The Localist

How to get into New York Fashion Week

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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, usually simply known as Fashion Week (though there are others), kicks off on September 10 in New York. Spring/summer collections will be shown, with autumn/winter clothing presented in February. Celebrities get front row seats, another perk of their privileged lives.

Now here is a secret: anyone can get into New York Fashion Week.

Here are four ways to get involved, going from the cheapest and easiest to the most expensive.

1. People watch and model in front of the building

The venue has been changed this year from the Lincoln Center to being split between the Skylight at Moynihan Station, (360 West 33rd Street) and Skylight Clarkson Square (550 Washington Street). What is unlikely to change is the hoards of fashonistas who gather outside the venue, hoping street style bloggers and photographers take their photo.

Hang out in front of the building to check out how people have decked themselves out in the hopes of making it to the fashion pages. Throw on your best outfit and see if you make it too.

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2. Go inside the tents

On craigslist.com, you’ll see people advertising that for a small fee they can bring you into the tents (pictured above). They mean just inside the building. “Tents” is a reference to the days when Fashion Week was held in actual tents at Bryant Park. The price is cheap, so you could pay. Or you can try to just walk in. There are security guards checking tickets, but if you dress like you belong, know which show you are “seeing” and are there at a believable time for that show, the security guys will likely believe your stylist/editor/someone who would have tickets, is inside with yours.

Check out the schedule online so you know which show you are “seeing”. This won’t get you into any of the shows, but you can watch them on the big screens and feel the buzz. There are good photo ops with the step and repeat boards too. You are unlikely to see any big celebrities, as they are ushered through backdoors, but you are almost guaranteed to see the real housewives and other D-list “stars”.

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3. Buy a ticket to a show

Plenty of bloggers, buyers and the like get more show invites than they can actually attend. To make a bit of extra cash, many sell tickets off on craigslist.com. The price varies widely. For famous designers like Calvin Klein, who are likely to have multiple A-list celebrities in attendance, tickets can be in the $500 range. For a new designer’s show, you might be able to get tickets for as little as $30. Know what you are willing to spend and keep in mind that these shows last only fifteen minutes.

Sometimes the show ticket will come with a ticket to the after party. This is a good deal as the after parties are open bar. Don’t worry about the asking price if you are tight for cash, just offer what you are willing to spend. If no one else expresses interest they might accept your offer.

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4. Become an elite client

This last option takes cash and time, but is by far the best way to experience fashion week.

How do you become an elite client?

Well if there is a brand you love, always buy from the same store, and build a relationship with the staff there. I was obsessed for a while with Hervé Leger and BCBG. I got to know one of the staff at the SoHo store really well, as I was always shopping there. One day I told her how much I’d love to attend fashion week and she hooked me up with tickets to the show and after party.

As an elite client I got the full celebrity treatment. I was ushered to my seat, taken backstage, greeted by the Azrias, and attended parties. I got to chat with Lubov Azria the creative director of Hervé Leger and BCBG, a genuinely lovely person, as well as Max Azria, the head designer. I hate to tell you how much money I spent to earn that kind of treatment, but if like me you were going to spend that money shopping anyway, why not get a fashion week experience with it.

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MEET THE LOCAL: TALIA FRIEDMAN

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