This September, our PR team hit New York Fashion Week running with our engagement client Sassoon Salon. It wasn’t our first rodeo at the fashion event of the season, but each time we go, we pick up some new tips and tricks. Whether you’re navigating the shows as a PR specialist or a style influencer, read on for the six things you need to know before heading to NYFW.
All-black with comfortable shoes is the way to go. While you might be tempted to pull out your highest heels and loudest print pants, an all-black ensemble is classic, chic, and serves as a visual cue that you know exactly what you’re doing. As for the shoes, you’ll be running to catch cabs and standing in line or backstage all day, so flats or trendy sneakers are your best bet.
Photos should be sent to editors ASAP. With so many people snapping away, it’s important to try to be the first to take that breathtaking shot and secure an awesome media hit for your client.
The Devil Wears Prada vibes are real. Remember the nail-biting scene when Andy has to recall the names and faces of an event media list for Miranda? That’s exactly what it’s like to work PR at NYFW. Study the names and faces on your media list for each show so you are prepared for a spur-of-the-moment interaction.
Make all media and influencers feel like VIPs. To gain rapport with popular media and influencers, send individual invitations and make them personal — people can tell when you’re sending a mass invite. Offering up a pre-show behind-the-scenes look or an opportunity for face time with the Creative Director are major selling points to earn an RSVP from a sought-after guest.
Cocktail party chatter is a must. Post-show drinks are the time to take your small talk skills to the next level — you never know what type of contacts you might be able to make. Schmoozing, speaking with confidence (you could even prep talking points before), and collecting business cards are all highly recommended.
Go beyond the swag bag. Everyone hands out swag bags, so stand out by turning your giveaway into an actual experience. Instead of distributing blowout coupons or samples, we partnered with The Maple Guild and handed out cocktail kits, complete with tequila, Owls Brew Mixer, and a recipe card. The unexpected items and do-it-yourself component allowed recipients to continue the experience after the show was over.
In short, here’s what we think you need to know in order to have a successful time at New York Fashion Week (with a couple extra tips thrown in):
- Black is the new black.
- Get photos fast and get them to editors ASAP.
- Pile on the schmoozing.
- If influencers feel like VIPs, they will come.
- Focus on creating experiences, rather than just giving away stuff.
- Bring portable phone chargers with you and make sure they’re full of juice.
- The Devil Wears Prada is real. Do your homework.
- Learn how to hail a cab or navigate the subway. On NYFW time, Uber is the slowest option.
Catch the behind-the-scenes action here.
*Photography by Charles “Chuck” Schoenberger.