Sneaking into a show is an unofficial rite of passage for most bright-eyed, eager, fashion-obsessed young folks in, or trying to wedge into
, the industry. But it's also taboo, since there's nothing that pisses off the various gatekeepers and crowd-herders guarding entré to the runway more than crashers. Those PR girls in all-black wielding iPads at the door are there for a reason
. But the fact remains: Every single person who works in the industry has snuck into a show at one point early in their careers — and it's those moments that are sometimes the perfect encapsulations of our unadulterated, unabashedly enthusiastic love of fashion.
Runway shows have been the epitome of exclusivity (though that might be gradually shifting
). Getting a ticket for one cubic foot of standing room at a show, pressed way
too intimately up against strangers (not even a seat!) is a whole ordeal, even if you work in the fashion industry. Show access gets political even for the people that are "supposed" to be there for work purposes: Who gets to attend certain shows is definitely not something PR houses, designers, or editors take lightly. And if you're in intern/assistant/entry-level territory, good luck sharing the same air space with your industry idols...without resorting to some rogue tactics. But despite all that (and with a helping of naïveté), sneaking into shows is a thing that most people have done — even those you always imagined to have been born right in the front row.
If you've ever had a catwalk-crashing adventure of your own, know that you're in very good company. Here are eight excellent accounts from industry insiders' salad days of how braving the elements, brazenly lying, and being in the right place at the right time can afford a "holy shit!" moment of seeing the runway IRL.