How I Travel to NYFW for Free (& Make Money!)
Two times a year, New York Fashion Week happens. It's a big week for those involved in fashion and beauty. Big week given there's a lot of opportunity to meet brands, PR contacts, highly esteemed influencers, and some amazing designs from the biggest designers in the game. To me, this is a work trip. I do not go simply for the shows. I go to work with brands, make connections and build my business. At this point, if you're spending thousands of dollars to go to NYFW, you may not be doing it right (as a blogger) and that's why I'm here to help! Many of you have asked if I find it beneficial to attend but then also how I afford it every season. Let's dive in!
This is the most expensive piece of going to New York City during high scale events, as rooms can be upwards of $500 per night. This is atrocious and definitely not going to work for your wallet. My recommendation is to have done a few hotel reviews previously on your blog, and have a loyal engaged audience. Showing past examples of hotel reviews is going to make it more likely that a hotel in New York wants to work with you. If this is the case, you will be able to get a hotel room comped OR at the very least, receive a press discounted rate. This usually takes rooms down from $500+ a night to something more reasonable in the $100-$200 a night range. Getting the hotel comped is typically what I go for, and this makes the trip significantly more affordable.
As a blogger, you should definitely know about how to do a hotel review. This is one of my favorite reviews because it was such an incredible trip, and the hospitality at that property was unlike anything we'd ever experienced. Make sure to agree on fair terms and explain to the property that you are valuable. Give them a monetary value, so you don't have to overwork yourself. Every business will take advantage of your work if you don't price your content. Typically I offer the following coverage for a 4-5 day stay:
1 blog post highlighting stay at hotel
3 Instagram posts tagging the hotel + mentioning hotel in my caption
2 Instagram story mentions tagging hotel per day
4 tweets mentioning the hotel
1 Facebook post tagging hotel
1 Pin mentioning hotel
This is definitely much more tricky (in my opinion) than a comped hotel. For me, I figured out (when I first starting traveling) that you want to pick one airline and basically stick to it. This is the best way to keep building points. Add in a credit card, and you're golden. Especially with the amount I travel. Nowadays, between my trips (which obviously early miles) and my purchases, I have acquired a lot of miles through American. This is fabulous because it means we can get to most places inside the US and Europe, with just our points. That is so exciting! If you're able to get a credit card and dedicate yourself to one airline, you will be rewarded with a status + guaranteed seats. Bottom line is sticking to the same airline and being smart about usage of points.
Some of the lucky bloggers get their flights taken care of by brands they are ambassadors for each year. The brands definitely want them present during their NYFW events to bring more publicity and their audience (via Instagram, etc.) However for the majority, you have to find your own flight. If you save up the miles under one airline, you can find yourself a free flight. It's super easy to build your status up on an airline, especially if you travel quite a bit over time.
When it comes to restaurants and food, you can get much of this covered by attending events, having your hotel provide several meals and also by being hosted in different restaurants. I also review restaurants alongside hotels, so I typically find a few meals that are covered by the property in exchange for the hotel coverage previously negotiated OR I go to a restaurant with Tonya (or another blogger) to do some Insta stories and get the meal taken care of. This is such a great way to take care of some of the food, if not most.
This is an easy solution, because I always turn to Lyft. It's actually one of the easiest ways to get around, if you're not into the idea of getting into the underground. Since Arizona has a terrible public transportation system (none really if we're being honest) I am not the most comfortable navigating my way underground. I will get there with a few more trips to New York City, but that's a work in progress. Lyft is my favorite way to get around!
Now that we've got the bases covered, the biggest piece is actually making money during NYFW. This is so important, so you absolutely need to plan brand meetings. Not to mention several brands have campaigns going on during NYFW because they want to partake in the madness of fashion week. Some of the products make a lot of sense in the fashion week environment (skincare, beauty, fashion) so if you're accepted or offered a campaign opportunity, this is the best way to begin making money. Even if you do not get any campaigns, if you are able to meet with brands you can establish some relationships and then discuss opportunities when you meet with the brand contact in person. Such a win win, and it helps make your relationship that much stronger.