The Fashion Blogger’s Guide to New York Fashion Week

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by Julia DiNardo/FashionPulseDaily

I've been covering New York Fashion Week now for six years/12 seasons as both print and online media, and in the process have picked up a few tips, tricks, and secrets to navigating fashion week while maintaining your sanity and overall well-being. Although its only eight days long, with shows practically every hour on the hour from 9am-9pm and locations all over the city, it can be stressful and exhausting, with little time left to write. Below I've compiled some helpful tips I've picked up over the years to help both bloggers new to New York Fashion Week, as well as the old pros.

Tip #1) Getting Show Invites

Your best bet is to register with IMG for accreditation — give them as much information as you can about the site, sending in color-printed writing samples from the site that are relevant fashion week (designer q&as, trend reviews, collection reviews, etc). This way the PR contacts for the designers have your info and vice versa! If you're nervous about applying or don't feel so established that you may not be approved that's okay, there's still hope! I recommend going to Modem Online and using their press contacts page to get the contact/PR information for the designers that are showing and the presentations or shows you'd like to attend – this site has a pretty extensive list of accurate press information. Send a customized, professional cover letter requesting an invite and explain what your site does and why you'd like toprodive coverage. Don't forget to include links from your site, other websites or publications you may have provided fashion coverage. and give them some stats about your site, even if its just mentioning the demographic or how the site is rapidly growing, etc. Chances are you'll at least get a few invites this way — you just have to let the PR reps know that you're out there in the online fashion community and interested in their brand/designer.

Tip #2) Writing about the Shows/Presentations

Now that you've got a few shows under your belt and excited to be covering New York Fashion Week, you've got to find some time, and a place, to write! Most likely you'll have some down time in between shows, which is a good time to try to get some write-ups done. Unfortunately, there isn't a formal press lounge at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park, so in the past I've had to make due with hovering over the few tables in the cafe area to try to plop down, sitting on the ground against a wall, or waiting until I'm exhausted out of my mind and at home around 11pm at night to write until (gasp!) 2 in the morning! There are better options though, if you don't live nearby or can run to your hotel in the vicinity.

Option #1) You can sit outside of the tents at Bryant Park with your laptop – there is free wi-fi, although the signal tends to wax and wane quite a bit.

Option #2) Head a block south, to the corner of 41st and Broadway. There you will find the Juan Valdez Cafe which is rarely crowded and has free wi-fi (!!!) or the Starbucks on the corner, which will get you a few hours of free wi-fi as long as you have a gift card used within the past 30 days and register it at Starbucks.com.

Option #3) There are several fedex-Kinkos Office locations in the area – although not an ideal solution since you have to pay per minute to use the computers, your shoulders and back will thank you from not having to lug around your laptop and all of those free products!

Option #4) HauteLook.com is sponsoring a lounge in the Bryant Park Hotel from September 10th-15th for bloggers and free wi-fi provided by Sony — there hasn't been many details about the lounge available yet, but I'm sure if you google around closer to fashion week you'll find further info!

(Note: In need of images for your posts? Everyone knows about Style.com's fashion reviews, but they don't cover everything; I strongly recommend New York Magazine and Elle.com – just be sure to give the proper site a photo credit.)

Tip #3) Make it Known That You're Covering Fashion Week!

If possible, its great to be timely with your posts to help boost search traffic, but there are other ways of getting the word out there that you're live at fashion week and posting about what you see. Now in its third season, InsideTheTents.com is an aggregator of fashion week content provided by its approved members with feeds pulling the info in from the members' blogs and Twitter feeds – all one has to do is give appropriate posts a hashmark of #NYFW. The site also provides behind the scenes look at fashion week and designer interviews. Click here to apply for membership. Also, remember those PR contacts you emailed? If you write about the brand/designer they represent, don't wait for them to find your post — send them a follow up email with the link to the post – they'll sure appreciate it, and most likely add you to their press contacts (which means potential consideration for future shows/events).

Tip#4) Don't Forget to Take Care of Yourself!

The thumping music, amazing fashion, celebs — fashion week can be a lot of fun and very exciting, throwing your normal schedule completely out the window. During fashion week my diet consists of 6 espressos/day, a croissant, and maybe a salad. If you're a caffeine addict like myself, there is always a coffee-related sponsor in the tents, which just encourages me to drink as much as possible! One issue: as it is a tent set up in Bryant Park, there are glorified port-a-johns as the bathroom, so less liquid, less port-a-john action, is my preference! Anyways, besides knowing where the bathrooms are (note: they shut down before the last show of the night with no forewarning so if you have to go – do it beforehand or beg The Bryant Park Hotel to let you use the bathroom in the bar), you will crash or get sick if you don't come equipped with proper nutrients ( I know from experience). The tent is surprisingly void of food, and with little time to spare and expensive food options surrounding you, its best to just provide for yourself! Bring lightweight, hearty snacks that will sustain you — granola bars, power/protein bars, trail mix, cashews — not the most delectable options, but when running around, waiting in line to check-in, waiting in line to get into a show, seeing the show, and doing it all again, you will be so thankful to just whip that snack out of your bag! Also, there's a lot of temperature change and standing/sitting a little too close for comfort to people during these events, and last thing you want is to fall victim to a cold. You'll always be able to get a free bottle of water at the tents, so carrying around a few packets of Emergen-C will be your saving grace – I promise!

[Ed. Note: Except the IFB party… don't skip that! Will be announcing Monday]

Tip #5) Skip the Parties, Not the Shows

[Ed. Note: Except the IFB party… don't skip that! Will be announcing Monday..]

It's very, very, enticing to be invited to VIP parties, after-parties for designers, and the countless open bars during fashion week, but if you're truly covering fashion week for your blog and/or other sites, skip the parties, or reserve them for weekends-only. I feel like an old person saying this (and I'm in my mid-twenties), but its near-impossible to keep up with the fashion week schedule, write, and party at the same time. Once I went to a party, and was so tired the next day I had to skip the 9am show. I didn't think it was a big deal, but the following season, the PR contact said to me “We gave you a seat last season and you didn't show up – are you definitely going to show up this year?” Wow – I was caught off guard and embarrassed that someone was actually paying attention to little old me! So my tip for this is that if you've RSVP'ed to attend and can't make it to a show because you're tired, or have double-booked that time, etc, and know this at least 12 hrs in advance, get someone to at least go in your place. Through IFB there are plenty of bloggers in the network that you can offer your invite!

If anyone else has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Please post below in the comments. Have a great fashion week, bring plenty of business cards to hand out, be friendly (you never know who you're taking to or sitting next to), and don't forget the Emergen-C!

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About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

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41 Responses

    • Miami Olivia

      Just want to say that I finally had time to read this entry and it is invaluable to me. I went to NYFW last day in Sept 09 and saw a lot but did not get in any shows. This Sept will be different and thanks to you and IFB I will get in those shows!
      THX!
      .-= Miami Olivia´s last blog ..Gold Standard =-.

      Reply
      • julia

        Thanks so much, I’m so glad you got so much out of the article! Good luck next season; it will be a bit different, being at Lincoln Center now instead of Bryant Park, so I guess I should do an updated post!
        Best,
        Julia
        .-= julia´s last blog ..Web Snob Links of the Week =-.

  1. Julia

    Thanks so much! Another tip (I didn’t want to include too many): if you get an email confirmation or invite to the shows – print it out and bring it with you. Several times it’s happened that I get to an event and “I’m not on the list” – but all I have to do is whip out that printed-out email, and they realize that I should be on the list, and it is way less of a hassle than insisting that I am! Best of luck to everybody this fashion week!
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..What Did You Think of Project Runway Season 6, Episode 1? =-.

    Reply
  2. aly

    This is a fantastic article! And it’ a lot of relevant points – I made the mistake last season to going to parties every night – and you are right, if you combine that with going to the shows all day, you end up a mess by week’s end! This season, I will go to a few parties – but I’m going to try to achieve a saner balance to it all – and those daytime editor’s lounges are a GODSEND – especially on those hot/humid days when AC, a sofa, and wifi, are the sweetest things imaginable
    .-= aly´s last blog ..Today’s Fabulous Online Sale Events =-.

    Reply
  3. queengilda

    i hope to be able to fit in a few shows this year too, around my hectic parsons schedule. i’ve been thinking of contacting designers’ pr myself but i feel a little silly saying “INVITE ME!!!!” haha. then again, as a designer myself, i can better give a description to their collection as opposed to someone who just blogs and says “it was pretty”, no? 😀

    can’t wait for the ifb party! i better not have class on that day!
    .-= queengilda´s last blog ..the house of field at latex ball 2009 =-.

    Reply
  4. dreamsequins

    Julia

    These are SUCH great tips. I loved the specificity of your tips, including the “where to write” options. And I’m definitely guilty of indulging a bit too much in the party– a definite rookie mistake! Good luck to everyone and hope to see some of you at the shows 😉
    .-= dreamsequins´s last blog ..Project Runway Recap =-.

    Reply
  5. Denise @ Swelle

    What an excellent and detailed guide! I’ve bookmarked this for the season I can finally make it over. I’ve had a few invites to NYFW shows that came out of the blue from designer’s PRs but with the last-minuteness of it all it costs a fortune to jump on a plane from the UK and getting a hotel would be next to impossible. So if you have any advice on hotels I’d be very interested in being armed with that info!
    .-= Denise @ Swelle´s last blog ..Swelle Giveaway! Win a $550 PONO Statement Necklace =-.

    Reply
  6. Julia

    Thanks for all of the comments! Denise @swelle: I’ve lived in NYC the entire time I’ve been covering the shows, but colleagues and friends that come in for fashion week have gotten some great deals at hotels in the midtown area — Ive heard you can get some great finds via priceline.com, and I know of some press people who stay at the St. James hotel – no frills, but cheap and very close to Bryant Park for the shows.
    Does anyone have any great hotel tips for the area?
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Leggings Galore =-.

    Reply
  7. Cruziiie

    Great Article & Advice! I took a look at the PR Contact Link you provided & many of those were correct contacts.
    Thanks for helping 🙂

    Keep up with me on twitter @cruzblog
    .-= Cruziiie´s last blog ..Global Street Art =-.

    Reply
  8. jordana

    Julia, this is one of my fav contributed posts on IFB…ever! You answered all the questions that everyone thinks about but doesn’t know how or who to ask! I’m so glad you wrote this! I am especially going to have to pay attention to the last few tips…skip parties and take care of myself. I don’t want to get in over my head and risk hurting my rep with designers so early in the game!

    Can’t wait to see you and others at the shows and of course, the IFB party!
    .-= jordana´s last blog ..Guest Post: In Front of the Lens =-.

    Reply
  9. Nubiasnonsense

    I hope to make some shows next year. This year I might make a few parties, mingle and network. By next year I will register with IMG. Thanks great tips!

    Reply
  10. julia

    Skipping the parties is so hard! If you’re having trouble and can’t resist the temptation, at least indulge in the free cranberry juice or soda – with no libations added! I just heard that Arizona is going to be a sponsor and giving out free healthy energy drinks, basically billed as the healthier alternative to Red Bull with vitamins, antioxidents, etc. Look out for those and perhaps keep an extra can or two in your bag for those looong days during fashion week!
    .-= julia´s last blog ..Anna Sui for Target Fashion’s Night Out Pop-Up Store =-.

    Reply
  11. julia

    Yes thank you Fasshonaburu! Comfy shoes are such a must!! I have completely destroyed my feed within the first two days of fashion week and regretted it for the next two weeks b/c I was restricted to flip flops and flats! I recommend these – they fold up sooo tiny and are totally awesome (And only $19)! http://fitinclouds.com/
    .-= julia´s last blog ..Designer Collab-Fab! =-.

    Reply
  12. Fasshonaburu

    I can’t wait! I also recommend wearing comfy shoes because there is mad line waiting, waiting to check in with the PR girls, waiting after to be let in, all on Bryant Park cobblestones!
    .-= Fasshonaburu´s last blog ..Fuchsia Gathered Skirt =-.

    Reply
  13. leila

    Runway2realway.blogspot.com will be covering fashion week. Visit us for full coverage! xx
    .-= leila´s last blog .. =-.

    Reply
  14. DesignerElla

    I was about to leave blogging full time when I learned we could APPLY to go to shows. Now I’m busy with designing (upcoming brand). I’ll likely never show at NYFW either. Oh well I just want to design regardless! 🙂

    I don’t suppose small-time designers who aren’t really press and are too busy to cover could attend any. Heh.

    That’s alright I guess.
    .-= DesignerElla´s last blog ..Poll on a New Evolution of Ella & Pursed Lips =-.

    Reply
  15. Asia

    Wow…this is very helpful! I attend NYFW last year in September. Do you a personal email? I would like to ask some additional questions regarding the upcoming one in February? Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Lorin

    I know I’m really late to this party, but this post is amazingly helpful. Can you clarify, Julia, what you mean when you say: “(Note: In need of images for your posts? Everyone knows about Style.com’s fashion reviews, but they don’t cover everything; I strongly recommend New York Magazine and Elle.com – just be sure to give the proper site a photo credit.)”

    Are you saying we can use images from the runway shows on our blog at NO CHARGE if we simply credit the site? That seems hard to believe. Is this a courtesy they offer (really? Conde Nast, NYMag, and Elle???) to fashion bloggers? Or am I missing the price tag somewhere?

    Help.

    Reply
  17. LaPetiteAnglaise

    Thanks so much, this is one of the most helpful and informative posts I have ever come across. Do you recommend waiting until the New Year to get in touch with New York PR companies about show tickets? Or would it be best to get started now?

    Thanks again,

    Love Ella. X

    Reply
  18. Julia

    Hi Ella,
    Personally, I would say wait until the New Year – no press passes have been approved yet, so it’s safe to wait (I think). Plus, everyone is in holiday mode!
    Julia

    Reply
  19. Sarah Lee

    Sure, I’m finding this a few years past publication, but it’s still relevant and so helpful. I won’t be at the shows this week, but I can’t wait to see the coverage on my favorite blogs and get inspired for my own trip next year 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

    Reply