10 Questions To Ask Before You Join A Fashion Event

There are a lot of people calling themselves “promoters” of fashion shows and events these days looking for the talent they need to put on a successful event. How do you tell the good ones from the not so good?


There are many “for profit” organizations charging top dollar in entry fees to use your fashion designs, who don’t even provide you with a garment rack or any promotional posts before, during or after their show. That’s not giving a designer much value for their dollar, not to mention time and talent.

Some companies call themselves “entertainment management” and hold casting calls with fees to choose a handful of models, but because they aren’t a licensed agency…. they can’t legally represent or book you for anything other than their own events. See this link to know what’s required by your state. http://www.agentassociation.com/index.php?src=directory&view=agencyLicensing&srctype=detail&back=agencyLicensing&refno=38

Some events recruit volunteers to do hair and makeup under the guise of “exposure and experience” while offering very little exposing, in return for your hard work.

There’s a fine line between needing you to work for free so they can make money and giving you an opportunity that’s actually worth it.

Here are 10 questions to ask in order to help you sort out their intentions and what’s in your own best interest.

  1. Is this a person or organization trying to make a quick buck or do they have an actual production or event company? If in doubt, ask for more details on their credentials, check sunbiz.org in Florida, other state agency for the company they say they represent to verify they actually exist. 
  2. Have they actually booked the venue where this event is slated to take place? In the last year I’ve know 3 people who spent thousands of dollars in entry fees, designing and sewing clothes, travel expenses and one even traveled from the USA to France to show at a venue that was being promoted, but was never actually booked for the event. Verify these details before you agree to participate or spend large amounts of money for being featured in a fashion event. 
  3. Is this their first fashion event? If so make sure they’ve got everything organized and can answer the rest of these questions. If not, find out how their other events went. Check their social media and ask past participants how things went for them.
  4. Is this a “For Profit” or Nonprofit event? Nonprofit organizations have to show you where the money goes. For profit organizations don’t. If it’s a nonprofit, charity or fundraiser, volunteering your time is no big deal, but if you’re working for free so they can make money, what’s in it for you?
  5. How many meetings or rehearsals will you be required to attend before the event?  How much of your time will this take?
  6. Will they be feeding you? (Providing basic food and beverages to quarantined talent, who can’t leave the venue or won’t have access to any other food or beverages without inconvenience or expense, is the least they can do in exchange for your free time and talent)
  7. Will you have free access to the “exposure and experience” photos and/or videos or will that be an additional expense? If they want you to work for free or are charging you to enter their event, they should be providing you with a basic package of photos documenting your participation in exchange for the fees you paid or to compensate you for not being paid
  8. How exactly will they promoting you before, during or after the event? “Experience and Exposure HOW?” Will they be posting photos of you on their social media or will there be a web page of the event? How many followers do they have? 10,000 followers is an influencer level. If they are not there yet or you have more followers than they do, maybe you should be the one getting paid and promoting that you are in their show? These things can be negotiated.
  9. Who are they selling tickets to? Is this strictly an entertainment event or will there be any actual buyers, bloggers, news media or anyone else in the audience who could be beneficial to you? Fashion as Entertainment doesn’t usually have much to offer in return to anyone other than the promoter.
  10. Will you have access to the list of attendees, models, hair, makeup, photographers involved so you can follow up and network with them? 

Asking basic questions before you commit to participating in any fashion event and verifying information before you volunteer your time or pay to participate is the best way to sort out what’s worth your time from who wants you to work for free, so they can make money.

Most Fashion Events have sponsors, sell vendor booth space and event tickets so they can make a profit and cover expenses. Fashion Events need talent to make the event happen. In most industries the talent gets paid because you’re the main attraction. Giving you something in return for your fees and /or skills participation should include promotion, logos, advertising, being properly introduced, photo and video documentation along with a comfortable, organized, enjoyable, experience that has the potential of making you some money selling your designs or getting booked for paying work in the future.

How You Can Use The Scarcity Concept Of Supreme to Build YOUR Brand

Supreme Logo

Supreme Logo

Supreme clothing, just in case you’ve been living under a rock, is a NYC Skatewear Brand established in 1994.

They’ve had reached legendary, global status, based on the premise of scarcity and got major attention from the Fashion world after collaborating with Louis Vuitton on skateboard trunks, backpacks, bandannas, gloves, T-shirt’s and jackets.

Here’s how it works: The brand launches an online look book of the apparel in their collection twice a year and then gradually releases their designs which drop every Thursday in very limited quantities at affordable prices, online and in stores. https://www.supremenewyork.com

Their designers, collaborators and models are typically known in the skater world.

What happens next is where the cult level following of the after market value comes in.

Many buyers of the brand “flip” the designs on auction sites like eBay. This is where a $99 T shirt ends up selling for $1000 because there were only a limited number made.

The streetwear brand is being worn by celebrities around the world and paired with clothing from the top design houses of Europe. If you want a conversation starter, wear anything from Supreme and share the story of how you scored such a rare piece of modern pop culture.

Why would I want to apply this strategy to my brand?

Scarcity is psychological trigger that gets people to “buy it now”, because of the urgency created by lack with a limited edition or legitimate short term offer.

If people love your design, but know it will always be available to them, then there’s no urgent reason to buy it now.

Using Supreme’s biannual strategy, even if you didn’t have 25 unique designs, you could make your online look book and use that to build the anticipation of your weekly drops, take pre orders or even start a subscription club based on what’s coming, to keep your revenue flowing and your customers waiting on the edge of their seats.

This is an amazing strategy to use even if you only have a few fashion designs you’ve become successful at selling. By creating a following and capitalizing on what’s working for your brand, you can create an endless amount of options in fabrics, notions or by switching up other details to create the limited runs.

Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Leaving the listing as sold out on your site (as they do on Supreme’s site) is like saying “see what you missed… you should buy NOW or they will be gone like these were!!”

For more help and information on other Fashion Related topic and strategies, subscribe to our mailing list at www.OrlandoFashionDistrict.com, join our Facebook Groups and Follow Orlando Fashion District on Instagram and Facebook.

Fashionably Yours,

Gina Vincenza
Orlando Fashion District

Fashion, Costume and Tactical Design House Owner and Celebrity Seamstress aka Psycho Seamstress