The LGBTQ+ community’s influence on the New York fashion scene is well-known, and during Fashion Week, LGBTQ+ people from all over the world converge on NYC to see the work of the world’s most iconic designers and cutting-edge ateliers. But even the poshest visitor may feel intimidated by the chic, exclusive scene with a week tailored to fashion editors, models and all the bloggers and Instagrammers who cover them. For visitors, it can be little overwhelming: Where should I stay? How do I get in? What do I wear? We’ve put together a handy survival guide with some savvy advice for managing it all during Fashion Week.
1. Get Centered
A number of shows will take place in Soho at Skylight Clarkson Sq, 558 Washington St., and in the West Village at The Shop @ NYFW: The Shows, 859 Washington St. So staying downtown will keep you at the center of all the fashion action. Find some great hotel options here.
2. Eat a Big Breakfast and Chill
We know NYFW sounds glamorous (and trust us, it has its moments) but it’s also a week of long days, with back-to-back shows, so plan on eating a big breakfast. We like High Street on Hudson in the West Village, which serves hearty breakfast options. There may not be much time for lunch—pack water and protein bars in your bag to make sure you have plenty of energy to last the day.
3. Spread the Word
If you’re interested in the indelible impact of the LGBTQ+ community on fashion, pay it forward and promote the designers you fall in love with with a simple social media shout-out. Here are some hot LGBTQ+ designers to look out for and tag in your posts:
- Gauntlett Cheng are the underground, gender queer cool kids who took Fashion Week by storm last year. Their nonbinary collections need to be on your radar.
- Eric Schlösberg’s line is made in New York and has redefined a new normal when it comes to gender-fluid fashion.
- Gogo Graham has spent the past few Fashion Weeks wowing the crowds with her inspired, dynamic clothing made for trans people by a trans woman.
4. Seeing the Shows
While Fashion Week can be tailored to fashion’s insiders, there are always events that are open to the public. Start by looking on sites like eventbrite.com to find free happenings, or check the NYFW schedule online. For a little extra help, we suggest looking into an event ticket concierge service like The VIP Concierge or ask your hotel’s actual concierge for help. Let them know your budget and what type of event you’d love to attend. If that doesn’t work, you can often watch the shows online. Tune in the NYFW live stream to watch your favorite designers and shows.
5. Be Punctual
You’ll want to have a copy of each day’s schedule handy so you always know where to be and when to be there. Don’t be late, and allow yourself enough time to get from show to show. Taxis can be tough to hail!
6. Heel Hath No Fury
We know it’s Fashion Week and you want to look your best, and we applaud you, but for the love of Pete bring an extra pair of comfortable walking shoes. We’re talking Dr. Scholl’s insert-level support. Seriously. You can always keep your sexy, chic heels with you in a tote bag.
7. Make Those Heads Turn
This is the fun part—you get to lay out all your outfits days in advance, planning each one meticulously down to the accessories, jewels and shoes. More than anything, New York Fashion Week should be fun for people who love fashion, so have a ball getting dressed up. Be bold and get yourself noticed, photographed and maybe even Instagrammed.
New York Fashion Week may be the most photogenic event in New York City’s calendar year. So hashtag your posts (#nyfw) and post as many amazing photos as possible. Just make sure your phone has a full charge before leaving your room and bring an extra battery pack, too.
9. Alternative to Parties and Shows
If you aren’t able to get into any shows or parties (or just don’t want to), there are a few cool alternatives to explore during the week. The free Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, for example, hosts stunning exhibitions that allow you to get to know the history of iconic couturiers and experience the extraordinary fashion culture of New York City.