Most people associate New York Fashion Week with its portrayal in movies like The Devil Wears Prada. Exclusive events. Invite-only guest lists. Front-row drama. While that may not be that far from the truth, things are about to change.
WWD reports that IMG, one of NYFW's major sponsors, will be introducing a brand-new program called NYFW: The Experience, which will let loyal customers and corporate clients in on the whole Fashion Week circus.
"Fashion shows are the ultimate mega-marketing event, and historically the consumer has been outside the door," Mark Shapiro, co-president of IMG, told WWD. "To be able to get a front-row seat to the action is such a unique experience."
Shapiro explained that high-end clients will get a more glamorous view of the Fashion Week experience, having access to a catered hospitality suite, exclusive front-row access, and face time with designers and models. It's all designed to give fashion die-hards a way to experience the shows for themselves, not just through their social-media channels.
"We've had incredible demand from brands, designers and people who recognize that NYFW and global fashion weeks are changing and evolving," Shapiro added. "Everyone is wondering what goes into creating fashion week? What is it actually like to be behind the curtain?"
Not every designer will be participating, however. Because NYFW: The Experience is being made possible by IMG, only parts of the schedule — which just got shortened by one day — will be accessible to participants.
It's all part of a wider strategy to make Fashion Week more inclusive. Many designers are already live-streaming their shows for the entire world and using social media to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the shows. The new program seems to be aimed at creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience and less about making NYFW more accessible to everyone, though the high-end clients are sure to rack up the Likes with those front-row seats.
Read These Stories Next: