This particular round of New York Fashion Week, for the spring/summer 2014 season marks a few noticeable voids in the calendar; there is no Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference (IFBCON) and no Fashion's Night Out (FNO) kicking off the week, robustly filling out your schedule of events! Are you planning to still come to New York City/partake in fashion week without these events? You most certainly should! Besides the obvious of attending the shows and/or providing backstage coverage, here are a few things you can do, and ways to consider spending your time while here.
Come to NYC/fashion week anyway, and here's a few things you can do to make the most of it:
Take time to Smell the Roses, Fashion Style
Since you don't have to start off this September's fashion week by crawling through the mob of people in SoHo and back up to midtown, then back down to Brooklyn and the Lower East Side in ONE night (oh Fashion's Night Out, I don't miss you yet!), focus on easing into the week, slowing down your pace, and focus on the shows and events you REALLY want to see. Take time to actually relax in the press lounges, and give yourself ample breaks to socialize/network, and eat! While you are working on staying cool and calm, contemplate how you can tweak your fashion week-related content to be more original and better catered to you site. With less to do, that may actually mean you have more time to writes at your very best, with high caliber, well-edited content too!
Hone In Your Skills at Becoming Networking Savvy
Fashion industry professionals from all over the globe descend on New York City twice a year for fashion week, so there is plenty of opportunity to meet a variety of interesting people, working in a myriad of fashion-related positions. Don't be shy, and come equipped with a ton of business cards; if you are on the timid side, set a daily goal for how many business cards you want to hand out/collect each day. Talk to people at the lounges, those around you waiting in line to get into the shows, those seated/standing next to you- anywhere in Lincoln Center, really! You never know where some idle banter may lead; it may help you land a sponsorship, start a friendship, or at the very least, garner a few page views!
Drop in on Someone You Work With Closely
This is a good one to do, especially if you don't live in the NYC vicinity and are coming in for New York Fashion Week — if there is a brand/designer/publicist that you've spent quite a bit of time working with, emailing, collaborating, and you seem to have a great rapport online but have never met, now may be a great opportunity to do so! See how hectic their fashion week schedule is, and even if they have show or event involvement, offer to treat him/her to a cup of coffee near the venue (as a caffeine break may be much-needed anyways!). I feel that I've forged much stronger professional (and sometimes eventually personal) relationships when I've actually had the opportunity to meet the person I've been emailing with so much, and take a little bit of time to get to know him/her better.
Think Beyond the Tents for Fashion-Related Experiences
Use the city as your fashion education while in town; my main recommendation is to carve out an hour to squeeze in some fashion exhibits at museums. The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD Museum) is literally a stone's throw from Lincoln Center, and currently has a phenomenal exhibit: Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger (and p.s. — Thursday nights are pay-what-you-wish!), while the Museum at FIT is always free, and has at least one exhibit on display (currently it's RetroSpective). Never gone from the top to the bottom floor of Bergdorf Goodman? Do it! Is there a boutique that's been garnering a ton of press that you'd like to check out? Go! The great thing about this city is that it never runs short on things to do and see, and you don't have to be too creative to take them in for free!
Image Credit: Nando Alvarez