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How to Plan a Fashion Show: The winning Plan

Planning a fashion show takes time and money. Here is a simple plan to help you prepare for your next event.

Features of a Great Fashion Show Plan

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 host it as a whole? Models will need time to change if you want a continuous fashion show. For instance, have breaks when an entertainer comes on stage, or you have other activities running offstage before the next scene/look.

Date and venue

You can host a fashion show the whole day, for a few hours during the day, or at night. The venue sometimes controls when you can host your event, whether during the day, at night, on a weekday or weekend. Find and book the venue as soon as you can. Additionally, find one 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 where you will set the backstage and 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 their roles together and another day to evaluate the progress team members are making as you get closer to the event. Roles to assign to your team include 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 an event for friends and family members, get volunteers from among them. Have diversity in your choice of models: mix different heights, shapes, sizes, skin tones, 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.

Design a promotion strategy

Promote your event to let the 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 having 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 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 with show promotion
  • 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 that is funding or receiving funds from 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

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