How to take part in Fashion Week
3 Aug 2023
Fashion Week presents a huge opportunity for your brand to be part of a much bigger moment, get the attention of industry insiders and connect to a fashion forward audience. There are several avenues to explore, depending on your budget, brand and business size. We’ve picked our favourite success stories to spark ideas, from shows, showcases and shops.
If you’re looking to make a big impact: it’s the catwalk. If possible, choose a space that relates to the story of your collection, whether that’s design or architecture, location or history. Think how the aesthetics will translate online; feed the audience readymade content through the visual and verbal curation. Unveiling a space that hasn’t been seen before will give guests another reason to shout about your event. And obviously make sure it’s big enough to accommodate a full fit-out, an army of models, backstage teams and guests.
Rejina Pyo, London, 2022
Rejina Pyo made waves, quite literally, by choosing an out-of-the box location - the London Aquatics Centre. Models walked around the waters edge, as well as dived off its incredibly high diving boards. The location itself has a cool design history, initially designed by Zaha Hadid for the 2012 London Olympics, its minimalist look and incredible symmetry meant that editors, influencers and onlookers made the show viral well before it appeared in print in publications such as VOGUE, HTSI, The Evening Standard, i-D to name but a few.
A really effective way to display a new collection is through a one-off presentation. If going down this route, make sure your venue is central and easy to access, as a high calibre of attendees is key. The space should be easily adaptable (blank walls are best) and lend itself well to your event, including excellent acoustics and good visibility for a big audience. Street-level or sky-high, the important thing is to make an impact.
Ancuta Sarca, London, 2023
Romanian-born, London-based Footwear and accessories designer Ancuta Sarca presented her Fall/Winter 2023 collection as part of the London Fashion Week’s NEWGEN schedule at the Old Selfridges Hotel. Sarca decorated the space with driftwood and metal railings, keeping the presnetation set simple - but effective. Presenting to a select audience of fashion editors, Sarca's deisgns were worn by models dressed in futuristic AI inspired looks, repurposed denim (a collaboration with LEE) and of course her sustainable footwear made of deadtsock fabric which always has a sporty edge.
If you want the clothes to steal the show, the design of your space should be kept minimal and the location should be easily accessible to ensure you get the right people to come. One trick is choosing a location en route to the main show venues. Inside, a white boxed space works well to ensure setting up and packing down is as easy as can be. If budgets are tight, why not join forces with a complementary brand?
WANT Les Essentials, Paris, 2019
This beautiful space was chosen to present the WANT Les Essentials SS20 collection of bags and shoes to retail buyers during Men's Fashion Week. The team needed to attract a discerning crowd to preview the collection, so settled on Le Marais as the trendiest part of Paris, a stone's throw away from La Rue des Environs, Rue de Bretagne.
Consider this your ‘universe’ that encapsulates everything about your brand. Now’s your chance to invest in the experience so you can offer guests something to remember. Your design and customer service has to be stellar. It’s not only about the public as potential buyers will also be on the lookout –use the inspiration behind your collection as a springboard for the design of your store.
Daniel Fletcher, London, 2016
Marking Daniel Fletcher’s first-ever pop-up, architect Farshid Mousssavi helped the designer’s vision come to life. The two levels presented his AW16 show in the form of an Anti-Brexit protest. The top floor had stripes running over walls whilst below acted as a subculture exhibition space shining in neon.
The Runway to Store
Here you can recreate your show experience in a shoppable space for consumers. When it comes to location, think popular retail streets over a destination venue. This guarantees more visitors and attention from those ready to shop. Don’t be afraid to repurpose key elements from your show; you’re getting the public involved by offering them a version of the industry event.
11 Honoré, New York, 2019
Coinciding with their first New York Fashion Week show, plus-size brand 11 Honoré showcased the best looks straight off the catwalk for a public event. Partnered with the physical display, they also released scannable Shopify QR codes so guests could simply tap to buy their favourite runway looks online. Hitting headlines across the board, their pop-up featured top designers, including Zac Posen, Altuzarra, Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung.
New York:September 5-13
Paris:September 23 -October 1