So you want to show at NYFW?

Updated: May 14, 2018


Our agency's is one of the few go-to agencies when it comes to showing at NYFW. In fact, we specialize in helping international designers show at NYFW and primarily work with WME | IMG to help designers showcase collections onsite with NYFW: The Shows and NYFW: First Stage. We get a ton of inquiries from labels wanting to show at NYFW and often there is a ton of mystery around where to show, how to show and how much it costs. We decided to unveil a bit of the mystery behind NYFW and give you insider information on how it works. New York Fashion Week is held twice a year in February and September. It commences what is known globally in the fashion world as fashion month. After New York you have London, Milan and Paris.

New York Fashion Week is held primarily in Manhattan and there are several hudred shows published on the Fashion Calendar which is run by the CFDA. The CFDA curates an official calendar that is published and shows the major labels, but often there are really big names that don't appear on the CFDA calendar, usually because there is a time conflict with two other shows already on the schedule. WME | IMG produces NYFW: The Shows and NYFW: First Stage, and these are considered the on-site shows. In February 2018, IMG | WME will be hosting shows at Spring Studios and Industria. Designers must apply to show with WME | IMG's NYFW shows. This is where having an agency to help you navigate the application process and selection of venues and times slots is critically important to a successful show. Our agency can walk you through the process. We are often hired to consult with brands looking to shows on-site and help them evaluate their chances of success, submit the application and negotiate for the best time slot.  

Other options exist for designers that are still considered reputable, even though they are not on-site. It is important for a designer that has not shown at NYFW before to carefully weigh the pros and cons of showing on or off-site. Yes, it can be a bit less expensive, but there are benefits you lose such as live streamingx and other PR support from WME | IMG. They are the world's leading fashion week producers for a reason!  Other venue options exist for off-site shows that are very successful and well-respected. In fact, we work with a group show showcasing some of Australia's top designers every September that is held at a very popular off-site venue and we have a full house and secure lots of press for the brands involved. We see a lot of designers fall for the lower quality off-shoot producers promising a NYFW experience for $10 or $15K, but buyer beware, These shows are not well attended by industry insiders.

Typically venues and top producers begin slating designers about 3 months before the shows for the next season. It is important to be on top of the timing and have someone that is in constant communication with venues in order to ensure the best time slot possible.

Once you have secured a venue, you will need to hire a producer, casting director, PR agency to handle your Front of House PR needs and press for the show. You may also want to hire an agency to handle social media and you will need to secure photographers and videographers. Our agency can handle all of you NYFW needs from A to Z, Typically, if you are planning a runway or catwalk show, we will refer you to one of a few top NYFW producers and our agency can handle all of your other needs from casting to PR and social media. We have a great track record of executing flawless shows and part of that is by ensuring that we are not biting off more than we can chew. We absolutely produce shows for NYFW and have produced many shows from runway shows to presentation shows, but if you are showing in a major venue and are new to the NYFW scene, we have partners that we know will be the strongest team possible for you.

Once you have secured your producer and PR team, they can help you develop an appropriate timeline with deadlines for meeting all deliverables for your show. We assist designers with everything from securing hair and make-up sponsors, to designing invitations and securing photographers. Speaking of photographers, it is critically important that you work with a photography company that services major magazines and there are only two that do. If you don't work with one of these two companies, or ideally both, you will not secure the press coverage you desire. 

Often, international designers want to send paper invitations for their NYFW show, but here in the United States, invites for all major shows are send electronically via Launchmetrics and so digital invitations make the most sense. 

As far as costs goes, it really depends on many facts such as: on-site or off-site, venue selection, number of looks, presentation or runway. However, the average costs for a quality runway show (sans elaborate sets or celebrity models) is about $150-$160K. You can of course have a quality show for more and even significantly less than this, but this at least provides a frame of reference.

Want to know more? Schedule a one-on-one consult with our team today by clicking here. We charge $125/hour for fashion week consults. 

© 2018 by The Riviere Agency.