A Publicist’s Guide to Surviving New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week starts this week and most fashion publicists are currently on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. It is indeed our most difficult season of the year…and it happens twice! Besides all of the stress leading up to the show, the show itself is probably the most nerve wracking part because no matter how much you prepare, there will be things that go wrong. Even if it’s not your doing, everyone will be looking to you to fix them. Here are some of our tips on how to survive Fashion Week as a fashion publicist and getting through the obstacles of this high-stress time.

Be more organized than you have ever been in your life

Before the show, be sure to have everything set in the most organized way possible. Don’t forget the little details. Is your seating chart 100 percent correct? Be sure Anna Wintour isn’t set to sit second row! Have photos of all the looks on a bulletin board with photos of the models, so the dressers know exactly what goes on who and when. Have models lined up in an organized manner for hair, makeup and nails so it’s an assembly line versus a chaotic scene. Leave no room for error, even though there will still be many.

Delegate tasks like your life depends upon it

Ensure your team and everyone else involved knows their tasks before hand. Have people welcoming guests, someone sourcing interviews with the designer(s), someone managing backstage to ensure everything is running on time, ushers (if applicable), dressers, the list goes on. Everyone should know exactly what they have to do, but be ready to step in to help if necessary.

Everyone should know exactly what they have to do, but be ready to step in to help if necessary.

Have a backup plan for your backup plan

Even when you leave no room for error, there will still be errors. There are so many cooks involved in a fashion show. I tend to think of every possible scenario that could go wrong and come up with a backup plan for each. Despite doing so, there will be something you are not prepared for, but with your calm demeanor (see below), you will have a sound mind and can come up with ideas on the spot. If a model doesn’t show up, you’re organized enough to have the modeling agencies on speed dial to detect her whereabouts and/or send someone with the exact same measurements ASAP.

Even when you leave no room for error, there will still be errors. There are so many cooks involved in a fashion show. I tend to think of every possible scenario that could go wrong and come up with a backup plan for each.

Please eat and stay hydrated

This one may sound silly, but we get incredibly busy on show day and sometimes are so stressed, we forget to eat. Bring some easy snacks with you or nibble on the backstage food. Stay hydrated – it will keep your mind clear and also prevent you from becoming dehydrated. Too many people end up in the hospital during Fashion Week due to dehydration. Don’t be a Fashion Week statistic!

Practice deep breathing and remain calm

The most effective way to get through the hiccups is to stay calm. If you’re calm, everyone around you will be much less frantic and will do their jobs diligently. It’s very difficult to be efficient when you’re panicking. But how does one remain calm when things hit the fan? Take deep breaths and remember fashion is fun. At the end of the day, we are not performing heart surgery, as much as we’d like to think we are. So, as stressful as it gets, keep in mind we are doing something that brings happiness to people.

How do you survive Fashion Week? Share your Fashion Week tips in the comments below.

Image via: Dave Benett

Danika Daly

Danika Daly

Danika Daly is the founder of Danika Daly PR, a boutique PR firm in New York City specializing in contemporary fashion and beauty brands. Danika does everything in a bright, bold fashion, with creative flair and no trace of the ordinary. Danika coaches many brands and aspiring publicists, and has a love for sharing knowledge. She has done so as a writer for various sites such as PR Couture, Fashion Indie, and The Fabulous Report.

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