When I first started my career as a makeup artist in 2014, my biggest goal was to get booked at New York Fashion Week. As we enter 2019, I’ve now worked over 100+ shows as a professional in the industry, including NYFW. While I may not have a vast knowledge of designers, I do know that Fashion Week can be a dream job in this industry. Before we continue, I’d like to clarify something: I can’t guarantee that these tips will get you a spot in NYFW. These steps are a short list of things that I’ve learned through my own journey to Fashion Week. My goal here is to give some insight into the process.
-This is a huge factor. Sometimes, your goals and passions require you to make some sacrifices. Though it’s not impossible, the chances of getting booked for NYFW as an artist that lives outside of NYC are slim. This is simply because the city is saturated with incredible artists, there’s no need for a brand to outsource their artists.
Work For A Brand
-I got onto my first NYFW show after working for MAC, a brand that has supported Fashion Week for years. I highly recommend doing your research and finding out which brands are most commonly involved with NYFW. While this can be a long and sometimes tedious process, it’s also something that can help you work towards achieving your goal. And although this was something that helped me, it wasn’t without its obstacles. For example, MAC requires artists to pass through five levels of certifications before reaching “Fashion Show Certification”. Even passing this, there’s no guarantee you’ll get booked. Staying motivated and working hard through this process will help to show your dedication.
Assist Artists That Key NYFW Shows
-Key artists typically bring other MUA’s that they’ve worked with in the past to their NWFW team. This means you should always keep an open mind to assisting other artists and building up your relationships in the industry. This includes taking the time to reach out to agencies to be placed on their assistant list. Doing this early on in my career opened a lot of opportunities.
Work Hard & Be Kind
- “Be kind”, the tattoo on my left hand, is a perfect reminder. You never know who you may work with or run into on the street, especially living in NYC. This means that a single interaction could help make your career. With this in mind, always remember to work hard on every job you get, paid or not. Just remember that having a negative attitude at a job won’t get you very far. Hustle, do good work, and be a nice person.
Get on Unofficial NYFW shows
-Follow the official NYFW calendar on www.nyfw.com. This showcases all of the official designers and shows during Fashion Week. In that time, there are hundreds of other unofficial/smaller events that are worth keeping an eye on. Keep in mind that these may be easier to get involved in when you’re just starting out. They can be small, sometimes a bit under-organized, and some even use false advertisement calling it “NYFW” to get creatives to support the event for free. but they’re a great way of introducing yourself to the fast pace of Fashion Week.
Make Sure Your Portfolio Is Always Ready
-If you’ve kept up with my articles, you’ll be familiar with my belief that Instagram is one of the most powerful platform for the makeup industry; who needs a website they pay for, or a printed portfolio that needs carrying around, when you can use a streamlined social media platform to showcase all of your work. This doesn’t mean that you have to post every day or every look you create. Think of Instagram as your book; the first 6 photos are your first impression. A quick glance at your page should represent and showcase you as an artist. Remember: quality over quantity.
Being In The Right Place At the Right Time
-Honestly, this play a huge roll in our industry. From my experience, at least. You have to be flexible and available. There was a time, a week prior to New York Fashion Week. I remember constantly checking my email hoping to get book on any shows (Paid or Non-Paid), it never came. One morning I received a call from a close friend asking if I was available that very moment to support an event. Her flight got delayed and was not going to make it. Turns out it was for NYFW. I grab my kit, jumped in a car and that was that.
All in all, staying motivated and doing your own research will always give you a clearer insight on what steps you need to take in order to reach your goals. If someone had told me five years ago that I’d be working NYFW or the Victoria’s Secret runway show, I would have laughed them off. Now, I anticipate having a full schedule for NYFW without having to worry about it. Each season it gets easier, and each season you gain more experience to help you in the future. If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading. I’d love to stay in touch, so don’t forget to drop your Instagram handle when you leave me feedback! @vanmakeupartistry
Thanks to my amazing friends Jenn Marasca & Courtney Musick for helping me proof read!