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When to Start Planning for New York Fashion Week [NYFW]?

NYFW Runway Show

We get a lot of inquiries for New York Fashion Week [NYFW] over here at Life by Style and most are either way too early to give information on shows happening and brands showing or too late to properly integrate into the week. It made us realize that few people really understand the timeline or the opportunity for NYFW. Most runway shows and activations start taking shape about two months before the start of NYFW. So, if you are a brand looking to show at NYFW, you should start reaching out and planning up to four months before the season you want to show. If you are a brand looking to be involved or activate you should start planning about 3 months before, but be prepared to be patient while the schedule takes shape. There is a lot of back and forth that happens between brands and the CFDA and IMG who produced NYFW: The Shows which can cause delays in the schedule being published or even shifts in the schedule. If you are wanting to work with a higher profile show or brand, the date and time of the show most likely will not be set until four weeks before the start of NYFW. Here are a few key tips if you are a brand looking to be involved with New York Fashion Week:

1. Understand the value that a NYFW collaboration brings

It is important to understand how NYFW has evolved over the last five to ten years and that a huge part of the value proposition for a brand involved in NYFW is the social media buzz you can attain during the week. Our production and PR partner gets an average of over 500 influencers indicating that they will be participating in NYFW each season and that can lead to huge opportunities for brands to connect with influencers all over the world and get huge traction on social media. Making social media strategy a part of your overall plan for NYFW is critical to getting the full value of your involvement.

2. Be realistic about Media Coverage

As media outlets are forced to focus on stories that generate website traffic, clicks, and revenue, editors are under more pressure than ever to cover shows that feature celebrities or cater to the brands that advertise with them. Showing at NYFW or having an activation at NYFW is not a slam dunk path to coverage by top media outlets. In fact, if you look through media coverage of NYFW from top tier media outlets like Vogue, Marie Claire, Glamour, Elle and Harpers Bazaar, you will find they cover the same brands, shows and topics each season without much variation. Street style is heavily covered, celebrity attendance at shows is covered and top brands are covered. However, there are lots of media opportunities with mid tier outlets and top tier outlets globally with proper planning and the proper budget for a PR plan. Our PR partner averages over 500 million media impressions for designers showing at New York Fashion Week and routinely secures placements in Elle Espana, Marie Claire Italy, Schon Magazine, Fashion Week Online and more for new and relatively unknown brands.

3. Know the Different types of Shows and Events that Happen

There are over 250 shows and events during NYFW, but not all are created equally. Unlike London or Paris, where a governing body owns the rights and trademark to the terms "Paris Fashion Week" and "London Fashion Week," no one owns the right to use the term "New York Fashion Week." This leads to lots of what we like to term "off-site" shows and productions where producers cut corners, use free models and generally have low production quality. These shows are not attended by media, top influencers and celebrities. A few producers have become savvy and will offer a celebrity designer a free show on their schedule and that show will attract media, celebrities and influencers, but nothing else on the schedule does. It is really important to know what type of show or event you are involved in before investing time, energy and money. Typically the top shows are produced by big designers or NYFW: The Shows, which has been held at Spring Studios the last few seasons. Pier 59 also hosts high quality shows with some big name designers. We offer consultations for those looking to be involved in NYFW and will help connect you to the right people depending on your goals and budget.

4. Understand your Options for Participation

There are a lot of ways a brand can participate and get involved in NYFW and what you decide to do really should be determined by goals and budget. A properly produced runway show averages about $100,000 USD, so involvement even as a sponsor will require a decent sized budget. There are many ways to be involved in NYFW beyond just working with a runway show from gifting to influencers to hosting an event to dressing influencers. We offer a myriad of "plug and play" options for NYFW. See some of them listed below:

  • Influencer seeding: Send product to influencers planning to attend NYFW

Influencer Dressing: Dress influencers that will be attending shows. We offer a full service package that includes showroom space, coordination with influencers that have followings of 75K or more on Instagram

  • Hospitality Suite: Host or be a part of a hospitality suite open to influencers and top editors where they can relax, refresh and recharge phones during NYFW

  • Backstage or Front of House Activation: Sponsor a backstage or front o f house activation and get access to the 300+ guests that a designer attracts

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