How To Organize A Fashion Show To Make D-Day A Triumph

 Hey Fashion designers,

September is approaching, fashion week is coming soon. As we are rolling into the new season, I’m preparing invitations for my clients’ fashion event. It’s the opportunity for me to remind you of some ground rules on how to organize a fashion show and make the best out of your events. So if you’re a fashion newbie, no worries at all. I’ve got you covered!

1 – Remember why you run a fashion show

Last week we’ve established how to decide whether you will participate to a fashion show or not.

Let’s not get lost and remember what fashion events are for. We’ve already established in a previous post that you don’t do a fashion show to satisfy your ego. Doing a fashion show is not an end in itself.

The main objective is to boost the visibility (and potentially the sales) of your brand by:

  • Landing press especially from media watched and read by your target audience
  • Getting shares from influencers and social media accounts that serve your target audience
  • Therefore getting beautiful eye-catching photo and video content that is in line with the spirit of your collection

These three objectives will strongly influence how you organize a fashion show. All the work you focus on before the fashion event should be oriented to serve those three objectives.

2 – Organize your fashion show early enough

Preparation and organization are the keywords of a successful fashion event.

You need to prepare documents to be sent beforehand to your partners (stylists, hair and make up artists, sound and lights, photographers, videographers) in order for them to prepare their work on site and make the results as stunning as the concept you have in mind.

Organize fittings with the models you pick in advance. If relevant, get the measurements and the shoe sizes of the models who will walk on the runway. If your fashion show producer offers that kind of solution, make sure to have shoes in their size. Otherwise you’ll need to plan something yourself in advance. I remember one fashion show where I had to urgently find a pair of black heels for a model who wore size 8.5, 15 minutes before the show. We looked everywhere in the dressing room but we couldn’t find anything for her. But fortunately we found one single pair of black heels on the event partner’s wall.

3 – Thoroughly prepare the looks you will present on the runway and share them with your partners in advance

Pair the looks that you will put together during the show. Make photos to keep track of what you have in mind.

Then share this as a file together with the vision you have in mind with all the people who will work with you on site on D-Day of the fashion show (Hair and Make up artists, stylist, photographer, videographer, DJ, maybe also the Light engineer, the choreographer) so that they can prepare one week in advance.

4 – Send reminders to your guest list

Either you have a PR expert work on your guest list, which is a great option if you can afford the budget or you don’t have the budget so you need to find the contacts yourself and reach out to the people (especially people from the press that communicates towards your target audience, buyers who sell to your target audience, celebrities, personalities).

Once you have the list of guests who RSVPed, make sure to remind your guests one week, one day and one hour before the event.

5 – Prepare all that you will need on site

When you organize a fashion show, preparation is the keyword.

  • A presentation of the theme of your collection that you will share with the guests on site.
  • A presentation and a sketch with the kind of make up and hair you want to have during the presentation. Email it beforehand to the make up and hair artists who will work on it with you on site.
  • A contact list with the phone number and email address of all the key people for the show
  • A sewing kit and a box of needles. Very important! With all the hectic during the last fittings, buttons tend to get loose. I remember I spent my entire pause during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin sewing buttons and closing darts before the fashion show.
  • Double sided tape to fix a potentially unflattering cleavage
  • A travel steamer. If you’re attending a fashion show organized by a serious producer, you should have steamers on site but you can never be too careful…

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