Getting your designs onto the runway isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are a number of producers (see list below) who can make your dreams a reality. But first, there are some things you should know. (And some more tips here.)
Costs vary widely. A show can cost anywhere from $6,000 to more than $100,000, depending on your budget (obviously), and what you’re trying to accomplish.
You might think of the analogy of “Broadway” vs. “Off-Broadway.” For example, in New York, a show with IMG during NYFW will put you firmly in the “Broadway” (most visible) part of the spectrum, but you will need to be approved, and the costs are commensurate with that exposure. You can also expect buyers and members of the established press to attend.
Smaller producers may also attract buyers, press, and influencers. A reputable smaller producer will provide you with high-quality photos and video after the show, which you can then use on your website and social media to boost the credibility and “esteem” of your brand in the eyes of consumers, by allowing your customers to see your designs in the context of a runway show.
(This is also where a good PR company comes into play, to help promote your show via influencers and the press.)
Of the Big 4, New York is still probably the most easy to break into, as there are a number of smaller producers to choose from. But opportunities are growing in Paris, in particular.
An important note: Unlike New York or Milan, London and Paris are trademarked. The British Fashion Council owns the trademark for “London Fashion Week,” and the FHCM owns the trademark for “Paris Fashion Week.” This means that if you choose to show in Paris and London apart from these organizations, your show will occur “DURING” Paris or London Fashion Week.
Here’s a list of producers you can apply with: