London Fashion Week Men’s is one of the most iconic dates in the fashion calendar, bringing global brands together over four days, showcasing new collections in front of the press, influencers, buyers, stylists, designers and fashion lovers across the world.
It’s also the time when we get to see what key trends, colours, textures, prints and styles will be on the shelves next season. For fashion brands and retailers, it’s an essential time of year, especially if you’re planning on attending! London Fashion Week Men’s is celebrating its 5th year anniversary, an exciting milestone for Britain representing the home of menswear.
From heritage fashion to emerging talent in the fashion industry, you can expect it all here at LFWM 2017.
We spoke to Gianni Casagrande, Social Media Team Senior at Visualsoft, who was lucky enough to attend this year’s event on behalf of the company. Naturally, as a savvy social media professional, he’s got a tonne of tips that will ensure you’ve got your social media strategy on point, so we picked his brains to help you get prepared for the next big event in the Fashion calendar…
How do you get to go to/attend Fashion Week?
When I first attended Fashion Week 3 years ago, I literally thought it was only for people who got a special invite or top dogs in the British Fashion Council, but there’s a whole lot more to Fashion Week than a shiny invitation posted through your letterbox.
Many people go to Fashion Week to stand at the venues, taking pictures of celebrities, influencers and press with incredible style for use in their own articles, publications or portfolios. A lot of venues are open to the public, for instance Somerset House, and even the Topman showcase this year had two days open to the public.
If you’re not one of the select few to receive an invite from a brand exhibiting at Fashion Week, PR contact details for each brand are on the Fashion Week website, so a well-written email just might get you a ticket.
I usually wait till around 5 days before the show and if I haven’t had an invite sent to me from one of the brands I want to see, I send them an email as they tend to have plenty of last minute places they need to fill.
What are your ESSENTIALS for Fashion Week?
I definitely have some key essentials whenever I go to shows at Fashion Week. I always make sure I bring my phone, a portable charger, camera, notebook and umbrella. If you work in Social Media like me, you really should be snapping all day long in order to create exciting content suitable for all of your channels, so it’s also worth checking you’ll have enough data to support your constant uploading!
Business Cards are a must have too, Fashion Week is an incredible networking opportunity and there are so many people you want to keep in touch with. If you’re there looking for business, partnerships and to build relationships with brands, it’s imperative to have up to date business cards.
Who will you expect to be there?
Anyone who’s anyone in the fashion world, including press, journalists, buyers, bloggers, influencers, stylists and designers.
70% of Fashion Week is about talking and networking, so be ready to listen and learn. I love building relationships, learning about other people’s careers and most importantly, sharing Instagram handles and email addresses with people in the know.
Needless to say, the fashion world is ever evolving and it’s essential that this is reflected in the kind of social media content you produce, so having contacts that keep you informed doesn’t go amiss!
What’s the best way to nail your coverage on Social Media?
First of all, before Fashion Week, I always check out who will be there, what brands are participating and who their founders/head designers/press teams are. From there, I go on a following mission and make myself known!
By following these people, you know exactly what is happening as most brands will update you on information via social media before the show. You also know who to approach if you want to get in contact before or after the event.
I also schedule tweets ready for the day ahead, for example, if I’m heading to a show for 11am, I’ll have ready in my queue “Next up, Topman at The Truman Brewery” ready to automatically post at 11am. This saves you so much time on the day, and you only have to tweet reactive content such as snapshots from the day, live video and stories.
I also engage with people who I’ve already followed such as senior designers, founders and brand accounts while at the show. For example, “Amazing presentation from @Topman at #LFWM”. Most brands are really active on social media around their presentation/shows so you’re likely to get retweeted, liked or even responded to.
After the show, I always tweet the brand thanking them for the invite. I’ll also send an email to the Press Office thanking them for the invite as well. Manners go a long way!
Finally, I’ll write a blog post about the show and my thoughts of the new collection/season overall. Brands love the coverage of their shows so again, you’ll expect a retweet if you share a link.
Where’s the best place to get papped?
Definitely outside the venue, 5 minutes before the show starts. You’ll have press from magazines, newspapers, online blogs, students, bloggers and more taking pictures of you as you walk up to the venue entrance. It’s an awkward yet amazing experience so make the most of it by strutting your stuff.
Which celebs did you spot at this year’s LFWM?
This year I saw plenty of well known bloggers and fashion influencers. A highlight for me would be Jim Chapman, an influencer most known for YouTube and his work with GQ Magazine. Tom Daley was also at one of the shows I attended, along with James Bay, so it was great to say hi to them and ask them what they thought of the show. There are so many people at these events and it’s impossible to know everyone, that’s why doing as much research as possible before the show is an essential before you go.
What is your LFWM highlight for 2017?
I think my highlight for this year’s London Fashion Week Men’s was the Blood Brother show. The show was incredible and I met some amazing people at the presentation. They even featured some of my content on their own Instagram account, proving that a bit of schmoozing during the event is well worth the effort!
It was also great to see such a different concept on a show design. The invitations were old floppy disks, models were sitting on 90s computers and desks, with old school printers with wires hanging out of them. It was like walking into history, a really dramatic showcase and presentation of the latest season.
Ok Gianni, you’ve sold it to us! Now, when can our readers next get involved?
As I mentioned, it’s always worth checking out the social media profiles and blogs of those you’re inspired by in the fashion world to see where they’re headed and if you can link up with them in some way.
In terms of generally keeping abreast with the industry and its events, the British Fashion Council is always up to date with the latest news and dates for your diary, so definitely worth a space in your bookmarks list.
You can also learn more via the musings of the London Fashion Week Men’s site and blog, which you can discover here.
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