Fashion week is an exhausting time for everyone connected to the industry: you’ve got to attend dozens of events and runway shows on top of your regular work. But editors, buyers, stylists and bloggers arguably have it easy when compared to those who work in public relations and event production. While we’re sitting out in the audience watching the models walk in the latest fashionz, and drinking Champagne at those fancy parties, they’re making sure it’s all going according to plan.
The first hurdle is dealing with bogus ticket requests. Aliza Licht, svp of global communications at Donna Karan International, has taken to her DKNY PR Girl Tumblr page with the hashtag #showrequests to document some of the most notable doozies. One from this season read:
Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
I’m fashion editor for the magazineX and I’m attending New York Fashion Week next week. I would really love to attend the Anna Sui show. Is it possible to accommodate a ticket? Please let me know.
Best, Jane Doe.
Licht responded in the best way she knows. “Dear @AnnaSui, FYI, I’m your new PR girl,” the publicist joked over Twitter, linking to her Tumblr post.
While a global brand like DKNY is sure to get more ill-fated requests than most, PRs across the board are forced to deal with similar emails. And just wait until the day of the show. “At one of our morning shows, a severely drunk person tried to check in and when we asked her what her name was she just said ‘press, I’m press,’” said one PR. “She then proceeded to sway herself away to find a garbage can to puke in.”
Then there are the regular crashers. “There’s this one person, who we blacklisted from all our shows two seasons ago, that still tries to come to them all and threatens to tweet and social media negative messages about our company,” a PR told me. “He’s a major seat stealer that will take any front row seat that is available and when asked to move, he refuses.”
Some, however, said this season was better than most when it came to seat crashing. “The security teams and venue managers at MADE and at Lincoln Center are amazing,” another PR told me. “They are there to support the PR team and designers so that we can put on the most polite show possible.”
But that doesn’t mean the people who are actually assigned seats don’t complain. “Just because you have an internet address does not mean you need to strike up an attitude about your seat,” he said. “If you can prove to the PR team that your message translates to sales for a client, only then will you be considered for a second, maybe first row seat. Until then, sit back and enjoy the parade of clothes before you, because with that comes knowledge and references, not just street style.”
And there you have it. Pure proof that being in public relations is basically the worst thing ever during fashion week. But like all of us, they do it for a reason. And that reason is what happens when the runway music starts, not before.