Want to buy tickets to the upcoming “Big 4″ series of fashion weeks? Or volunteer, work or show your designs?
If so, we have good news and bad news. Attendance rules (and opportunities) vary by location, and are generally based on your connections to the industry. But in some cases there are alternatives for those who want to do a little legwork.
See below for information on how to attend, participate, volunteer or work during fashion week.
ATTEND NYC FASHION WEEK
Billy Joel once sang that New York was a state of mind. Or something like that. Similarly, New York Fashion Week is more a state of time. (Heh heh? Eh.)
There are, in actuality, several ways to attend “New York Fashion Week” — or rather, fashion week in New York is a time of year (rather than a single “thing”), when international fashion collections are shown to the media, buyers and the public.
The two highest-profile New York Fashion Week series are Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New Yorkand Made Fashion Week. You don’t buy tickets to these events; you have to register, request participation or simply be invited. (Information appears at both of those sites a few weeks before February and September.)
Registration [IMPORTANT UPDATE – See below] for MB Fashion Week New York generally opens up a few weeks before the events. Several thousand people apply, and only a small percentage are accepted. There’s also an application fee (usually around $80), which doesn’t guarantee approval. And even if your application is approved, that still doesn’t guarantee admission. It simply allows you to submit to the various designers for their consideration to actually attend shows.
UPDATE TO ABOVE: On December 5, IMG announced they’re making attendance at MB Fashion Week even more exclusive.
There’s also an application fee (usually around $80), which doesn’t guarantee approval. And even if your application is approved, that still doesn’t guarantee admission.
If you’re interested in an event where you buy tickets, you may want to consider a more “public-friendly” series of events like those held by Couture Fashion Week in New York.
There are also fashion shows and events held throughout the city. New York Magazine compiles an excellent list each season of shows happening at galleries, museums, warehouses, stores and loft spaces.
To attend these independently organized events, you would need to contact the designers in question (or their PR companies) and request access.
Volunteer at MB Fashion Week New York
Want to volunteer at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York? Try this link.
ATTEND LONDON FASHION WEEK
London’s most prominent series of events are held by the British Fashion Council. As with Mercedes-Benz’s series of events in New York, you’ll need to register on the official site (in this case, that of the British Fashion Council). You’ll also need a verified address in London to register (presumably to show you’ll actually be able to attend if accepted).
But if you can’t get into those events, you’re in luck. Because directly following London Fashion Week is a four-day, open-to-the-public series of events called London Fashion Weekend. And yes, you can buy tickets!
But if you can’t get into the official London Fashion Week events, you’re in luck, thanks to London Fashion Weekend.
Not coming to London in February or September? If you can wait, there’s also an Alternative London Fashion Week held in April (or at least, that’s when it was last held). If you want more information, see that link in blue for their official site.
Volunteer at London Fashion Week
Want to volunteer at London Fashion Week? There’s a job list at the British Fashion Council site, but we’ve never seen anything posted there. But if you want to contact the BFC, that’s technically the place.
You could also inquire at London Fashion Weekend and Alternative London Fashion Week (see links above).
ATTEND MILAN FASHION WEEK
To attend Milan Fashion Week, you’ll need to register at the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, which organizes the shows of Milan Fashion Week.
Volunteer at Milan Fashion Week
The Chamber of Italian Fashion has a job network where you can upload a resume or browse job opportunities. (Yes, we’ve actually seen some there.)
Milan Fashion Week has an active job network.
ATTEND PARIS FASHION WEEK
Paris is still considered by many to be the mother of all fashion weeks (Paris having been the epicenter of fashion for most of the history of Western civilization).
As with the other fashion weeks, you can apply for accreditation, this time at the French Federation of Fashion. (You’ll note the screening process is more intense, and the language on the website a bit more stern.) You can also try emailing the designers directly, as each season the schedule is posted with each designer’s press contact.
You’ll also need a verified Paris address in order to attend.
But you don’t have to wait for fashion week to see a runway show in Paris. The Galeries Lafayette has runway “trunk shows” (showing new collections debuting in-store) throughout the year, and they’re free to attend.
You don’t have to wait for Paris Fashion Week to see a runway show in Paris.
Volunteer at Paris Fashion Week
Your best bet here is to volunteer for any of the design houses. You can also try contacting the officials at the official Paris Fashion Week website.
WATCH FASHION WEEK ONLINE
Use the menu at top of this page to watch New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks live, online.
You can also register for email updates and special VIP events for the fashion week community.
This article was written by Egomeli Hormeku for New York Fashion Week Live. Photos from WWE.