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Want to Produce a Fashion Show? Here’s What it Takes.

07
07.2015

Today’s glamorous fashion shows occur with greater scale, scope, budget and frequency than ever before, and fashion show producers and coordinators have big jobs on their hands every time a show happens. From finding and booking venues to overseeing set construction and supervising lighting and sound, to helping secure models, makeup artists, and hairstylists, these projects require an organized mind, a visionary eye, and a solid team of professionals to get it all done.

But what about those behind-the-scenes details you don’t even notice and never considered? We’ve rounded up some of the lesser-known tasks you must remember to make sure everything runs smoothly.

1. Define a vision

Photo credit: Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

The first step in designing any runway show involves sitting down with the designer and defining any goals, directions, and themes for the collection and show. It’s the producer’s job to take a designer’s cues, no matter how vague or abstract, and turn them into something grandiose and cohesive. It usually takes several meetings as the collection progresses to determine the final show outline.

2. Get the word out

Photo credit: FashionStock.com/Shutterstock

Unless you’re a well-established designer, your show won’t have an audience if they don’t know it’s happening. That’s why creating compelling promotional materials, along with great advertising and public relations campaigns, are key to getting the word out about any fashion show. Social media has also become an all-important platform for reaching out to influencers and the media, and is an essential element in any promotional campaign.

3. Create a photo-worthy set

Photo credit: FashionStock.com/Shutterstock

Speaking of social media, you can bet your show is going to be photographed. Not only that, but in today’s age of on-demand media, streaming video and live updates, it’s likely to be filmed, Vined, and Instagrammed too. The reality is that today’s fashion show producers need to consider how their shows will look not only in professional press shots, but on small screens and in photos shot on mobile devices as well, and producers must plan their lighting and set design accordingly. Getting visually appealing, user-created online footage is great free advertising for any brand.

4. Strategize the seating

Photo credit: FashionStock.com/Shutterstock

Where various members of your audience sit can be crucial to your show and any potential coverage. Magazine editors and buyers need to be close enough that they can accurately report on and assess the collection, while bloggers, photographers, and social media influencers need to have a clear view to document the show for their followers. A strategic and well-thought-out seating plan can make or break your show.

5. Make it unique

Photo credit: FashionStock.com/Shutterstock

Between pre-fall, fall, resort, and summer fashion shows, there are more fashion productions being put on than ever before. While this is great for all aspiring fashion show coordinators out there, it also means having to constantly finding innovative new ways to make your shows stand out from the crowd. Will you pipe in fragrance like at Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2014 show? Create an immersive multisensory experience? Or have fictional character Derek Zoolander walk your show like Valentino did during the F/W 2015 show at Paris Fashion Week?

6. Watch the clock

Photo credit: Aaron Arnat/Shutterstock

At the pivotal moment, after weeks of preparation, the most crucial aspect of any fashion show is timing. You’ll find the producers backstage adorned with headsets, stopwatches and show notes, orchestrating everything from when the audience is to be seated to cueing the lights, music, and models right up to the designer’s end-of-show bow.

7. Wrap things up

Photo credit: Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

After the fanfare is done, the interviews have wrapped, and the audience and models have left for the night, the producer’s job is still not done. In the days to follow, he or she will have to take down the set, return merchandise to designers, retailers and production companies, and settle any payments. Once this is done, the producer’s job is to evaluate the show to determine what worked and what could be improved upon, before embarking—that much more experienced and knowledgeable—on the next exhilarating show.

Top photo credit: FashionStock.com/Shutterstock

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