Companies are cashing in on NYFW through ticket sales
While brands are seeking new ways to get the consumer involved in their fashion shows and presentations, some companies are making the exclusive events open to the public for a price.
A number of websites are selling tickets to fashion shows at New York Fashion Week as part of a special VIP package. Websites like Millionaire’s Concierge, Total Management, Queen Bee and even Eventbrite offer a VIP experience complete with seating arrangements, luxury limo services, hotel accommodations and access to after parties.
A representative for Total Management spoke to the American media on how they have made this offer possible: “The way we get access is from a lot of brands we’ve worked with. We’ve produced events or done brand partnerships for film, fashion and sports. These contacts have kindly come to us and said, ‘Let us work with you.’ We’re working directly with IMG. When clients have a look at the schedule and let me know two or three designers they’re interested in, I’ll go to my contact at IMG and find out if they have availability. They may say, ‘We can’t do this designer, but we can do that one.’”
Prices range depending on the ticket seller. For example, Total Management charges $950 for tickets to a “regular designer” show and $3,500 for a prominent name like BCBG. Eventbrite, on the other hand, charges $350 for a VIP package and $250 for a Level I package. Both packages offer seating and gift bags. The packages are also sold out on the website.
Selling fashion week invites is not a brand new idea however. Dao-Yi Chow of Public School shared a screenshot of a Craigslist ad offering tickets to the Public School SS15 show. “A message to the dude who tried to sell 2 all access passes to the @publicschoolnyc show on craigslist...you low balled yourself,” the image caption reads.
VIP Concierge, one of the websites offering NYFW tickets, last year offered VIP tickets for the shows in September. This year it is selling a “Zac Posen Exclusive VIP Experience” for $1,750, which includes backstage access and a meet-and-greet with the designer.
Celine Mariton, the VP of Global Communications and Marketing at Zac Posen was confused by the offer. She told the press that the brand offers the experience through American Express only. IMG, which partners with Total Management according to the website, stresses that it does not sell tickets to NYFW: The Shows and that the selling of tickets is prohibited.
The selling of NYFW show tickets comes at a crucial time for fashion shows in general. Several brands are coming up with ideas on how to include the consumer in its shows and boost sales. Companies are trying to capitalize on the increased media attention on the fashion weeks. Givenchy is one of the first major fashion houses that has allowed the public access to its runway show, and in September, Rag & Bone partnered with Uber to give lucky riders access to its runway show. Kanye West this season sold tickets to his Yeezy Season 3 show on February 11 at Madison Square Garden, and much like everything else attached to the Yeezy name, it sold out very quickly.
A number of brands are becoming inclusive of the consumer while others are changing when and how they present their collections to impact sales numbers. Tom Ford announced Friday that he will present his FW16 collection in September closer to when the collection will hit stores, and Burberry will do the same and name the collections 'February' and 'September' to better reflect the international market it sells to.
Nautica adhered to the traditional show schedule this month, but it made a few pieces from its FW16 collection available for purchase immediately after its show at NYFW: Men's. Misha Nonoo is one of the success stories for ditching the traditional show format after she boosted sales immensely by presenting her new collection on Instagram.
CFDA Chairman, Diane von Furstenberg when asked about why the CFDA is changing how collections are presented told the media, “The reason why the CFDA is looking into how Fashion Week can be improved is to protect our industry. At the end of the day, the industry is a business and the point is giving the consumers what they want. The whole thing must become more relevant.”
Consumers are ready to spend on new products, but they can’t wait six months for it. By the time the collections hit stores, shoppers become enamored by the next upcoming collection. The consumer is very much involved now more than ever thanks to social media, and any way to turn the increased consumer involvement and interaction into immediate sales numbers is the right move for the brands. As the old saying goes, “the customer is always right.”
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