When I first learned the fashion public relations firm I intern for was producing a fashion presentation during New York Fashion Week, I was a nervous wreck. Should I ask them if I can come help? Should I not say anything and wait for them to ask? I finally worked up the courage to ask, and of course they said they'd be thrilled to get all the help they could get. A plane ticket, hotel reservation and a crash diet later, I flew to New York City to get my first taste of New York Fashion Week. If you're like me, you would probably commit murder to make it in the fashion industry. Therefore, here are three things I learned you should definitely bring to New York Fashion Week!
1. Bring Business Cards: I'll admit I don't have the most professional business cards in the world, however, I think this is absolutely the most important thing you can have handy when networking anywhere. You can print business cards for free on http://vistaprint.com. You only have to pay for shipping. At an independent fashion show I was lucky enough to get invited to, I spotted Coco and Breezy (two celebrity sunglass designers) and worked up the guts to ask for a picture for my blog. Not only were they incredibly nice, they asked for my card so they could invite me to their fashion presentation. Sure enough, the other morning I received an invitation to their event. Although I won't be able to attend due to school, I still made the initial contact and they are going to send me pictures for my blog. If I hadn't had that business card to whip out it would have been a complete lost cause. I also met a lot of really nice girls who are also trying to make it in the industry and we exchanged cards. You never know who they will be in five years from now!
2. Bring Flats!! I don't care how much endurance your feet have when you're dancing in heels at Lizard: bring your best flats. If you're working an event for fashion week, chances are you're going to be sent on an errand to get some random item the designer needs. For the fashion networking party I worked on Saturday night, I was sent to find bags of ice for the wine, and guess what? There wasn't a Dairy Mart down the street! Running around in an area I have no familiarity with - trying to score three jumbo bags of ice was no easy task, and it was even worse in platform heels. Luckily, for an event I worked on Sunday I was prepared. I was sent by the designer on an emergency errand to get a new shade of lipstick for the models. I was ready to slip into my flats and run to the nearest convenience store six blocks away!
3. Bring Your Confidence (but don't go overboard)! You are going to meet some really, really rude people. Don't let them get you down. While bouncing the door during the fashion networking event, I let some girls who run a blog get me down with their attitudes. This was a mistake, on both my part and theirs. When they showed up at our fashion presentation the next night I was prepared. They weren't on the list, and sweet as they could be, they reminded me that I'd met them last night. Didn't I remember? Keep in mind that majority of the people at these events are acting rude because they are insecure. Everybody is trying to be somebody, so don't let anyone push you around. Confidence and a positive attitude are everything, but if you go overboard like the anonymous girls I'm talking about, it could backfire. The first night I wasn't prepared and I let them walk all over me, and their tactic worked. With a resolve to be more confident myself the next night, I was ready. Needless to say their behavior didn't get them in the door. It's true that if you act like you know what you're doing people think you know what you're doing, but don't take it too far because you never know who will be at the door the next time!