As Fashion Month creeps up on on the style set, tickets are fiercely fought over and seating allocations are a topic hotter than the weather (believe me, that’s usually the main point of conversation with the audience, especially as this season is usually the coldest!).
From the start of the season, which begins with New York Fashion Week on February 7th through to the bitter end on March 5th, in Paris, who sits where is signifier of importance in the industry.
The front row is closest to the action and where industry VIPs get their seats. You’re so near the clothes that sometimes a swish of super-sized gown will brush your ankles or a rogue loose feather floats down from the model’s outfit and lands in your lap.
Traditionally, the catwalk was divided. Magazines and newspapers were on one side, whilst buyers from the biggest department stores on the other. The hierarchy of Editors and directors took prime position through to assistants and interns standing in the back (and barely able to see below the model’s shoulders… let alone catch a glimpse of their shoes…)
Now, times are changing. Although Anna Wintour isn’t going to be hoisted out of her seat any time soon, there’s a new FROW in town. In celebration of Irina Shayk as GLAMOUR’s February Digital Cover star of our Fashion Issue, here is GLAMOUR’S guide to the three new tribes you can expect to see this season…
The Hot Shot Fashion Buyer
Buying is the business end of the fashion chain. However amazing a designer’s show, if the collection isn’t picked up by a major store, it will languish in obscurity. Buyers need incredibly analytic brains to work out what will sell in their stores… it’s not just about choosing pretty pieces. Their job turns fashion into industry. The buyers to watch are those that are an embodiment of the brands their stops stock. Decked out in the newest drops of the coolest labels – mixed in with pieces from their designer friends – their influence extends beyond those who shop their buys in store. Tiffany Hsu, Fashion Buying Director at MyTheresa.com @handinfire has cemented her space in the fashion world by becoming a street style must-shoot and therefore an online influencer, beyond her day job, too.
The Stylist Every Celebrity Has On Speed Dial
Ushered in by eagle-eyed PRs, this FROW face is equally important as the A-list names they style. Usually dressed anonymously in casual gear (because it’s not about them), the celebrity stylists are here to ear-mark appropriate outfits for their mega star clients – for upcoming music videos, stage costumes or award ceremony celebrations. Dabbling in design too, the top tier stylists are more than just ‘wardrobe’ and have taken their immaculate taste to the next level. The woman who creates some of the red carpet’s most memorable moments for Gwyneth Paltrow and Saiorse Ronan, Elizabeth Saltzman, collaborated the brand that design her signature platform sandals, Rocket Dog, while LaQuan Smith (responsible for dressing Beyonce and Kim Kardashian West) bought out a line with ASOS last year, as well as creating his own catwalk collection.
The Next-Gen Fashion Influencer
Balancing a tiny bag on her knee with phone superglued to her hand, (laptop charging in the car, obvs), this FROW attendee can rack up thousands of likes from their insta content. Her tens of thousands of followers crave her insider view and the super useful swipe-to-shop of her impeccably styled outfits. Naturally, she’ll be dressed head-to-toe in whichever designer she is sitting show-side of (including that tiny bag.) Side hustling as an art director, stylist, model, photographer and activist – as well as writing her blog – the new generation of influencers have proved that the multi-hyphen method is the way to go.