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How To Attend NYFW As a Regular Person

Updated: Mar 13

Designer José Alexzander for Love For Upcycling | Aeliana Honore


How can a regular person attend New York Fashion Week? From influencers to celebrities, it seems like the only way to attend a showcase in the Big Apple is if you are cordially invited by a Parisian designer or you have built a community of a million+ subscribers. Let’s take a deeper look into the ways you can attend NYFW, whether it is February or September.

Models, media, hair stylists, makeup artists, and production crew are standard operating personnel during this coveted experience. If you fall under any of these categories, applications are usually found on designers’ websites months in advance. Simply have your portfolio prepared and travel plans booked. Whether you are an OG in the game or an aspiring talent, it is worth taking a chance and applying to any opportunities presented by brands in attendance. What’s the worst that could happen? 


Now, let’s say your talent is less fashion-forward. You have experience in customer service, fitting/sewing garments, or you just have a passion for fashion - volunteering is for you. 

 ArtHeartsFashion Showcase | Aeliana Honore

Unbeknownst to most, NYFW requests hundreds of volunteers annually. No formal experience is required; simply availability and area of most interest are usually part of the brief online application. No fees; however, it is completely pro-bono.

What exactly does a volunteer do? 


From VIP seating organization to sponsor gift bag responsibilities, you could be asked to complete a variety of tasks to ensure the showcase runs smoothly and efficiently. Front-of-house check-in and backstage check-in are great ways to meet the faces of the industry. Let’s say you enjoy more of the BTS of a show; volunteering as a backstage dresser is for you. Here, you will assist designers in unpacking, hanging, and steaming clothes. Models may need assistance putting on outfits properly as well. 


 Volunteers Organizing Gift Bags | Aeliana Honore

Running a show can be a challenge, so volunteers also have the opportunity to reset the backstage setup for each designer’s showcase. Cleaning is always a given when volunteering as well. 


Are you in the social media game? Volunteers are needed to assist photographers with social media handles for models and VIPs, ensuring high-quality and accurate content for the best engagement via social for each showcase. Production Assistant opportunities are also available; review fashion photographers' social media pages closer to the dates of NYFW for opportunities - usually posted on their stories.


Pros: You have the opportunity to experience one of the most coveted industry experiences in the world for free. From being up close and personal with stylists, designers, and models to learning the full run-through of a show production; there’s truly something for everyone to love when volunteering. You may even find yourself sitting in the front row for a showcase production if there’s an empty seat or running into an A-list celeb while helping attendees find their seats. Exposure to global photographers and media opens doors to work in the future, especially if you are an aspiring content creator or influencer. 


 VIP Access | Aeliana Honore

Cons: Transportation, lodging, and meals are on your own. It’s important to budget for the duration of your stay, whether you have multiple shifts over multiple days or just in town for one day. Some snacks may be provided on set, but it is not a guarantee. Ensure you are staying hydrated while working your shift. Remember, this is NYFW. You are interacting with pros that have been in the game for years, even decades. Do what you are told, and stay out of anyone’s way. 


So now we know the options. Let’s say you booked a volunteer gig! How are you getting there? What’s the best location to stay? 


Traveling from the DMV to NYC can be a little nerve-racking if you haven’t traveled this route before your booked opportunity. Train, bus, and driving are your best bet. A luxury bus service entitled The Jet is a great and quick way to experience NYFW with elegance and ease from start to finish; commuting between Metro Center in DC and Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Many of the showcases are around the city, from LES to Chelsea and beyond.


 Backstage Fitting Room | Aeliana Honore

How To Maximize Your Experience As a Volunteer: Come ready to network. Bring business cards, and get your name out there. Follow up with the show director the next day post-shift to stay in touch with the team that makes things shake. Many of the production team hosts showcases throughout the year in different cities, so if you yearn to volunteer for a show in LA, Miami, or even internationally; this is how to develop the community of opportunity. 

 Volunteers Connecting | Aeliana Honore

An everyday person can attend NYFW. You simply have to keep your eyes and ears open for volunteer opportunities in late January/early February via social media. Follow us for more!

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