For one month twice a year, the fashion set descends upon the world’s major cities to see the clothing brands have created for the next season.
The outside world often considers it luxurious parties, fashion shows, and over-the-top outfits.
But what actually happens at fashion week?
There are four major fashion weeks worldwide.
Though fashion weeks are happening in most major cities worldwide, there are the “big four” that many people plan their years around.
In order of occurrence, these four cities are New York, London, Milan, and ending out the month in Paris.
Not every brand or designer has a runway show. Many designers have a show every year without missing a beat, while others will take a few years off.
Throwing an event during fashion week is often a pricey option for marketing, so the types of brands that tend to show are either well-established contemporary or luxury brands or emerging designers trying to get their name out there.
There are many different people at fashion week.
Not everyone attends for the same reasons, but the overlying purpose is to see what is coming next season and for attendees to use their chosen mediums to share it with the rest of the world, not in attendance.
The crowds are filled with buyers, magazine editors, influencers, photographers, stylists, and many others in the industry looking to see the upcoming trends.
Who arranges fashion shows, and who gets an invite?
Public relations companies handle most shows. They reach out to all of the invitees and take confirmations, outfits worn by guests, etc.
Many shows are very exclusive and only allow a small, select number of people to attend.
Others are more welcoming and will allow guests’ friends or assistants to join them, depending on the exclusivity and capacity of the event.
Brands will seek out certain influencers and magazines to invite in hopes that they share across their media channels.
What do people wear?
Many guests attend the shows wearing the hosting brand’s current season outfits.
They work directly with the brand or their PR companies to select outfits that they will often receive for a few days and return after they are finished wearing them.
Outfits are carefully chosen to ensure everyone is not wearing the same look and timed so they can receive it back to be cleaned for another person to wear if scheduled.
These looks are essential for another large culture of fashion week – street style photographs.
Photographers take part.
Fashion photographers stop show attendees before and after the show to take photos of their outfits.
Often they know who they want to photograph beforehand and will also capture people wearing cool outfits nearby.
The scene looks like how one would picture the paparazzi.
What events happen during fashion week?
There are a few different types of experiences and events that occur during fashion week.
The main events that brands will put on include shows, presentations, dinners, and parties.
Fashion shows happen at a specific time and generally consist of models walking up and down the runway, with the entire collection coming out together at the end.
Presentations take place for a couple of hours and have models stationary as opposed to walking down a runway, and attendees can come and go as they please to see the outfits.
These allow people to get closer to each design and see the details more clearer than on a runway.
Luxury dinners and parties.
Dinners have brands invite a handful of exclusive guests for a high-end meal in hopes they will share their experience and build a more intimate relationship between the brand and guests.
Parties are exactly like you would expect – a fun gathering put on by a brand.
Often parties include free-flowing drinks and appetizers, live music, and artwork on theme with the brand with the intention of ending the days with a less stressful socializing setting than the rest of the day involves.
Shows are usually not near each other.
Each city is different, but the shows are rarely nearby each other.
This means taxis, Ubers, and private cars are found circling the surrounding areas.
Often different outfits are needed for various shows, so many attendees will hire a private car if they have back-to-back shows with alternate costumes.
This allows them a location to store their clothing and change between shows.
Trends emerge every season that shape what people all over the world will be wearing for the years to come.
Fashion week is a way for a brand to bring people into their world and show what they stand for.
Designers communicate the message they hope to send to the world by the venue choice, music, and all details of the events beyond just the clothing.
It allows lesser-known brands to stand out and well-established brands to reinforce their visions in new creative ways.