Snapchat and Uber: How outsiders are getting into NYFW events

Sorry, fashion snobs. This year, New York Fashion Week is more accessible than ever to normals.

Designers like Givenchy, Rag & Bone and Alexander Wang are taking a more open-door approach to their fashion shows this season by welcoming in civilians, and they’re using tools like Snapchat and Uber to get them there.

Last night, fashion fans could open their Uber apps to attend Rag & Bone’s New York Fashion Week show at a “secret” Brooklyn venue. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., a “Runway” option appeared in Uber’s car-hailing menu, which — if available — would send a car to take you and a guest to the show. No statistics yet on how many cars were actually around to tote people to Rag & Bone, but if past Uber services are any indication, supplies were likely very limited.

The edgy London brand isn’t the only one taking a hands-on approach to this fashion week; inclusivity reached all the way to haute couture.


French design house Givenchy, led by creative director Riccardo Tisci, showed its collection in New York rather than the upcoming Paris Fashion Week for the first time to celebrate the opening of its Manhattan flagship store. The show, held on Sept. 11, drew a stream of celebrity A-listers that included Nicki Minaj and every Kardashian. Also in attendance were 820 regular people who managed to score tickets through Givenchy’s first online ticket lottery.

Of the decision to open the show to the public, Tisci said to Women’s Wear Daily: “You know, fashion is amazing and very exclusive. But [I’ve long thought] one day I would love to do a show where anybody — which is the reality — could be a part of it.”

To manage the flood of ticket applications, which opened on Sept. 2 at 10 a.m., the Givenchy team built a website,, for the giveaway. The first 410 people to apply were sent tickets in the mail to attend with a guest — according to the site today, the response was “overwhelming.” On Instagram, those who submitted applications used the show’s hashtag, #GRTNYC17, as a call for attention. The tag now has over 5,000 posts.

Alexander Wang opted to use Snapchat video to invite followers into his store for a fashion week event.

A new Alexander Wang Snapchat account was created, and after teasing hints to follow the account on Instagram, an invitation appeared in a Snapchat video, inviting guests to present a screenshot at the door to win a package in collaboration with Do Something. The first 10 to show the snap got the goods, and before the event, the line outside stretched down the block early.

Alexander Wang on Snapchat.

The Alexander Wang event itself was crowdsourced by social media: An Instagram campaign anchored by the hashtag #wang10 pulled in requests from longtime fans for a capsule collection made up of design favorites from Wang’s last 10 years as a designer. The looks premiered at the event.

Wang’s no stranger to the social media circuit: According to data from social media analysis firm Stackla, Wang was the most talked about designer on social platforms during fashion week in 2014.

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