How I got to get paid to sit in the front row at Fashion Week from standing invite within 2 years

NYFW has just ended and I’m so happy that I survived and made it through. I attended fashion week when I was in graduate school back in 2014 as a fashion VIP consumer, so it didn’t count for this article. However, the pre-career exposure did make me witness the move of NYFW from Lincoln Center to Skylight Moynihan, to Skylight Clarkson, to Spring Studios until today.

My NYFW journey started from getting into shows to being selective of which shows to attend, until this season when I was paid to sit in the front row. So I will break down each section to share with you.

Summer YL at NYFW

How to get into shows at Fashion Week

Fashion Week is not a ticketed event. You have to get invited to attend. The betters the shows are, the harder to get in. Usually, fashion shows invite celebrities, editors and VIP customers traditionally. Today, every fashion show also invites influencers and bloggers. As an aspiring influencer, I’d recommend doing your research of the brands’ in-house PR and their agencies contacts, and then send them your pitch. When I pitched the PR contacts, I would usually say why they should invite me and the value that I can bring to them, such as social media exposure.

How to get into the good shows

There are different ways to get into good shows. One way is to get invited by the sponsors who sponsored a designer’s show, including hair, cosmetic, skincare, shoes etc. Another way is to partner with a major media outlet to cover the show. For example, one skincare brand invited me to go Alice + Olivia to cover backstage, and then they asked me if I also wanted to stay for the show. Here is an image of me by Getty.

Summer Y.L. at NYFW

How to pitch to get dressed by a designer

When I pitch a brand, I usually stress on why I am a great fit for this brand, and what deliverables I can promise with my media kit attached.

How I got paid to sit in the front row

Please keep good relationships with PR agencies, brands who showcase at fashion week, and brands who sponsor shows. One great agency that I have worked for 3 years reached out to me for sponsored content at NYFW. I got dressed by one of the designers and I got photographed by Getty images. My deliverables were to attend the show, and post Instagram stories and images on my feed.

Hope my tips are helpful and look forward to seeing you at fashion week next season!






Hi, I'm Summer 言奕. I'm a NYC based Chinese Globetrotter with friendships and network in more than 20 different countries. I'm attracted to international cultures and peoples. I can play chess better than Chinese chess, and I'm an avid Argentine Tango social dancer. Please always hit me up if you'd like to dine together or go to a show :)

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