I can't believe a year has already passed since my first New York Fashion Week - I mean seriously, where does the time go?! If you guys don't know what NYFW is or if the acronym doesn't ring a bell, let me fill you in on the deets. Essentially, NYFW is a 9-day long itinerary of fashion shows that feature both talented upcoming fashion designers and established brands that only individuals of the media can attend. In other words, the average person or influencer cannot buy a ticket in to see this show; you have to get a hold of a media pass in order to watch the show. At NYFW, you get to see a preview of the brand's collection that foreshadow fashion trends and hype before it is released in stores or magazines. From seeing intricate and elegant pieces worn by models to listening to groovy music that only enhances these pieces, every little detail of each NYFW show radiates perfection from beginning to end.
Because I've attended NYFW more than once, I wanted to share a little insight on what NYFW is really like and a few pointers to take into account if you're a blogger preparing for your first New York Fashion Week. Although all you may see is the fun and the glam through social media during New York Fashion Week, you truly cannot underestimate the time and the work you have to invest BEFOREHAND in order to experience this hectic and fulfilling week. So today, I'm dedicating this post to my NYFW first-timers (and to those who just want to learn more about New York Fashion Week in general).
1. Book your hotel first. And book it early.
By confirming your hotel reservation, you can streamline the process of planning other activities out during your stay. Essentially, if you know where you will be staying in New York, this will just make the planning process a whole lot EASIER.
When it comes to NYFW, you need to look up various destination points so you can make the most of your trip and not waste any time, as traveling around New York can definitely take a while and become expensive if end up prioritizing Uber/LYFT over subway rides.
Here are a few A-to-Z points that you should always calculate BEFORE the trip starts. In other words, how long it takes to travel...
- from hotel to NYFW destination
- from NYFW venue to restaurant (of your choice)
- from hotel to restaurant (of your choice)
- from hotel to subway station
- from NYFW venue to subway station
By calculating these distances beforehand, you will be able to set yourself a time on when to leave the hotel to arrive to the respective NYFW show you plan to watch on time. Ain't nobody want to walk in late like a hot mess when the show's already starting!
Additionally, Uber/Lyft can get pretty costly when bouncing between places in New York, so be sure to take the time before your trip to understand the subway routes. However, if you DO choose to use Uber/Lyft during your trip, I'll provide you with two discount codes to help save you some moolah in the process.
LYFT: Use discount code MICHELLE90127 for $20 off your first LYFT ride.
UBER: Use discount code michelles30341ue for $20 off your first UBER ride.
2. Style your NYFW outfits from head-to-toe before you pack them at least 1-2 weeks before the trip.
This is Sharon.
Sharon needs to pack for NYFW.
Sharon plans her NYFW outfits weeks ahead before her NYC trip.
Sharon is smart.
Be like Sharon.
Has anyone ever seen this comic online before?! It's freakin' hilarious and totally relates to Tip #2 because Michelle was NOWHERE as organized as Sharon. While organized Sharon already planned every single NYFW outfit to the uttermost perfection, a panicked and frenzied Michelle was still awaiting several packages to arrive at her doorstep days before her trip.
If you really want the reality of my current situation, I purchased all of my Ultra Heattech items from Uniqlo two days before my trip and Sharon helped me style my NYFW outfits one day before I hopped on the plane.
So the moral of the story is...be like Sharon.
3. Invest in UNIQLO's Ultra Warm Heattech top, tights, & leggings.
Ever since I discovered UNIQLO's Heattech line two years ago, my body has been nothing but thankful for the creation of these amazing, functional pieces.
Personally, I've worn UNIQLO's Extra Warm Heattech Top to New York, Chicago, and Seattle last year and I was still cold after adding a sweater, coat, and scarf to the mix. Thus, I ended up splurging on their Ultra Warm Heattech collection of top, tights, and leggings this year in hopes that I won't be as cold! I'll let you guys know what I think about these pieces in future Instastories so be sure to stay tuned for daily updates once we arrive to New York.
4. Wear comfortable, waterproof shoes that you can move in all day long.
Last year, I remember walking up and down the streets of New York, so much that I probably burned more than I ate! Just kidding, I always eat way too much so that's pretty much impossible, hah. However, I did underestimate just how much we walked and sometimes, my feet were numb because trudging through snow is no joke! It was FUH-REEZING!
Thus, I've made an effort to make sure that doesn't happen again by packing a pair of waterproof boots with me. For footwear you DO want to bring but aren't waterproof, you can always purchase a waterproof spray so that you don't ruin your shoes!
5. Winter accessories are your best friend.
If I didn't have my scarf, beanie, or gloves, I would have been a goner in that killer cold New York weather. After all, the little details sometimes make the biggest difference.
Invest in quality pieces that will keep you warm, but you certainly don't have to break the bank to get these items. Personally, I love Dynamic Asia's beanies and gloves so be sure to check out the link here if you're looking for any affordable winter accessories!
6. Looking to collaborate with brands for NYFW? Email 1-2 months in advance, not last minute.
Again, I am guilty of my last-minute NYFW outfit styling ways, but somehow, I've managed to make it work thanks to the existence of expedited shipping! Don't be like me (remember, be like Sharon) and plan way in advance. The earlier the better, but I would suggest emailing prospective brands you want to work with 1-2 months in advance.
If you want to wear a certain piece to NYFW or work with a specific brand to showcase in your NYFW fashion lookbook, email the brand with your media kit (including audience and analytics/demographics) and the reasons WHY/HOW you can help boost their brand's social media exposure. The same applies to hotel collaborations, but trust me when I say that NYFW is a difficult time to work with a hotel due to the popular . Hotel collaborations are best executed when it's off season, but as I always say, it doesn't hurt to try!
For more information on how to successfully collaborate with a brand, read this blog post on my step-by-step guide here.
7. Schedule media tastings or restaurant visits that are convenient for your commute.
When Sharon and I travel to a different city, we always come up with a list of the hottest restaurants to dine at - aka, Instagram-worthy restaurants that will end up on our Instagram feeds and blog posts. From there, we look up the addresses of each respective restaurant and map out which restaurants would be convenient to dine in at based on the activities we have to do that day. If you're traveling with a group (versus solo), I highly suggest that you all get together for a day and plan out the itinerary together - it makes things THAT much easier when you can all communicate your honest thoughts and there's less room for argument/miscommunication when planning.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when researching/scheduling restaurants:
- use Yelp to make sure that the restaurant is open at the time you want to drop by (some restaurants only open for dinner) & that the restaurant is in your price range
- don't judge a restaurant by its Instagram cover; as much as we want to, a LOT of the menu is on the website and the imagery tends to be 10x as better
- if you have a vegetarian in the group (cough Sharon cough, haha), make sure that the restaurant offers vegetarian options as well
8. Find styling inspiration through Instagram (hashtags are my favorite!)
When planning my outfits these days (whether it's for a weekly photoshoot or NYFW), I use Instagram like a Pinterest Board - scrolling through trendy outfit after trendy outfit until I find something that catches my eye and my style preferences.
Before, I always wondered how some influencers styled themselves so flawlessly. While some have a natural eye for fashion, some have to study it hardcore. This includes me.
Don't ever discourage yourself if you don't feel fashionable enough or that you'll never be fashionable enough because I used to feel JUST like this. I used to put myself down all of the time and think that it wasn't ever possible for me to wear the top trendiest outfits of today. Instead of thinking that you're not good enough or not qualified enough, ditch that negative mindset and tell yourself that you CAN do it. That you are capable. That with just enough research, motivation, and passion, you too can become the fashion guru that you've always wanted to be.
When it comes to fashion, I've always been that casual everyday gal and I don't think I can ever change that. However, ever since I've started to pay more closer attention to the current trends and looking up styles that lie a bit outside of my comfort zone, I've started branching out a bit more by incorporating more textures and fabrics into my everyday outfits and I couldn't be happier. Happier with the fact that I've ditched my negative mindset. Happier with the idea that I am capable of a positive change because I want to get better at something. When you bring yourself up with positivity and words of encouragement (all the while trying to meet realistic goals), just know that the sky's the limit.
If you are curious on what it's like to attend an NYFW show, do check out my first NYFW show I've ever attended - read more on the Mimi Prober show here.
For all of my influencers and bloggers, I hope that this post has helped you organize your future NYFW itinerary and plans a bit better! So, what aspect of NYFW are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments section below!