The Shady Way People Are Sneaking Into Fashion Week

Photo: Via @refinery29.
Whether it’s sold-out concert tickets, impossible restaurant reservations, or a piece of the latest H&M collaboration, you can buy your way into almost anything these days. Sure, it may cost a pretty penny, but digital marketplaces like StubHub, eBay, and Craigslist have the power to make these exclusive events and limited products instantly attainable. Once only accessible to an extremely small and elite population, Fashion Week tickets are now trading hands this way, too.

Yesterday, Gawker introduced us to an anonymous Fashion Week scalper who’s sold tickets to more than 30 fashion shows through Shout, an app offering tickets to the likes of DVF, Alexander Wang, and Prabal Gurung, at prices ranging from $180 to $1,300 each. Even more baffling, this particular scalper doesn’t even work in fashion. He’s a Wall Street consultant in his late 20s who sells tickets for his industry friends in exchange for access to the shows and parties he wants to attend. And, while he denies taking a commission — he simply returns the money to the original ticket holder — a different scalper interviewed by Gawker claims to have pulled a $2,000 profit from selling invites for the past two seasons. 

The irony here, of course, is that Fashion Week invitations are free. Editors, buyers, and other members of the industry attend these presentations as a requirement of their jobs. (Fashion Week is technically a trade show, after all.) But, even those who want to catch a runway presentation for fun, sans tickets, can do so. Many big-name shows have a separate line for people in the standing section — they only have to wait a bit longer. If you ask us, that's a small price to pay for scoring a ticket legitimately.  
IMG, the organizer of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, strictly forbids selling invitations in its Fashion Week Designer Handbook. We spoke to an employee of a major fashion PR firm who confirmed that it's illegal to sell tickets to NYFW events at Lincoln Center, but these rules can change depending on the venue. Aside from it officially being against the rules, sneaking your way into Fashion Week shows is a huge no-no, and the PR firms handling the event will almost certainly call out anyone who’s not supposed to be there. Yikes. 
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So, rather than shelling out hundreds and risking your reputation (and general public embarrassment) by illegally buying or selling tickets, why not wait in line? Or, for those who don't want to brave the February cold, watch the shows via livestream? That's easy, and you'll probably get a better seat. (Gawker)   
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