New York Fashion Week for the Autumn/Winter season (#aw14) is officially under way creating a buzz throughout the city and fashion industry. The Mercedees Benz Fashion Week (@MBFW) draws the industries most prominent designers, fashion editors, celebrities, bloggers, and models. Fashion PR agencies are working at a fever pitch to ensure their clients put on exceptional fashion shows, press events, and feature dinners.
The biggest challenge facing fashion PR publicists is determining who gets into these exclusive events and where they get to sit. I would kill to be in NY right now but unless you’ve made a name for yourself in the industry, it’s nearly impossible to make it into any of these exclusive events. During fashion week PR and event agencies hold the power and the VIP guest list is their most valuable tool.
A sort of hierarchy takes place at these fashion shows identifying the “who’s who” based on their carefully choreographed positions. PR agencies spend hours on this process strategically creating the perfect seating chart and guest list.
Put her on the front row
The prized place belongs to front row guests. This row is composed of designers, high fashion magazine editors, celebrities, and the most loyal supporters of the brand. You’ll never catch Anna Wintour anywhere but front row center! Although not the most respected practice some agencies even pay celebrities to sit front row to gain more publicity and buzz around the brand’s show. Having “A-listers” on your most prominent row is always the goal for fashion publicists.
Seating second row and beyond is reserved for fashion buyers, department stores, and family and friends of the featured designer. Back row standing space is generally given to fashion bloggers, photographers, and fashion staff. There is even a hierarchy in determining which fashion bloggers are invited. Bloggers with higher followings, more developed sights, and a strong social media presence can sometimes take precedence over legitimate fashion writers for print magazines. PR agencies work with their brands to decide who will be the most beneficial to the brand therefore earning them prime seating. In fashion, it’s all about publicity.
“A guest list should be those who are appropriate and relevant to the brand to get the best exposure and publicity, and hopefully lots of orders from stores,’’ -Betsey Johnson says (via Life and Style, Sara Bauknecht)
This year’s Fashion week features several prominent fashion event and PR agencies. Deborah Hughes Events Inc. one of the most successful organizations put on an impressive show for designer Son Jung Wuan. The show was live tweeted and secured celebrities such as Adrion Bailon prominently featured on the front row. DBH Inc. has been a staple of fashion week events for nearly 25 years earning them organic interest by fashion elites. Prominent brands and organizations like DBH Inc, have carefully guarded the science behind seating to best serve their clients.
One day I’d like to see my name on one of these prestigious lists, gaining access into an exclusive world most only dream of. For now I’m living vicariously through my line sister and successful fashion blogger Bevin Anderson who attended a few fashion week shows. “My favorite show was by Katya Leonovich, we had great seats and got a lot of pictures for the site. I also really enjoyed going backstage to interview and talk to designers. We made a lot of new ‘fashion friends’ this week.” Bevin co-owns the blog Hole in Jean Pocket which serves as a poor girl’s guide to living a rich life and achieving ones dreams. “Persistence is key…it’s my number one rule for anything in life,” Bevin’s handwork and persistence lander her front row seats at the K.Nicole show and access to a few others. Bevin’s experience reinforces the point that hard work and dedication can get you beyond the velvet ropes into a little slice of fashion heaven. Check out some shots from her trip!