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How to See New York Fashion Week Like a VIP


The style world is gearing up for New York Fashion Week, when America’s best designers show off the next season’s looks. Attracting as much star power and exclusivity as the Met Gala, NYFW has become famously off-limits for the general public. Read on for tips to gain VIP access to New York Fashion Week.



American Express cardholders will have access to a private members lounge throughout NYFW, giving them backstage passes to runway shows at the lounge’s Milk Studios location. Cardholders will also get access to the debut of the Zac Posen Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. Seated among the press and fashion insiders, they will be the first to view the new designs at one of the season’s most anticipated shows.



Most shows that are open to the public are, in the words of top stylist Susan Joy, “not the ones fashion editors care about.” Meaning, they’re neither newsy nor influential...yet. “You never know,” Joy says. “Maybe those unknowns become someone, and you can say you were at their first show!” While NYFW has historically been invite-only for those who are in the “industry,” more opportunities are being offered to the public. Free shows—RSVP required—this September include Your Smile is Your Best Fashion Accessory on September 7 at The Shops at Columbus Circle. The show will have beauty tips from InStyle Magazine’s Tai Beauchamp, a photo booth and exclusive swag bags for the first 300 attendees to pre-register.



As for where to see celebrities, Joy recommends the charity show, which is open to the public but can draw a high-profile crowd. This year’s is on the 8th at 7pm, at The DL Rooftop in the Lower East Side Reserve VIP tickets for front-of-the-line admission. 



Some designers give their top customers tickets to their shows, says Joy. If you’re a loyal shopper, and you’re considering a big-ticket purchase, now’s the time to do it. Here’s where to shop:

Tom Ford: 845 Madison Ave., 212-359-0300

Lacoste: 575 Madison Ave., 212-750-8115

Phillip Lim: 48 Great Jones St., 212-334-1160

Oscar de la Renta: 772 Madison Ave., 212-288-5810

Rag & Bone: 119 Mercer St., 212-219-2204

Alice + Olivia: 98 Greene St., 646-790-8030



Changes are coming to New York Fashion Week. Journalists are overwhelmed by the massive number of events, and consumers are frustrated that most runway shows are impossible to see. And everyone is annoyed that the shows display clothes that won’t be available until next season. Earlier in the year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America hired the Boston Consulting Group to “create an in-depth analysis and roadmap for the future of fashion shows,” said Steven Kolm, President and Ceo of the CFDA. With the results concluding that a shift to consumer shows is the way of the future, many expect the new few seasons to bring changes that open more shows to excited fashion enthusiasts.