at fashion week. I was definitely over the weight limit going to NYC and super over the limit coming home, so it would have been handy to have the extra space or bag to make things easier.
- Do not forget comfortable shoes! Trust me, you will need them and they will become your best friend.
Booking Your Flights and Hotels
- Make a decision about how many days you’d like to go. I went for five days, and honestly, I probably could’ve gone for a little bit less. Most likely when you book your flight, you will know the schedule of the shows for the week, but you won’t have gotten confirmed for any yet. I booked my days based on shows that I wanted to be able to go to and hoped for the best. After you’ve booked your flight, book your hotel immediately after. Waiting too long can cost you as hotels book up and you may be left with more expensive options.
- This is a general tip that I use when booking flights, but it applies: Check out my favorite app, Hopper! I’m not getting paid to say this one bit, I just love this app! I’ve been using it for a couple years now and have used it to watch flights. You basically put into the app where you’d like to go and when, and it will notify you when it believe the price for that flight is the cheapest and when you should book.
3. When booking a hotel, it is possible to pitch hotels and get a media rate if you are a blogger. I did not attempt this because I just didn’t have any time, however, I have some blogger friends who did this to some success. One of my friends said she pitched over 100 hotels, but managed to get a media rate at one. You just have to decide what is worth your time, as sending that many pitches out is time consuming.
- Consider an Airbnb or HomeAway! You’ll have your own space and sometimes that comes in handy, especially if you get a small kitchen, you can save a little money by keeping some food on hand in a fridge or having access to a kitchen. If you choose to go this route, I’d recommend looking and booking months in advance. I looked around for an Airbnb about two months out, and there was very little left as they had mostly been booked already.
Keep in mind the time of year you are looking to go. NY Fashion Week in September also falls during tourist season, and it is also the more popular fashion week as the weather is much more manageable than the February fashion week. Because of this, hotels will be more expensive in September than if you were to go in February.
6.Get some roomates! If you’re going on your own, this is a great way to save a TON of money, and have a really great time. I stayed with some of my blogger besties, most of whom I’d never met in person before this trip, and it was so much fun.
7. Try to book your hotel/airbnb as close to the area where the shows are being held. We booked a hotel in Midtown, and while that was convenient for some areas of Manhattan, it most certainly wasn’t super easy to get down to Soho, Chelsea, and lower Manhattan where most of the shows are held. Even a subway ride took about 20 minutes. When you consider the fact that you may want to do multiple wardrobe changes per day, this can really be a hassle when you’re looking at an at least 40 minute round trip to your hotel and back.
While at NY Fashion Week:
- Save some money and ride the subway! Seriously! I decided to do this from the moment I got off my $65 Lyft from JFK. You will spend a fortune if you intend to take Taxis, Lyfts, and Ubers everywhere. Yes, I did use these when I was running late or when I had friends to split them with, but often times, you may get where you need to go quicker by subway than in a car because of traffic. I basically bought a week unlimited subway pass and used the map app on my phone to figure out what lines to take and when. I thought it was super easy, and I never felt uncomfortable on the subway as the vast majority of New Yorkers use it too.
- Be realistic when it comes to your footwear. Within a day, I was covered in blisters and my feet were so sore. Of course you want to wear your most fabulous heels, but there’s a way you can do it sensibly. One trick I learned is to wear flats like these or these that you can walk in the majority of the way to the show, and then swap them out for your heels a couple blocks from all the street style photographers. Fold up flats are great because you can just tuck them away in your bag.
- Don’t overcommit. This is one mistake I made. I said yes to way too many shows and just physically could not make it to all of them. I would say that going to about 2-3 shows a day is the sweet spot, as that gives you enough time to change, eat, take meetings throughout the day, or in general, just BREATHE!
4. Make sure to always have a snack in your purse. I had a protien bar that I carried in my purse every day just to make sure that if I got hungry, I had something to snack on until I could eat something more substantial.
- Network, network, network! Seriously, talk to as many people as you can so that you can make as many new connections as possible. You never know who you are standing next to while waiting to go into a show or while out at an event.
Remember what I said above about pre-planning your looks? Well, I’m gonna (sort of ) take that back. Allow yourself to be inspired while you’re there. There were some looks I created on the fly out of some of my clothing and some of my roomates’ clothing because I was just inspired and wanted to try something different. At the end of the day, no outfit is too extreme for fashion week. Whatever you think is “too much” is not at all. Have fun with your looks and try stuff that you wouldn’t normally be comfortable with wearing back home while also staying true to yourself and your personal styl
7. This last tip is maybe a little ridiculous but I’m going to say it anyway: if you’re going to have roomates, make sure they’re all the exact same size as you! Seriously, all four of us girls wore the same clothing and shoe sizes. It really allowed us all to play around and try new looks because we had quadruple the wardrobe to mess with.
Above all: go to fashion week with girls who are cool and chill! I can’t tell you how valuable that is. I made lifelong friends, and there was not one iota of drama, which is the last thing you need when trying to navigate NY Fashion week! I love my blogger girls and can’t wait for our next reunion at a fashion week to come!
I hope you enjoyed the last of my NY Fashion Week recaps! Please let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below and I’d be happy to answer them for you!