Front row at fashion week is a big deal. However, I pride myself to be a regular media girl when it comes to attending fashion weeks. I am really there to capture the key moments that are content worthy. This has been my primary role for years now and whatever seat I get is almost inconsequential to me. As long as I can get a great view of the pieces on the runway. I could be seated with the photographers but then, there are a lot of them on that end. Which is why I love me a good seat with the crowd. This is not to say that a spot on the front row wouldn’t be great. I am just not one to fight so hard for it. Some people try their luck and end up being asked to stand up. Even with the tags on the seats, some people seem to enjoy the social awkwardness.
A few years back, I was asked by Ozinna to take a front-row seat at Lagos Fashion Week. Don’t get me wrong, I was more or less a seat filler. The real owners of the seats didn’t show up and the view didn’t look pleasant empty. So, everyone seating on the second and third-row was asked to move up. At the end of the shows, I left with a bag full of goodies. This is usually packed for the front row. Different brands and designers usually try to get their things in them as a way of marketing. The only time I have ever seen everyone get a goody bag at any fashion show was in Prague and at Lagos Fashion Week 2019 when Darling showcased. Everyone got a bag of darling hair extension.
Who gets the front row at fashion week?
In a nutshell, what we know the front row to be is, reserved for the very important personalities. These are usually celebrities and the de la crème de la crème of the society. Also, representatives of the brands who may have sponsored the event, usually get a few front row seats reserved. Another group of people are editors or representatives of top magazines in the country. Now, blogs are a big thing. So, you will find the style editor of a Bella Naija occupying the front row too. It may also include fashion retailers and friends of the designers. However, it looks like they have been moved to the second and third-row because we now have too many people that need to be front row. As a matter of fact, the front row privileges have been extended to the second and third-row and in some cases like the last day of Heineken Lagos Fashion Week, the fourth row.
At this point, you are probably wondering if this is all that happens in the front row that caught my attention. No friend, there is one big thing that made me better appreciate the VIP section or the front row section of fashion shows. The food and drinks in between shows are great. In fact, those that got the front row at GTBank fashion weekend, they got some champagne in between shows. The icecream extended to the second and third rows while the pop corn was for all. Oh, there was a magazine for the VIPs to take home which some of them did leave behind though. The big question then is, beyond the entertainment, why should I wish a front-row or VIP seat at any fashion show. The answer is right there in the next paragraph.
What’s more with the front row at fashion week?
Beyond the exclusivity, the front row is an opportunity to network. This year, I sat on the second row at GTBank fashion weekend (thanks to Cassie Daves). Right beside me was the founder of one of Nigeria’s top drink companies. We started talking about the pieces on the runway and before you know it, that conversation led to work-related conversation. Eventually, we followed each other on Instagram, exchanged numbers and the rest, as they say, will be history once I follow up with her.
I know that people come to these kinds of events and do not wish to be saddled by a fan or groupie. They just want to have fun. However, in having fun, somethings may come up that presents an opportunity which you must be ready to take advantage of. The show is over and you are saying your goodbyes, introduce yourself. Usually, I would sit still and not try to make conversation with the person next to me because I hate to be a bother. But you need to sample the energy of that person and see if you can strike a conversation.
Before reading this piece, what was your perception of the front row? I will like to read from you in the comment section.