Fashion Week in New York City is an invitation-only, VIP and fashion-insider event, but if you’re in the right place at the right time, you can score some major swag. And if you dare, you might even make it into the tents.
SheKnows offers five ways to enjoy Fashion Week for free.
Win a trip to Fashion Week
Each year the fashion website Racked.com offers readers a chance to win a fab trip to Fashion Week. The prize package includes round-trip airfare, luxury hotel accommodations, a designer shopping spree and most important, coveted tickets to Fashion Week events. Hollywoodlife.com also offers a glam makeover and tickets to the star-studded Style Awards on the eve of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. Be on the lookout for more Fashion Week contests.
Crash the party
You didn’t hear this from us. (Well, actually you did.) But it’s not that difficult to crash the tents (the nickname derived from the structure that housed Fashion Week when it was at Bryant Park and where attendees see shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week). While you have to be invited to actually attend a designer’s show or presentation, just making it inside is an experience unto itself. To crash with confidence, familiarize yourself with the Fashion Week schedule and show up with a particular show in mind.
For example, if Rebecca Minkoff’s show is at 2 p.m., arrive around 1:30 p.m. wearing your fashion editrix best (stylish but not too flashy), sashay up the steps and without a tremble in your voice tell security you’re on the list for that show. Most guests will flash fancy embossed invitations or email printouts, but there is also a line inside where invited guests can check in. Once you’re in, you can watch the runway shows on large video monitors as they happen, sip on free water and coffee drinks (sometimes there’s a wine sponsor, too) and stock up on free magazines. Who knows? You might even spot a famous designer, top model or celebrity!
Soak up the scenery
You won’t be short on reading material while you soak up the haute couture and street-fashion style outside Lincoln Center (West 62nd Street to West 65th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues), since free Daily Front Row and Women’s Wear Daily magazines are passed out every day. Milk Studios (450 W. 15th St. between Ninth and Tenth avenues), the Highline Hotel (180 10th Ave. at 20th Street) and the Standard Hotel (848 Washington St. near 13th Street) in the Meatpacking District are also hot spots to see and be seen. And if you dress the fashionista part, get ready for your closeup with a fashion paparazzo.
Score beauty swag
Hang out near Lincoln Center or Milk Studios to snag beauty and makeup samples from Maybelline, Revlon, Tresemme and other top brands.
Watch a free live stream
Even if you aren’t in New York City during Fashion Week, you won’t miss a beat thanks to plenty of free streaming opportunities. In addition to the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week location at Lincoln Center, Fashion Week shows take place at several venues across New York City, most notably the hip MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios in the Meatpacking District. While lounging in your designer jammies, watch live streams at NewYorkFashionWeekLive.com.