How to Plan a Fashion Show: The winning Plan

When people attend a fashion show/event, they praise the floor manager for seamless coordination of segments, they take selfies to flaunt their hair dos and make-up with the event’s excellent décor and lighting in the background, and tease their absent friends with the signature remark on Snap Chat, ‘you missed much hun, wish you were here’. These people walk away feeling the event was a hit not knowing the sleepless nights and long days you had putting your ducks in a row. And so they should. Hence, you must plan a fashion show prudently.

  • What type of show are you planning?

Do you want to host a commercial or a charity show? Will your show be broken down into scenes and looks or you will host it as a whole? If you want a continuous show, models will need time to change.  For instance, have breaks where an entertainer comes on stage or there are activities offstage before the next scene/look.

  • Date and venue

You can host a fashion show the whole day, for a few hours in a day or at night. The venue sometimes dictates when you can host it whether during the day, at night, a weekday or a weekend.  Find and book the venue as soon as you can. Additionally, find a venue that allows you to hold rehearsals.

  • Find a layout

The catwalk is the highlight of every fashion show. You can go for raised blocks or a floor level catwalk. When planning your layout, think about the location of the back stage and where you will place the entrance to the catwalk.

  • Select team members

Who will work with you to make sure the day is a success? Allocate tasks to your team and have a day to go through the tasks together, and another day to evaluate the progress team members are making as you get closer to the event. Some of the roles to assign to your team are backstage manager, hair and make-up artist, wardrobe manager, casting manager, promotion manager, program manager and guest list manager.

  • Find models

They can be your friends, amateur models on a commission or professional models. The choice largely depends on the type of show you will be hosting, and your budget. For a big label, professional models are necessary. For a show for friends and family members, you can consider getting a few volunteers among them. Get models of different heights, shapes, sizes, skin tone etc. When the list is complete, get their measurements to ensure the clothes fit.

  • Find a theme

The theme should match the purpose of the event. Your theme could be the 60s fashion scene, a seasonal collection like a fall collection or a show for expectant mothers.

  • Find a promotion strategy

Promotion is necessary to let your audience know you have an upcoming event. Which media will reach your target audience? How long will your campaign be and how much are you willing to spend.  Social media can also help you reach a larger audience cheaply by sharing details of the event with your friends and have them share the event further.

  • Hold rehearsals

Rehearsals will identify problems in lighting, sound, catwalk layout etc. Preferably, hold rehearsals at the venue. See your team come into action, note loopholes and find solutions.

  • Hold a final dress rehearsal

A Sample 4 Week Schedule for a Fashion Show

Week 1

  • Find a venue, time, theme and date
  • Get your team, and assign roles
  • Choose clothes or plan where to get them
  • Decide where to get models

Week 2

  • Promote your show
  • Design the catwalk, find lighting and sound providers
  • Organise any entertainment and content for the show/program
  • Get a photographer and/or videographer
  • Get influencers in case you need promotion before and during the show
  • Take care of any legal requirements like licenses if you need any

Week 3

  • Continue promoting the show
  • Hold the first rehearsal for music and lighting
  • Have all the clothes ready
  • Plan models’ make-up
  • Send a press release to local papers and online personalities
  • Make sure props and decorations are ready
  • If you want a fundraising show, find someone to talk about the nature of the show who can be a leader in the organisation funding or being funded by the show.

Week 4

  • Final dress rehearsal
  • Final promotion
  • Prepare the venue
  • Set up decorations, music, lighting, sound & backstage area
  • Hold a final meeting with your team & providers before the show

What do you think?

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