We’re only a few days shy of New York Fashion Week right now – and the frenzy of presentations, shows and parties will keep going until to March 6th, weaving its way through London, Milan and Paris. The amount of coverage garnered by the labels on the Fashion Week rosters is impressive, and many of those designers have spent a significant amount of time in the industry – and they weren’t always the star attractions.
Obtaining a spot on the official Fashion Week calendar in any of the cities is a major accomplishment, but it’s not the only way to achieve exposure for your label. As a designer who is just starting out – whether you’re launching clothing or accessories – here are three ways that you can earn a piece of that Fashion Week spotlight.
1) Go Guerilla As I was watching the September 2012 Fashion Night Out coverage, I was particularly impressed with a teenaged designer who had gathered a group of friends as models and taken to the streets to show off his creations. By taking the risk of putting together his un-official fashion show, the designer had managed to garner coverage on one of the world’s largest fashion sites. You can do the same during Fashion Week by taking advantage of where the cameras will be: venues, outside parties and at fashionable restaurants. Call in favours with friends, contact aspiring models, hair stylists and make-up artists and take to the streets with your own guerilla showcase.
Tip: Be careful about bylaws regarding number of participants in a gathering and Fashion Week restrictions on proximity to the official venues. There are educated risks to be taken and serious chutzpah required to pull it off, but exposure can be significant.
2) Strategic Street Style It seems that with every passing season, there are more and more claims of street style photographs from Fashion Week featuring items people were paid to wear. It may be detracting from the authenticity of the street style genre, but fashion is a business, and promotional coverage is quite valuable for labels. Strategic Street Style for your brand isn’t about having a group of models walking down the street together – but about having friends wearing your clothes or accessories while they hang out where the fashion folk are. The goal is to increase exposure to your label – the same concept used by brands that buy out all of the advertising on a bus or a subway station. With Street Style, if photographers, journalists and bloggers see something often enough, it’s a trend. Pick a standout piece from your collection, and get it out on the street.
Tip: The key is for it to look unplanned and casual – your friends are going about everyday activities – they just happen to be wearing your amazing tshirt/hat/bag/jewelry while doing it.
3) Digital Details Social media goes a little bananas during Fashion Week. Constant Tweets, Instagrams and blog posts featuring fashion events and the cities they’re hosted in take over readers’ streams worldwide. Take advantage of this wave of activity by making sure that you’ve prepped your label’s promotional material and calendar to target coverage. Share photos of your ‘Go Guerilla’ event or your Strategic Street Style and be sure to use tags related to Fashion Week to help your content come up in searches. Spend time scanning blogs and media outlets for shots of your models and friends and be sure to share or retweet the links. Maximizing your digital coverage during Fashion Week is a great way to build familiarity and increase exposure for your label.
Tip: Collect copies of all press coverage you receive and add the best ones to your media kit – you can build on this in the months ahead.
Are you a designer or artist looking to gain exposure during Fashion Week? What techniques have worked for you?