How To Survive CFW

CPH Fashion Week

We know how busy you must be getting ready for CIFF next week, so we put together an overview of things we've learned during our time working with clients from Diesel to Y3 and Camilla Stærk over the years.

It's always good to have a little reminder isn't it? So here is ours to ensure you, or  whomever you'll be sending to represent your brand, nails it this year.

You can find our tips and tricks below. And here's a little more about who we are and what we do.


It’s not a social

We don’t need to tell you this, but the invitations to receptions, after parties and informal after-after parties do lend themselves to partying till dawn with a hot new lead whose details you’ve forgotten to collect. Remember, this is essentially a trade show. It’s B2B.

Ultimately, you’re here to do business with others, and so welcoming the dawn to a new day at a warehouse party in a disused abattoir may look great for the ‘gram, but it’s unlikely to do much for your business’ bottom line.


Own your brand

Undoubtedly the best way to push your brand, is to be your brand. “I met … the head buyer (from Holt Renfrew - a Canadian luxury fashion retailer) while wearing one of my coats. And I was sweating in fashion shows and I did not take my coat off — ever,” said Marissa Freed, president of label Freed & Freed International.

“If you’re going to put yourself out, really put yourself out. Wear your stuff, own your brand and be your brand. It’s really important.” If that’s not you, then what does that say about the brand you’re currently trying to create?


Get your legal sorted 

Fashion shows are hotbeds for creativity. They’re also huge draws for counterfeiters and fashion design pirates, looking to plunder your ideas and rush them to market before you can.  

“Not every trademark is going to be protected. Not every trademark is going to be viable in the marketplace,” said Ashlee Froese, a partner at intellectual property and branding firm Gilbert’s LLP.

Taking the time to create an intellectual property portfolio that protects your creativity ahead of big events like Copenhagen Fashion Week can save you from a lot of headaches and heartbreaks.


Buy a battery pack for your phone

The one thing you’ll hear more than anything else during the shows is, “does anyone have a phone charger?”

Your phone is your lifeline to the rest of your business, potential new clients, details on products, shipping, the works. It’s also your scrap book for ideas, inspirations and of course, selfies. All of that is going to take your battery into the red by brunch.

While carrying a charge cable will keep you juiced while stationary, what happens if you need to move? It’s time to carry a battery pack.

Our battery of choice? Anker’s PowerCore+ 26800. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but inside the slightly vague description is a battery that can charge your iPhone 6s 9 times, a Samsung Galaxy S6 seven times, or you MacBook three times. Plus it has Quick Charge technology that can get you back up in running in minutes rather than hours.


Reach out

Making your contacts before the shows can save you a ton of time when it comes to trying to find journalists, retailers and distributors in amongst the chaos.

But before you go looking for the editor, or the CEO’s or the MD’s email address - use Hunter BTW, saves a lot of time - go lower. Interns or junior members of staff are keen to forge contacts of their own. And while they may be junior now, that always won’t be the case.

Oh, and as an FYI, don’t just ask someone for a coffee and then demand they give you the moon on a stick. As a former journalist myself, there’s nothing more irksome than someone taking up your time and not knowing what it is you specialise in and look for.

Meaningful relationships take years to form, so be patient, kind and generous.  


Cyber Stalk

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of cyber-stalking ahead of the shows. Connecting with people on Facebook and LinkedIn allows you to be a part of their network, but don’t stop there.

Newsle is a great site that tracks your connections across LinkedIn and Facebook and sends updates on where they are now, what they are talking about and who they have connected with.
Once the show is done, keep a hit list of people to update on your company and maintain contact. LinkedIn will help you stay updated as people move from place to place. Be sure to take the time to reach out when they move.

If you want to be a total baller, a handwritten congratulatory note will put you at the top of their contacts list in future.


Tap up your contacts

If it’s your first time at the show, the anticipation and expectation of what you want to achieve can sometimes be overwhelming.
If you know or have access to someone who has been before, buy them coffee, pastry, booze, anything and get them to share their experiences, good, bad or otherwise. Trust us, you won’t regret it.


Carry food and water on you at all times

Probably the greatest piece of advice we learned was, "always carry something to eat and drink with you at all times." While that may ruin the lines of your immaculate look (why is it some bags just look better empty?), it'll stop you from collapsing mid-way through a conversation, as we have done.

Dehydration is weirdly common during fashion weeks. Just ask the models at  Kanye West’s fashion show in New York last year.
It’ll be really shit if all that hard work you’d put into to getting your collection ready is undone because you forgot to drink your eight glasses of water a day.

Follow this advice and we’re sure you’ll come out the other side in one piece.


Who are you?

That’s a good question. We’re a team of writers, photographers, film-makers and creatives who work with companies just like you to help get the attention you deserve.

Collectively we have decades of experience doing creative for the likes of Adidas, Diesel, Samsung, HSBC, Sennheiser and a whole lot more.  And we thought what better way to come and say hello is by sharing some of our experience working at places like Copenhagen Fashion Week.

We'll be doing the inspiration rounds at CIFF this year, so don’t be a stranger.  Get in touch and come talk to us.  

Check out our creds here

J Saintil