PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
10 Tips for Participating in a Successful Runway Show
If you create wearable art the spectacle of a fashion runway show is a great way to gain greater exposure and increase sales for your work. The tips below will help you have a successful show whether you’re presenting at a local event or the international extravaganza that is NY Fashion Week and any show in between.
1.Know how to share the spotlight:
Fashion designers are the headliners at runway events with jewelry, shoe and accessory artisans playing a critical supporting role in putting a show together. You have to be willing to share the spotlight and be open to others’ opinions of how to best show your work with the clothes.
2. Be an excellent collaborator:
It takes a huge team to put on a successful show. The amount of combined talent from designers, models, hair and make-up artists, lighting and sound crews, and event staff is astronomical. Collaborating with everyone involved will ensure that your work is presented and then documented by the media in the best way possible.
3.Work with models who love your collection:
Models are not required to love your work, but if they do the joy they feel wearing it will come through on the runway because their sashay will have that extra magical oomph.
NY Fashion Week: Jewelry by Michelle Pajak-Reynolds, gown by Britini Brocker, BBG Couture
4. Have everything ready to go the night before the show:
Backstage is an intense and incredibly tiny space. With hundreds of models, dozens of designers and assistants and rolling racks of clothes there is no room or time for organizing jewelry or accessorizes or steaming and pressing garments moments before they go down runway. Have everything steamed, pressed, and accessorized the night before and include a photo of the models assigned to your each of your looks so they can quickly find their outfit and be ready to walk the runway within seconds.
5. Be prepared for anything:
Zippers break, seams split, and models run late or don’t show. You may have to switch models and get them through hair and make-up and dressed at record speed, hence those broken zippers and strained seams. Be sure to have an emergency kit full of safety pins, double sided tape, needle and thread, lint rollers, extra hairpins, and extra shoes. Simple nude and black heels will look beautiful with just about every outfit.
6. Stay cool under pressure:
Backstage is full of big emotions and big egos. You want to be remembered for creating a great collection not for producing the world’s greatest hissy fit. If something doesn’t go exactly according to plan, just roll with by channeling your best Tim Gunn and “make it work.”
7. Take care of your body:
Producing a fashion show is a test of your creativity and endurance. You will work harder and be running around for extended hours. Ladies, you’ll probably be doing this dressed up and in a ridiculously cute pair of heels so you’re always ready for that media photo op. Keep hydrated, have healthy and non-staining snacks on hand, lay off the junk food and alcohol and take extra good care of your feet before and after the show.
8. Make it easy for the media:
If you’re showing at a huge event with lots of designers you’ll have a few minutes to meet with the media following your show. You’ve got to communicate the concept and inspiration for your collection quickly. This is not the time for a 30 second elevator pitch let alone a beautifully crafted 500 words artist statement. You’ve got about 10 seconds to state what your work is about and where it can be found, which should be your website. You built your site for a reason right?
Britini Brocker, BBG Couture and Michelle Pajak-Reynolds NY Fashion Week red carpet interview
9. Keep business cards on you at all times:
Be able to provide your business cards to everyone who asks and be sure to exchange cards with all of the media personalities, crew and models at the event. The runway show world is all about networking and you want to build connections and relationships that can lead to more shows and greater media exposure for you work.
10. Celebrate responsibly:
Nothing is sadder than seeing someone sabotage their own career by over-indulging on alcohol at a professional event. A lot of business is conducted at after parties and guests will certainly notice if you’re slurring your speech or start getting wobbly on your feet. Alcohol hits your system a lot quicker if your stomach is empty so remember to eat something either before or during you’re enjoyment of that celebratory cocktail.
Thanks for reading,
June 4-6, 2012 Best Business Practices for Craft Artists, Touchstone Center for Craft
June 17-25, 2012 From Hobby to Small Business: Essential Tools to Make You Successful, Art Paradise in Portugal
Congratulations on MBFW!!! You're abslutely right, friending and following all of the key players is essential to maintaining relationships and creating opportunities for more successful shows.
Thank you Michelle. It was a really exciting show to be involved in.
You're very welcome. Be sure to post pictures from the show so we can all celebrate your awesomeness :)