First things first, you need to figure out what days you'll be in town (or if you live in the fashion week city of your choice, when you'll be able to attend). For instance, I live in NYC. So you would think that I would be able to go to any show. Not so. I work full time and the last few seasons the shows have been nowhere near my office. So I'll typically keep my evenings and weekends free during NYFW...because you never know what last minute invite to a show, presentation, or event will come your way.
Be realistic! Odds are Chanel will not be reaching out to you, and the likelihood of a front row seat will be slim to none (but it can happen as it has happened to me a number of times...more on that another time). Even if you request a very high profile show you might not get an invite. Be prepared for rejections. It happens to everyone! Try shooting for shows that newer designers are holding. Your chances of getting on their guest lists are a bit higher.
Be sure to check out the the official calendar. This step is so important. This calendar shows the bigger runway shows and presentations. I will always look to see what shows are happening on the dates that I'm free to try to snag a ticket. Three things to note: 1) These are not all the shows that happen. There are so many more (typically smaller) shows! 2) Events are not captured on this calendar. 3) This list is always being updated...so keep checking back!
When you decide which shows are of interest it's time to send out an email to their PR Contact. How do you find out the email addresses? It's typically quite simple. Go check out the designer's website and click on their contact link. You'll find the PR Contact there. You'll want to keep the email short and sweet. Explain who you are, how you'll cover the collection, and be sure to include your media kit. You'll want to email them a month or so ahead of time (I always email as soon as I see shows on the calendar). About a week and a half before the shows I always follow up with anyone that I haven't heard back from. You never know what availability will open up.
Another way to get invited to shows and events is through GPS Radar. I have the app on my phone and use it all the time. A few of my friends have tried to sign up with them during fashion week and had little luck. You might want to download the app now to get a step ahead.
Lastly you'll want to keep an eye on your spam folder. I have lost out to a number of invites because I didn't look in my spam folder. Trust me, you don't want to miss out!
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions. And if any of my readers are planning on attending NYFW be sure to let me know. It's always a great opportunity to meet up with readers and other bloggers. See ya in September!