13 August 2012

How to apply for LFW invitations

(Updated 12th January 2013 - revised for A/W 13)

London Fashion Week is the UK's biggest and most coveted fashion event, where press and industry professionals converge on Somerset House to preview Britain's top designer collections. For fashion bloggers in particular, the semi-annual event is a wonderland, as proven by the 900 bloggers who applied for accreditation at S/S 13. But the truth of the matter is that designers cannot accommodate 900 bloggers at their shows. So here are a few steps to securing those coveted catwalk show invites.

London Fashion Week invitations

Find out which dates you are available. LFW runs for five days from Friday to Tuesday, so make sure you check the show schedule to see which shows you can attend. There are also shows and presentations at off-schedule events, such as Fashion Scout, which are easier to apply for.

Registering with London Fashion Week for a blogger pass will not admit you into the shows. A pass only confirms your accreditation and permits you to enter the exhibition areas of Somerset House.

For each designer's page on the LFW and FS websites, find the e-mail address for the press contact - this is who you need to speak with. In your e-mail, clearly request which designer's show or presentation you wish to attend. PR departments are often external to the designer, and a single press contact may serve more than one. Equally make sure that you have spelt the designer's name correctly.

Invites to shows are free, but you need to sell yourself. Explain who you are, include a visible link to your blog, mention relevant statistics - such as last month's hits or unique visitor count - and any praise or awards you have received as a blogger.

Be clear on how many invites you want. It is often best to ask for just the one, but some designers will accommodate an extra invite for a "colleague". Also remember to provide a postal address to which all physical invites will be delivered.

And finally, apply for as many shows and presentations as you can attend. You will receive rejections, and some designers may not even get back to you, but the more shows you apply for, the more invites you are likely to receive.

(I am not a London Fashion Week expert, I am just happy to help out another blogger. But if you require any more advice or clarification, you can tweet me: @unlimitedbyjk.)

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