THE COUNTDOWN: New York Fashion Week (Part I)

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New York Fashion Week begins September 6 at 11am in New York City.

The first models strut down the catwalks at New York Fashion Week on September 6, with the final heels clacking down the runway on September 14. Throughout those time, editors, buyers and glitterati will fill the seats at Spring Studios and beyond, eager to see if microsuede maxis are in or if neoprene ponchos are out.

But what about industry outsiders who want a piece of the action? How can people like us score tickets to NYFW?

Like most things, getting into shows is less about what you know, and more about who you know. It's not always about knowing the designer personally, but maybe the former intern who still has connections. Anyone you know who works at a magazine, trend-forecasting agency, textile house, nightclub, fashion school or beauty brands—any industry tangentially related to fashion—can have an in.

And don't feel bad for asking. Fortune definitely favors the bold in this instance.

If you're more intrepid, Modem Online has a list of all the brand and PR contacts at the major houses, so you can cold-call or send a note explaining why you want to attend a show. (Like, you have a large Instagram following or are doing your senior thesis on the designer.)

You might work for your spot: NYFW is a mammoth undertaking, and they always need help. You can contact one of the producers and ask to volunteer, or maybe find a makeup artist or wig mistress who needs an extra pair of hands. Getting backstage can be the biggest win of all.

Fashion fanatics will also wait outside a venue before a show for a generous editor or fashionista to pass them a spare ticket. (It's something of a tradition to give an unneeded ticket to the best-dressed hanger-on.)

One avenue we don't advocate (but will highlight anyway) is the age-old strategy of sneaking in. Security can be tight, but if you look like you're supposed to be there, or slide into a posse heading into a show, you might be able to bypass the buff guards and clipboard toting PR staff. (Then again, people have literally cut holes into the tents.)

Finally, remember that it's not only the superstars of the fashion world showing at NYFW: Lots of young designers and smaller labels mount their own shows during this time to capitalize on the buzz, and they're usually easier to get into to.

And who knows? They might just turn out to be the next big thing.