Though many editors, writers, buyers, and bloggers attend Paris fashion week on an extremely tight budget involving the Paris Metro, Airbnb, and multiple trips to Monoprix for groceries, fashion's elite--we're talking the very top of the masthead here--still spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to cover the shows.
While it's impossible to pin down how much each and every top editor at each and every magazine spends we've put together a handy expense report detailing what the average editor at a major magazine submits at the end of these packed nine days. We culled these numbers from the hotels, restaurants, and service providers, then double-checked our tallies with people who have actually taken/organized these trips. (We heard from a very reliable source, for instance, that the cost for one top editor at a big glossy to attend London, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks reached near $50,000).
Flight Most editors, even many fashion directors, fly coach. But we're talking about the upper echelon here, meaning creative directors and editors-in-chief on the magazine side, fashion directors and CEOs on the buying side. That group most definitely flies business or first class. And while many of the major publishing houses have "deals" with certain airlines, those discounts are minimal. Average cost per editor: $6,000 for business class
Hotel Most editors arrive on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning and stay until Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning of the next week. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say eight nights instead of the potential 10. Every editor has her favorite place to stay, and those places vary wildly, but some of the most popular include Le Meurice, Hôtel de Crillon, Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Westin, Hôtel Costes and Hôtel Le Bristol. The Ritz is currently closed for renovation, so that's out of the question. Again, we've factored in the slight discount some publishing houses have worked out with these hotels. As well as incidentals, such as room service, internet, mini bar raids, etc. Average cost per editor: $9,000 for one room, eight nights
Transportation Usually, the magazines will book one car for every three editors. The editor-in-chief will occasionally have her own car. Some editors certainly receive media rates and car services provide a discount for such lengthy trips. Average cost per editor: $1,200 for eight days. (It's $3,600 total, so we're assuming three editors are using one car.)
Food and Drink Not every restaurant fashion people go to is expensive. Café de Flore on the Blvd. Saint-Germain isn't particularly pricey. Le Chateaubriand and Davé typically ring up at less than $100 per person. But places like L’Ami Louis and Caviar Kaspia can be more than $200 per person with wine. And cocktails? Some at Hotel Costes's popular bar are 24 euros each, which is around $30. Ditto Le Meurice, where many editors will have a night cap before retiring to their rooms. Remember that most editors order room service for breakfast, and are taken out by publicists for several meals. However, they also occasionally treat designers and other industry insiders to dinner. Average cost per editor: $2,500 for the week
Phone Before international data plans, it could cost thousands of dollars to check your email. But not it's not too crazy now. If an editor is diligent and has her assistant purchase a plan beforehand, it can be as little as $200 to use your phone overseas. If she's not, or if she has to make a ton of phone calls to the US—which they normally do—it'll be more like $600. Average cost per editor: $400
Beauty If you're at the top of the masthead, you've got to look your best, and that means blow outs. The blow dry bar craze hasn't hit Paris yet so editors have to rely on the fancy salons in their hotels, where a blowout costs between 50 and 100 euros a pop. Factor in four blowouts for the week. Average cost per editor: $400
Baggage Editors pack for Paris fashion week like they're packing for the year. I've personally seen editors wheeling carts piled four or five suitcases high. Gotta look good for those street style photographers, you know? But most airlines start charging after one checked bag. Figure in one or two extra bags per editor at around $100 a bag. Average cost per editor: $150
TOTAL COST PER EDITOR, ON AVERAGE: $19,650
So if one magazine brings over six people, the cost per Paris fashion week season can amount to something like $117,000. Of course this number is relative. As we said before, some magazines are on much tighter budgets than others. But no matter what you're spending, it's going to be a good chunk of cash.