Here’s Really What Happened at New York Fashion Week for Fall 2014


Eventually, everything changes, and regardless of if we like it or not, we have to accept, and adapt. New York Fashion Week this February for the fall 2014 collections was certainly a test of that, with everything from the actual layout and look to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week changing to security measures and the way technology was used to go about business.

Being at 21 seasons now of covering the shows, with eight of those years as a blogger, I'd like to share my experience and observations from this past season so that the IFB Community can have a better idea of what to expect next season.

Shows Still Ran Fashionably Late But Overall Was Less Chaotic at the Front of House

“Front of house” is basically the audience/dealing with the check in and seating of the show goers, and it was certainly less of a hectic experience than it had been in the past. Shows still started, for the most part, about 30 minutes later than their declared time, however, I sensed that the ebb and flow of the guests attending shows went more smoothly with the heavy use of barcodes to scan in the attendees.

Crowd control was also applied to the entry, as you could only enter the tent area from the outside about 45 minutes prior to the show, and any kind of loitering was discouraged.

In the past, people camped out alongside the walls or anywhere they could find a seat, however this was discouraged this time around, and perhaps it was a coincidence, but the lack of a coat check option made sure that you weren't going to be settling in for the long haul.

Less Bloggers Got Approved For Press Credentials, But Guess What?

It didn't matter anyways! I spoke to some fellow bloggers who got denied this season for an official press credential but were approved in the past, however, since they already had existing relationships with brands, they were still invited to the shows. My badge actually stayed stuffed inside my wallet, hardly ever seeing the light of day because I used my phone to gain entry every single time.

Press credential or not, you still need to show a seat assignment on a hard copy, printed ticket, or phone to get into the tented area, then to actually enter past the vestibule, THEN again to have it scanned to get into the show, then yet again to get in your respective line (standing or seated) at the actual show's doors. Quite a process? Yep!

But keeping all of  your confirmations organized in your email account or Fashion GPS app is essential; registering for a press credential? Not as much!

I Recognized Fewer Bloggers…but Venues Were Spread All Over Town!

The reason why the decision was made to have the centralized location of fashion week was to cut down on impromptu, unsafe, unaccommodating  locations being used for shows, as well as show goers traveling all over the island of Manhattan for them, yet, it seems like we're right back at that issue again. Whereas in the past I've seen dozen upon dozen of familiar blogger faces, I only saw about a handful this time around, and I can't really say  for sure if it's due to tighter security, but it may have been acerbated by an exodus from the tents by a bunch of crowd-drawing brands this season.

More west side locations were used, a good 40 blocks or more south of the Lincoln Center area, which were most easily accessible by taxi (but good luck catching one leaving), creating a diaspora of fashion folk sprinkled all over the place. I think too, the weather may have been a bit of deterrent, but really, there's not much of a need to stress oneself out, jetting around town to shows when a great majority are live streamed, and the images and info will be available online in a mere couple of hours.

Some bloggers I spoke with opted to sit out of the vast majority of the shows to focus on just a few, getting content up in a more timely manner or sending it out strictly via social media as manageable when there were less places to go and write-ups to deal with for fall 2014.

There was…Practically NO WHERE to Take Outfit Photos Inside

No kidding. Part of the redesign of the venue was to create an exclusive atmosphere, perhaps VIP room in a club was the inspiration, but it was darker than dark. Ceilings, walls, floors, sponsor booths- all covered in black. It was so dark, that I dropped my black glove, and practically had to get nose-to-floor in order to find it. I think a lot of people complained about it, so I imagine things will (hopefully) be lighter and brighter next season, however there really was no place to pause and take photos, let alone get ample light for good ones.

The best spot was standing on the Mercedes-Benz platform, RIGHT next to the car they had parked there on display, which created a bit of a light from the bottom, a LED light glow….yeah, I took a few there… as it was the only option, but was kind of embarrassed by it because its positioning is front and center. There was a tiny bit of photo op action going on outside, but was really toned down since the weather was so bitterly cold the entire time.

I imagine the outside will be flooded with those seeking pictures, come September, when one will no longer have to wear two coats which still prove not warm enough for this ghastly winter.

Keeping Your Phone Charged Is EVERYTHING

Like I mentioned before, since so much of your information will sit on our phone in order to go to the shows and there are multiple check points, it's crucial that you keep your phone powered up, now more than ever!

I think the venue recognized how heavily it was having people rely on their phones, hence sponsors Smart Water and Diet Coke had several charging stations available, which I would run and stand there for 10 or 15 minutes, waiting to get a little more “juice” because both of my wireless backup batteries had already been drained for the day. It's interesting how technology has come to play more of an integral role with the functions of fashion week, however, how swiftly we can be knocked off of our game with a dead battery. Good thing I couldn't use my phone to take all of those fashion week selfies I had planned, thus saving my batter a little longer!

As a backup, I had dumped all of my shows into an excel spreadsheet with the confirmation code numbers that I printed out, so that I could at least punch them in and print out to a receipt to enter in case anything happened to my phone.

Please add to the conversation and share your experience with this past fashion week!

[Image credit: Lucky Magazine]

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34 Responses

  1. Sheryl Blasnik

    I have to say that I found NY Fashion Week to be a totally different experience this season and not in a good way. Since most of my blogger friends did not get press credentials and live far away they opted not to attend at all. As mentioned taking selfies or even trying to read your e-mail on your phone in the pitch dark was so frustrating. Grabbing for your phone to show your barcode to security with mittens on was a joke. The sponsor booths and the lobby was a complete ghost town. No Starbucks or even so much as a protein bar anywhere in the lobby.

    Not sure I will be returning as almost every show is live streamed and having the time to work between shows is a real advantage.

    Sheryl Blasnik

    • Christine Buzan

      Yes, Sheryl–I completely agree! Lincoln Center was a complete PAIN this season. Security was rude, the lighting was too dark, there were no sitting areas, and all of the good sponsors (ie Ily espresso and Peroni beer) jumped ship to Milk Studios.


  2. Diane

    I didn’t bother applying for press credentials, but luckily I still got invited to shows. Nonetheless, the experience at Lincoln Center was awful. The security guards are incredibly rude (they reminded me of bouncers); aside from TRESemme hair styling, there were no perks; and the venue itself was incredibly boring. And as someone mentioned, reaching out to show your barcode in the cold was the worst thing ever. The lack of a coat check was ridiculous. I really hope it changes next season.

    • Julia

      Thanks for your comments Sheryl & Diane; I hope things change, for the BETTER, next season!!

      • Sheryl Blasnik

        I hope it changes as well or I will not be returning next season. AND who had the brilliant idea not to have a coat check during the polar vortex? In the smaller venues with benches I had to share my seat with the coat of the person sitting next to me. Overall an Epic Fail on the part of IMG – They took the social out of social media.

        Sheryl B
        Fashion Development Group

  3. Hey Mishka

    Personally, I was relieved to enter Lincoln Center and find it about 65% less crowded than it has been in previous seasons. That front door scanning of tickets weeded out the well meaning (but clutter-inducing) people who had no actual reason to be there other than their own excitement.

    I got work done in the lobby between shows, had my overpriced champagne while coordinating with photographers and other writers, and overall, really enjoyed NYFW this season. HOWEVER! It was also horrible weather, which I am sure discouraged some would-be fashion fans from rallying outside. We’ll see how it goes in September.

    I will say that the exterior of Milk Studios was a total sh*t show and I almost got knocked over by multiple street style photographers chasing anyone wearing colorful outerwear like it was their last meal, filling up the sidewalk and mauling people to get photos (all of the same person from 10000 angles, of course). But those are also narrow sidewalks, so I don’t see this issue being remedied anytime soon. It’s not “bloggers” I have an issue with in that space, it’s mostly the crazy photogs.

    Aaanyway, such a hectic event produced by such a hectic industry will never really go smoothly and run on time. That’s part of the magic I suppose. ;}



    • Clarissa

      Funny how you’ve placed the word ‘bloggers’ in quotation marks. Almost seems like you’re implying that bloggers are below you.

  4. Anna

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t think bloggers have any place in fashion week. What is it that you’re doing? Posting photos for your readers? What will they do then? Swoon over the collections when there’s a 99% chance they won’t buy anything from them?
    It’s ridiculous especially when you complain about not being to take outfit pictures inside. The inside is made for the runway show and therefore the sole spotlight should be on the collections, not “fashion bloggers taking selfies and outfit pictures”. You can easily go outside for your outfit pictures (which, I’ve noticed, you have).
    Do you not think they used a dark interior and dim lights for a reason? If it were to be made for fashion bloggers to take pictures of themselves, then it wouldn’t be a runway show anymore.

    • heather

      I agree with you that bloggers who take the selifes at the show and who aren’t really there for the fashion shouldn’t be there. And the fact that ppl are complaining about how hard it was to take selfies in the tent is a little ridic. I know that most of my readers won’t buy anything from the collections that I post but it’s not about the purchase it’s about the trends. So yes some bloggers don’t belong there but I don’t think you should say bloggers in general don’t. Some of us do but time and effort into reporting from the sidelines and the “outfit post” are a second thought.

    • Clarissa

      I know a lot of bloggers at fashion week that use their blogs as a way of reporting fashion trends to their readers from a more approachable and relatable, but still professional, perspective – not all bloggers are selfie-obsessed.
      Some people, probably like yourself, see fashion as exclusive and want to keep it that way, but in my opinion, fashion is for everyone and bloggers make events like fashion week available for those who share the passion but perhaps don’t have the money or contacts to attend.

    • Mary King

      I agree and disagree. If you’re attending NYFW and you’re spending your time posting selfies on your blog rather than anything else, then why are you there? One blogger I follow, who has a large following, spent her entire time in New York posting pictures of herself on her blog and instagram. It just really made me question how she keeps getting invited back. On the other hand, a blogger friend of mine spent time posting several pics of shows she was at, and only did a couple selfies on instagram in the evening when she went out to dinner with friends and she was done with shows for the day. I don’t mind that. After all, her instagram account isn’t solely about what other people are wearing. I don’t necessarily mind outfit posts during fashion week as long as they aren’t overwhelming the content. Street style is huge during this time, and I’m sure people are curious to know what is appropriate attire for various shows.

      The biggest thing I disagree with is that bloggers shouldn’t be there at all. I don’t think a blogger like the first I mentioned should be there. On any normal day, I love checkout out her outfits. During fashion week, I expected to see SOMETHING show related. But I think bloggers in general do have a place. They bring a lot of brand awareness. I’m not talking about the likes of Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, etc. We all know those. But I think of my blogger friend who attended several shows for designers I never even heard of, and shows lucky to get a mention in Vogue. I was really excited about this because I wound up learning more about these designers. I didn’t apply for press credentials and never have (I am a very small blog), but I did get an invite to a show. The invite came only a week before, so I couldn’t drop everything and go. But that invite helped me learn more about a brand of which I was previously unaware…and I love the brand and plan to add a couple pieces to my wardrobe this spring.

      But, as Heather pointed out, this is more about the trends rather than the purchase. Well known designers know they don’t have to worry about whether people will buy their clothes. But smaller, lesser known, designers want to get awareness out there. And that’s where we come into play.

      • Amy Vosejpka


        I couldn’t agree more about everything you said. Being a blogger, I am beyond tired of the fashion industry blaming us for everything and making us out as the ones who are ruining it. This is a horrid generalization and one that I firmly detest. We are an integral part of this business whether people like to rcognize that or not. Personally I don’t cover any shows at Lincoln Center or Milk Studios (whether invited or not). My focus is the emerging designers as they need more of our attention and focus than the heavy hitters. Lastly, I take my job extremely serious and truly find it insulting that many individuals view my career as a joke and that I chose this path to get “swag” and other privileges. I sincerely hope this changes.

    • ICFashionChic

      Anna: I see your point about selfies and outfit pics. I don’t encourage them at all but some bloggers are there for reviews and other content and the other ones can help too. Bloggers are a great way for newer brands and some older brands to reach out to a new audience/demographic. How many 18 year olds do you know, pick up a Vogue and say, “I can look like that.” Bloggers make clothing more accessible, even if they are the same price as when they are in Harper’s Bazaar.

      After seeing something on a runway, like Prabal Gurung, I know I can’t wear it, but there are bloggers out that make it more accessible just by taking a pic and telling you where they bought it from, like the Outnet or something. It’s slightly cheaper and seems like it’s easier to obtain thereby increasing sales. There are many different ways that bloggers, even outfit bloggers, can help the fashion industry.

  5. heather

    Creds. are becoming a thing of the past…why pay $80 or $100 on creds when they don’t even get you into the tent. Paying this amount doesn’t guarantee entry to any shows…what are you paying for? a list of MBFW press emails and getting your name on a PR list. I always questioned why am I paying this amount of money and when I got denied my creds I was pissed but when I still got my invites to designers I wanted to see and saw that they weren’t even letting ppl in who had creds but not a ticket to the show at that time I felt like I got lucky. Thank you for not taking my money MBFW. also it really isn’t up to Mercedes Benz who gets into the shows its up to the PR people. If they PR people and designers want bloggers there we will be there.

    Also the tent was SOOOO boring this year. The only upgrade was the cafe area and the Palvion. The Hub idea was terrible. The lighting down there was so bad. Hope they bring back the presentations to the tents.

  6. Mikelle S

    I actually loved the changes in Lincoln Center. Yes I did get a little bit miffed when an editor of mine forgot to forward me my invite and I had problems at the door but that was easily fixed. The black interior was sleek and in my opinion much chicer than in years past and addressed how bad the lobby had dealt with sponsorships in the past I hated walking into the Times Square of fashion last season.

    I will say that I had to ask a friend on staff to get access to wi-fi and that outlets were non-existent but other than that I really did enjoy the experience for the most part.

    I think this article really missed an opportunity to talk to and about specific bloggers and how they were treated. Many really amazing bloggers with large followings were in standing room or seated 6th row or higher. This really could have talked about how those people were treated in comparison to their treatment in seasons past.

  7. Liz

    As both a stylist and blogger, I actually enjoyed this season better than seasons past. Of course most of my invites were through styling work and I didn’t have my blogger friends to hang with but I felt this season was more about what we are ultimately there for, reporting on and viewing the clothing/trends. It was a pleasure to have everything go so smoothly and quickly. The cafe was also a nice touch to get work done between shows and I thought the dark atmosphere made it feel classy rather than an advertisement for sponsors.

  8. HauteFrugalista

    It was completely different than past yrs. Decor, security, venues, sponsors, perks. There was literally nothing to do aside from attending the shows, than go to the blue lounge backstage or the celeb lounge if you were invited. It was a true work atmosphere. I feel that was the purpose. To turn fashion week into a work event for people who are there to actually work not just roam around and take selfies. Not talking about bloggers tho bc most share the content and are bringing awareness to brands.
    My advice is: unless you are for sure given creds as M not Q, or get invites, dont even bother on showing up. 1st you will deff not get in, 2nd there were barely any Streetstyle photographers, and 3rd there is literally nothing to do between shows.
    Has it gone to its former glory? I dont think so. I think it went to a goth mode with dark venues and a darker mood. Good thing is that the fashion was awesome and there was less of fighting to get your seat like before.

  9. Debbi

    I never used press credentials in the past, just my invitations from the designers. I had the opportunity to head south and didn’t think twice about missing FW, though it was my first in 23 years. Basta with the NY weather! All that being said, I quite enjoyed sipping tea and going through the days videos at midnight in my pjs. I may do this every February. I didn’t feel like I missed a thing.

  10. anonymous

    I asked for my money back after I got my credentials and found out what the new policy was going to be. The tents were dark and uncomfortable. If IMG wants to deal with crowd control and loitering, a better idea would have been to remove those WITHOUT credentials and make them leave after the show they had been invited to. Those with credentials are vetted and the pay to be there. Their job is to cover not just shows but everything that goes on in and around those tents. If IMG allows these reporters and photographers PAID access, they should have it without any questions being asked for as long as they wish to endure “the scene.” As to the bloggers, it is the lack of professionalism (e.g. “It didn’t matter anyways” in the article above is simply bad grammar) and bad manners that given online a bad reputation it doesn’t deserve. All of this will settle down, eventually, but I think this season was the worst, ever.

  11. Rachael Dickhute

    I enjoyed the ‘lounge’ aesthetic inside the tents this year. I was apprehensive about the overall ‘anti-blogger’ campaign pre fashion week, but it did not impede on my attending, as you mentioned. I have been going for many many years and social media is where the industry is headed. Plain and simple. I understand the reluctancy from brands to adhere, but things are headed digital and fast. I do not expect any anti-blogger buzz around September’s fashion week. Overall, I did enjoy my experience this season. It was all about business and less chaos, which is how it should be!

  12. ICFashionChic

    This season had some ups and downs. As a PR rep and blogger, I had an interesting time of it in the tents. The pitch blackness of the tent created an awesome dark mood…but it was not practical. I agree with Julia that they probably did it to discourage loitering.

    I loved loved loved the redesign of the “Studio” now “Pavilion”. It was by far the best space. I however did not go into the “box” or “Hub” so I can not give my opinion on that but the “Stage” and “Theatre” were so typical as compared to the new “Pavilion” design that they fell flat…

  13. Justyna

    I didn’t see any street style photographers chasing people, however I sow many fashion bloggers engaging with photographers, and posing for photos. In general, people (photographers, bloggers, models, and young celebrities) at Lincoln Center were very respectful and friendly to everyone. Some of the grates street style shots were taken when a person was unaware of being photographed, but I don’t think that this would work in a chasing scenario. I am sorry to hear that someone felt chased!

  14. Robert

    I suppose all of you have valid points, I photograph from the Photographers galley. I’m not a fan of the many Iphones and tablets that block some of my shots, but overall it does add ambiance. What some don’t realize that there is a great clamoring for street fashion and that’s why we shoot it. because parallels are drawn between runway and off runway looks. For instance there were lots of vintage furs this year and leather. I’m not a fan of vintage stuff. I wanted to get up to Milk Made but the problem was you cant’ get in without a pass, and my MBFW credentials would not get me in. As a photographer my name is not big enough. Anyway, I’ll be back in September, but not exclusively as the better shows seem to be off site

  15. Faith Bowman

    It was a different atmosphere, but the people that WERE at the tents were more professional. I met and photographed Julia Lang of geeksndfashion- which I may not have if it had been crowded and chaotic. I did two shows there, both from the same PR company.

    It’s not just the credentials, it’s -what are you here for? I want to move up as a freelance writer/editor/stylist I actually got paid this year, and I met Bloggers like The Provoker and Not Official- who do the international shows. I also grabbed stuff to give away on my blog- so 3 people will get some stuff and feel like they were there, too.

    I think it’s not a ‘blogger’ ban. It’s a ‘are you actually here to make it or not?’ ban.

  16. Justyna

    I didn’t see any street style photographers chasing people, however I sow many fashion bloggers engaging with photographers, and posing for photos. In general, people (photographers, bloggers, models, and young celebrities) at Lincoln Center were very respectful and friendly to everyone. Some of the grates street style shots were taken when a person was unaware of being photographed, but I don’t think that this would work in a chasing scenario.
    I am sorry to hear that someone felt chased.

  17. Albert De Castro

    If you have your access denied on anything it’s because you’re not needed or wanted there. Anyone with self-esteem or self-respect will move on if someone denies them access to fashion shows.
    Of course having a relationship with brands is very important, but if you’re said “No-no” to a fashion show people should improve their work and try the next time.
    Although, I don’t find it bad than IMG banned a lot of bloggers. Fashion shows are an event for professionals – journalists, buyers, etc., , not Anna Wintour-wannabes screaming and jumping for being invited to these events.

  18. Justy

    Quite different with what you will feel here in Indonesia. The fashion week is held indoor, literally, inside a plenary hall. PLUS the exhibition. Trade show plus the runway sessions are compiled in one building.