The top 10 dos and don’ts for NYFW first timers

On Sunday, September 10 I went to my first ever fashion show!

I am a journalist so typically I stay in my room cranking out papers and articles instead of living it up with the fashion big dogs. So when I was invited to the Vivienne Tam Spring/Summer 2018 show, I was STRESSEDDDD.

I did not know what to do, what to look like, what to say, etc. However, I knew this was an amazing opportunity for me and I was NOT going to let my irrational anxiety get in the way of having a good ass time at this show. I put on my big girl boots, went out, and had myself a grand ol’ ball.

At the end of the show, I brought home some new knowledge on what to do and what NOT to do at a fashion show that I want to share with all of you NYFW first timers!

So here we go!

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DON’T: Be late

There was a very charming southern woman (who was also from Georgia, like myself!) and her daughter that sat next to me at the Vivienne Tam fashion show. They were super relieved that they actually made it because the show was a minute away from starting! They had lost their seats because of their untimeliness and had to squish in between me and this other lady who did NOT appreciate the situation at all. It was not a big deal, but she had mentioned if they came a few minutes later, they wouldn’t have been let in.

DO: Be on time!

I arrived 20 minutes before the show’s starting time and it was great to arrive when I did because I got to network and meet a bunch of amazing people like writers from prominent magazines, art gallery owners, fashion/ jewelry designers, etc. Also, I had secured my spot in the show which is great because no one ended up stealing my seat and I had a chance to comfortably take in the ambiance of the show.

DON’T: Steal someone else’s seat!

One of the most uncomfortable interactions is sitting in someone else’s seat and having to deal with that person later on. Why put yourself through those awkward stares and long pauses? Find somebody who works at the venue, and they will help guide you to your correct seat. You do not want to be the person who sits on the stairs because you didn’t ask for help or worse, the reason why the show did not start (because you caused a big commotion with the REAL owner of that seat).


DO: Have a form of contact information

We live in a modern day era where EVERYTHING is at our fingertips, so why not our contact info? Gone are the days where you would need to go to Staples or Kinko’s, print out 100 business cards, and take them with you everywhere. Before you go anywhere, make sure you update and add all of your personal, professional, and social media info on your contact page that is on your phone. You can easily share your contact card via text or email now. Or, if you want to make it more professional, there are business card apps on the app store like KaiCards and Impress: Printed Business Card. You’ll never know who you will meet so be your own boss lady and go network.

DON’T: Be shy

I walked into the Vivienne Tam fashion show and I did not know a single soul there. But by the end of the show, I made three new acquaintances who are super interesting and now I can use them for future references. One of them just grabbed me and we started chatting up a storm and found out we had a lot in common! The worst thing to do at a fashion show is to act shy and not speak to anybody because you will possibly miss out on a chance to meet so many eclectic people. You are there for the same reason everybody else is there, to see a fabulous designer. If you did not belong there, you wouldn’t have been there so grab your gusto and chat away.

DO: Be kind

You would not believe how many times my southern charm and kindness got me ahead in life. The woman who came late with her daughter was actually a prominent art gallery owner and she invited me to her next art gallery opening because we had a delightful conversation (plus she was very appreciative that I wasn’t upset about her squeezing next to me) whereas the other woman was being rude to her because she did not appreciate the tight squeeze. Kindness goes a long way in life, and it just might give you a amazing fashion connection in the end.


DO: Take lots of pictures and videos (if permitted)

This is a fashion show! When I went to the Vivienne Tam show, I made sure to take as many photos of the models as I could. This is an amazing experience, it is not everyday you get to go to a fashion show amiright? Also, it is a great way to keep memories, take notes, and look back on the killer styles you witnessed.


Now I am not going to sit here and lie to you all and say I am a fashion connoisseur. I know enough stuff to get me by on a day to day basis but these fashion shows are the big leagues. The upper echelons. These are not little kiddie games. So you might want to brush up on your fashion knowledge a bit before you go to fashion shows. It is a great way to carry a conversation with people in the fashion world if you can speak their language. ALSO KNOW THE DESIGNER OF THE SHOW YOU ARE ATTENDING. I cannot stress this enough!!! It is such a faux pas to not be able to answer “What do you love most about this designer?” or “which season was your favorite collection?”

DON’T: Stress about your style

You would not believe the amount of times I changed before I had to leave for the show. I did not want people to think I was trying to hard but I also did not want to look like I was not trying hard enough. I ended up creating the cutest outfit ever but I was so anxious because I did not know what to expect. When I arrived, the anxiety melted away immediately because everybody had their own style going on. Some looked like they were going out to the local mall while others looked like they were supposed to be on the catwalk themselves. It all depends on your style and who you are, so do not stress about what you are “supposed” to wear during fashion week. Just do you and wear that confidence proudly.

DO: Have fun

I had a BLAST at the Vivienne Tam Fashion show! The music was bumpin, the styles were poppin, the people at the show were gorgeous, and at the end a cute little mascot came out and danced with Vivienne Tam. Fashion shows are meant to showcase art and creativity, and what is art and creativity without a little fun? Live in the moment, take the show in, and have fun with it! You will have a amazing story and a amazing memory to re-live forever.

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