How I Got Into NYFW At 19 Years Old

Last year I made a promise to myself that no matter what in 2021, I was going to attend at least one New York Fashion Week show. I didn’t care if I had to show up with no invite, I just knew I needed to go. COVID also made things much harder to attend these events with the restrictions and such, so I felt no need to feel bad at myself for not attending in 2020. Life is still trying to shift back to normal so I knew this year I would take the extra pre-cautions, get vaccinated, be more consistent on social media, do research on ways to get into shows, be more organized with how I would go about it, and more.

As summer went by and I became a lot more engulfed in social media, working with brands, doing paid and gifted collabs, and just networking myself as much as possible with people, I really believed in myself that I could make it happen. That is how this all starts. I started with a big dream and made myself believe that it was attainable and that I can make it happen. There was no room for negative thoughts or putting myself down because I wanted to try as hard as I could.

First, I did some research as anyone does. I went on TikTok, Youtube, Instagram, and read articles on literally anything related to NYFW and how I could use any information they were giving to my advantage. While some people already had invites to these shows, there was one thing in common that everyone said before they began to get invited naturally. They all would either show up with no invite or they would email PR agencies, brands, companies, and anyone related to these show connections far in advance to try to get a spot or at least any information on how to get to the show. This was my key and basically one of the most exposed secrets that you can find out there on the internet.

But if I was going to be attending these shows, or at least try to, I needed to have a valid reason on why these companies should let me attend. I was working really hard for over a year and a half at the time on all of my social media accounts and building myself up. I began taking social media much more seriously in June 2020 and I knew that if there was any kind of way I would get my dream life of working from social media, I would have to start at that very moment and that’s exactly what I did. I started this blog Glamour and Guide in June 2020, began posting on Instagram way more consistently at least 4-5 times a week, saved a lot of money from babysitting, temporary jobs here and there, and anything spare to completely upgrade my wardrobe, and I became a lot more confident in front of the camera so I could film TikToks! The longer I waited to keep wishing I had the lives of others I saw online, the longer it would take for me to achieve these dreams and goals that seemed so out of reach at the time.

Working on all of these at the same time, making time for myself, friendships, and my relationship, plus school and a job was so hard but I pushed through and knew in the end it would all pay off! This was going to be my valid reason to let these brands at NYFW want me to attend their show. Using social media coverage would be the best way to convince the companies because not only was influencing becoming so much more popular, but people were actually getting invited to events, shows, and anything you can imagine for just having an audience on social media. Although I only had under 3k followers on Instagram, 1.2k+ readers a month on my blog (the one you’re reading right now) and a little over 5k+ followers on TikTok, I knew this was going to be my reasoning when emailing the brands.

The intense research begins now. I had a reason for attending the shows but now I had to do the hard work and begin the mass email sending. I found the New York Fashion Week calendar online and made a spreadsheet of all the shows I knew I could attend. I was going to be in school during some of the shows, but since I did get out early from some classes, I would still be able to go to some good shows possibly. After making this spreadsheet, I went on Google for hours trying to find as many emails, PR people, agencies, and more that can help me get in by any chance or ounce of luck. I searched through tons of LinkedIn profiles and dug through anywhere I could to find anything at all.

After spending several hours putting together emails, making and updating my spreadsheet, and doing a lot of online research, I emailed almost 100 different people that could help me possibly get into any show. I did not care which brand or who it was or to try to attend a famous show, I just wanted to attend anything because every brand is unique and has a different story. Getting the opportunity to be in one of these shows would be incredible. Weeks passed by and I heard nothing. I was getting anxious because no one was getting back to me, fashion week was approaching, and I was running out of ideas. I still had hope because I knew that at least one person would get back to me.

This ounce of hope is something I am so glad I kept because on August 25th at 10:01 PM, Dennis Basso had emailed me back inviting me to their Spring/Summer 2022 Fashion Presentation in New York. I was at a red light, driving my car when I received the email and I nearly cried. I kept re-reading the email and was thinking to myself that this has to be fake. I kept thinking immediately that it was fake because it just felt too good to be true. I looked at the email, and saw that they had written out:

“Hi Pamela, On behalf of Dennis Basso please find the invitation below for Dennis Basso’s Spring/Summer 2022 Fashion Presentation taking place on Sunday, September 12th from 2:00PM – 3:00PM (at the location provided.)

They also said that they would welcome my attendance at the show and all I had to do now was RSVP and I was in. The invitation was attached in a PDF to the bottom of the email. This was it. The moment had finally happened. After dreaming for years to attending NYFW and putting in so much hard work, hours of research, and keeping my head up without losing hope, I had achieved one of my goals in life which was to be invited to a show. Showing up at NYFW is a little different than actually being personally invited by a brand. I had been invited and I was in shock for days after because it still felt like I was dreaming.

I was going to be attending the show to do social media coverage and I needed to start brainstorming for what I was going to wear because there would for sure be photographers. I also had to figure out the different kinds of content I can start putting together to stand out among others that would be blogging or filming the event for their social channels. I wanted to put together very unique work that would hopefully continue to get me invited to their shows every year.

All the work that I put in to get this invite is something I am incredibly proud of and the fact that I was able to accomplish and achieve one of my goals in life still is something I can’t believe. It took a lot of work, dedication, hope and confidence when I sending out these emails and looking to see who would give me a shot and allow me to attend. My three pieces of advice for anyone at all looking to attend a NYFW show or popular event is:

  1. Don’t doubt yourself!! Just because you may be a small creator, or you think you don’t have a huge audience online and that you aren’t good enough to attend a show, stop the negativity! You got this and you wouldn’t be able to find new opportunities without putting yourself out there and trying anything you can. The more you doubt yourself and give yourself reasons as to why you shouldn’t do something, you’re preventing something amazing that can happen.
  2. Be confident and make it till you make it. When you are typing out and sending these emails, don’t seem as if you have never attended a show or an event through the emails. Keep it professional and provide them with any details you can on why you should attend the show. Brag about yourself, say anything that will make you stand out, and bring content ideas to them on why you should be invited. Never show up empty handed and think you will receive an invite. When you fake it until you make it, you’ll realize that you are going to start achieving your dream life soon enough. If you want to become a content creator, post those photos, make those videos and do everything you can to prove it to yourself and your audience. Don’t let anyone stop you.
  3. Network, dig online, and research! This is so key because this is how you will find people and this is how people will find you. When you put yourself out there online, create content, and continue to make more ways for people to find you, you never know who will be there to find you and want to work with you or invite you somewhere. Make a LinkedIn profile and connect with anyone online, go through any website you can, dig through pages to look for emails, and present yourself to these people with any content ideas whether it’s for a show invite or anything! Do as much research online to find PR People, firms, and anything that will allow you to find people. Don’t be afraid to reach out and message anyone. You never know what opportunities will be brought upon you.

Good luck everyone! Wishing you all much success and lots of luck for any shows, events, or opportunities that are coming your way. Just keep working hard, believe in yourself, and you got this.

Thank you so much for reading! 
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Author: Pamela Valdez

Content Writer Intern for She's SINGLE Magazine, Social Media Marketing Intern, and PR Editorial Intern for Access by NKC. Pursuing fashion industry and will be an upcoming undergraduate at FIT.