7 tips for when your client says, 'Let's do Fashion Week'

It's less than a month until New York Fashion Week begins. Here are seven tips for getting the most out of the series of events.

(Image via the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website).
(Image via the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website).

New York Fashion Week is nearly upon us. While John Doe is not a fashion agency per se, we do create a lot of fashion-related content and activations for our brands - including Beats by Dre, General Motors, Absolut, and Equinox – particularly in New York and London.

It’s always interesting when the world's creative focus descends on a single city. It produces a perfect storm of not just fashion but art, music, culture, and more. Every year, for better or worse, we see brands try to join the feeding frenzy. Below are my seven tips and watch-outs for when your client says, "Let’s do Fashion Week."

Remember the real reason Fashion Week exists. It is the time for buyers and media to see clothes for the upcoming season. Don’t interfere with this. Designers may want your money for their shows, but you are irrelevant to the show unless you influence the production or the collection. 

Fashion journalists don’t really care about anything apart from the actual fashion. Don’t expect that just because you drive them somewhere, fill a show goody-bag, or put your logo everywhere that this has any impact. Work to create actual stories and relevant moments that demand attention and generate coverage.  

Before aligning with a designer, event, etc., think about your brand identity. Where do you stand now? Where do you want to be? Make sure that any potential partner is capable of moving you forward on that journey. Partnering up with the hottest "of the moment" designer may not be the best fit for your brand. 

Just because a designer has a big reputation does not mean he or she has big infrastructure. Many designers operate on shoestring budgets with skeleton teams. 

Don’t let fashion agencies or production companies tell you something has to be done in a particular way because "that’s how it is." Fashion is new and innovative, but many of the teams that work behind designers are not. Fashion has a very traditional cycle and in order to make an impact, you need to disrupt that cycle.

When creating a campaign, consider media saturation. Plan pre, during, and post Fashion Week in order to hit news cycles with less noise and when media can focus. 

Fashion Week can be cluttered, busy, and over-saturated. If your brand wants to integrate itself in the fashion community in a meaningful way, considering doing so during a quieter time in the year, when designers and teams are less stressed and you are not one of multiple brands clamoring for attention.

Rana Reeves is founder of John Doe.  

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