Once you secure that fashion post, become invaluable to your boss. Soon those designer freebies and discarded party invitations will be yours for the taking. Working for an A, B or C lister is acceptable - anybody considered D or less and you may have a struggle on your hands, as they won’t be invited to any party worth attending.
You’ve heard the term ‘the opening of an envelope’, well, embrace those envelopes at every opportunity and be sure to MAKE AN ENTRANCE at those exclusive bashes.
To begin with, these invitations will never be addressed to you (your boss would be horrified to think that you may be asked to attend the same event as them), but that doesn’t mean that as your boss is in LA, you can’t take advantage of these opportunities to see and be seen while using their invites.
Respond to absolutely everything and providing your boss doesn’t discover your little plan, get your gorgeous self out there. Not only will you be in a room filled with your fashion idols, stand close enough to where the waiters are refreshing the food and drink trays and that’s dinner and cocktails sorted for the evening.
When working for one of the high profile names I assisted at the beginning of my career, I used to take any invites that my boss had declined and RSVP on their behalf. When I reached the VIP line of the event and dropped the name of my boss, stating that he/she had asked me to attend in their place, not once was I turned away.
Again, this only works with the top tier names – any PR will gladly turn their back on a D-list association and you’ll be left hanging your head in shame as you dash from the doorway.
The benefits of the PR
While at the parties you’ve hustled your way into, never forget to take one of the often worthwhile goodie bags that have been put together by the PR team. If you’re clever (roughly translated as Sneaky Downtrodden Assistant) then you will nab at least two on your departure - you’re working for peanuts and your friends still need birthday presents. If the PR’s cause a fuss, always state that your boss (name dropping is always highly effective in these situations) was unable to make it, but love to receive a bag all the same.
Even if the event was as entertaining as organizing your bosses sock drawer, always thank the PR team as sincerely as only you know how and praise them on the event. Smile, look them in the eye and if you feel the timing is right, introduce yourself.
Befriending PR’s is certainly one of the most successful ways of gaining entry to any bash - these friendships, no matter how loose, will be most useful considering your impending future as a respected fashion insider.
Network network network
Do your research and find out who the leading names organising the city’s most talked about parties are. Scour the fashion mags, study the society pages and keep an eye out for any articles featuring these event gurus.
Learn their names, their favourite hangouts and drink of choice. When happening upon one of these event evangelists, ensure you place yourself in their eyeline at the bar and charm them by commenting on their ensemble. Flattery goes a long way – you will have researched their events and now’s the time to compliment them on that daring table design for Dior.
The flattering of fashion ego’s is a sure fire way of getting ahead, so never be afraid to instigate a conversation with any leading editor, designer or PR agency owner you happen upon. It’s a simple, but effective, route to striking up a conversation. Compliment whichever name you find yourself in front of and don’t be afraid to speak up – most leading fashion names will appreciate your forward approach. As with most industries, it’s the wannabe’s and almost-there’s that you have to watch out for. If there’s a sense that you’re on the rise, it’s likely they’re going to try and protect their territory. You’ll find your way to get to where you want to be, just be sure of who’s a fashion friend and who’s a fashion foe!