Is TikTok turning fashion week into pure chaos?

For a strictly fashion-adjacent subset of New Yorkers, Fashion Week is a biannual excuse to pretend you’re busier and more in-demand than usual, which is why on Saturday night I was congratulating myself on being on my way to the heaven by Marc Jacobs Party, where the promise of seeing doja cat perform kept at bay the usual nocturnal instincts to stay home, or at least not be locked in platformless boots. The plan was to meet a friend and drop by early to see what the atmosphere was like; I imagined they would quickly wave us through the door, ideally buoyed by a breeze of Daisy Eau So Intense. The party started at 10pm, my ETA was 10:18pm, and everything seemed fine until my Uber dropped me a block from the mecca of Bushwick, or what is more commonly known as Elsewhere, and I I realized that I had made a critical mistake. : At least three rows, each a size more appropriate for a one-day music festival ticket than a trendy party, meandered in different directions around the block. It was already too late.

For nearly two hours, I waited helplessly in line for guests on the general guest list, watching each newcomer do the same double take I’d just performed before marching out the door to see if there had been any mistakes, just only to reluctantly walk back in, joining the crowd that now occupies most of the block. Once my friend arrived, we spent way too much time sending each other pictures of the (brilliantly) hot dog stands set up around the entrance in an attempt to find each other; he ended up hanging out by the door, where everyone was apparently trying to argue and gain entry. point of view I found her just in time to look Evan Mack he leaves the party with a phone to his ear, trying to instruct a friend on how to circumnavigate the chaos. Instead of our own deus ex Mock-ina, we finally called over to a preternaturally calm publicist sporting a low ponytail who ushered us through: But once inside the bowels of Elsewhere, we quickly realized the real crowd was waiting. . We left after 20 minutes in search of hot dogs.

Waiting and waiting to walk into a room that you later realize is too crowded (or too young, or too cool, or too uncool) for your tastes is, of course, an expected (often nutritionally selfish) phenomenon in the night life ritual. But something about that party felt off, like everyone was tuned to some underground frequency she couldn’t access. The next morning, the GQ writer samuel hineThe Fashion Week newsletter, Show Notes, landed in my inbox with something of an explanation: Through Q&A, an anonymous fashion publicist mentioned how TikTok is playing an increasingly important role in the NYFW area flooding. “Supposedly, there are people posting TikToks about how to get into fashion week shows and parties if you’re not in the industry,” they explain when asked if this season really felt crazier than years past. “They list the PR emails. Those are the scary ones… It was bad before, there were always a lot of random requests, but it actually got a lot worse because of TikTok.”

Surprisingly, finding the TikToks in question turned out to be just a matter of searching for “how to get into NYFW” in the app. And while many videos offered fairly generic advice—recommending viewers to check out the CFDA calendar, for example, or researching the brands they follow—most of the ones I found encouraged TikTokers in the art of finding advertisers. who send cold emails. A particular video from an influencer tiff baira, who specializes in giving dating and nightlife recommendations on TikTok, includes a screenshot of a five-page tip sheet listing FW21’s PR contacts and email addresses (which, as he assured viewers, they will probably remain the same this season). On Baira’s Instagram page, you can download the full document yourself. At the time of publication, the video has been viewed more than 347,000 times; In the comments, fellow TikTokers ask Baira for advice on what to wear and “Who wants to go with me last minute?”

Curious, I reached out to a handful of fashion publicists to see if videos like these were making waves among others in the industry; everyone I spoke to (on condition of anonymity, of course, de rigueur for that PR life) said they had either heard of such TikToks or experienced inbox flooding themselves. One contact mentioned that they had been having trouble figuring out where so many of the random requests were coming from, plus the fact that, somewhat humorously, they often got cc’d along with a bunch of other reps from different brands, all in the same email. . Another contact estimated that they received at least 30 to 50 emails each day from influencers trying to make it to a show; a third placed the range closer to 50 to 100.

The go-to move was to ignore these cold calls, but for those in the business of strategizing event invitations, seating plans, and guest lists across dozens of brands in a single week, I’m told even a microsecond spent scanning a additional email. obstructs the workflow. “Basically it’s just adding chaos to the equation,” as a fourth publicist tells me. “Privacy-wise, you can definitely go crazy because people will find your personal email, your social media, and contact you on every possible platform.”

But as the anonymous publicist pointed out in the GQ newsletter, the headache is spilling over to live events as well: invites are leaking too, leading to situations where an algorithmically determined number of people show up and wait for what’s next. better. This was apparently the issue with the Marc Jacobs party on Saturday night, which I was told had, in fact, been floating around on TikTok, prompting the event team to go on high alert for intruders. “The problem is not so much that we can’t detect who the imposters are,” as one publicist explained to me. “What happens from a production and public relations standpoint is that it really delays the shows or the parties from taking place, because you have a group of people in the background, and they’re not going to move, and you have to verify everyone’s credentials one by one. a.”

When I reached out to Baira by phone, the 25-year-old TikToker acknowledged that the responses to her video have been mixed. “It was never my intention to make someone’s job more difficult, but if that information should be private, it should be private,” Baira told me, adding that the much-discussed tip sheet was not something she had put together herself. She had found a link to the document online. “My intention is to never share information that is not public, so the fact that it was already on the New York Fashion Week website means that it is public information.”