The $7k a Minute Event: The True Price of a New York Fashion Week Runway Show

The most anticipated time of the year is now complete. The cameras flashed, the models strutted and celebrity faces lined the front rows of New York Fashion Week. The fashion-conscious took in the newest trends from the runway while getting ready to purchase their next wardrobe. However, there are some at NYFW that have already emptied their wallets—the designers.

NYFW is an incredible source of profit for the city. Each year, the legendary event earns $850 million for New York, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation and reported by the International Business Times. By comparison the Super Bowl hosted at MetLife Stadium drew in half of that number. This comes to about $7,000 a minute, even more astonishing considering that shows regularly last 15 minutes. These colossal figures do not come easy. Designers at NYFW can expect to spend $100,000 to show at the bare minimum, ranging up to $1 million for prominent brands committed to presenting a true performance.

In the past, models were a bargain as they were frequently paid in merchandise. However, following the work of organizations such as the Model Alliance, which advocates for real payment, brands must now pay their models in monetary values. Smaller labels will pay $150 per model while larger brands will pay $200 to $1000 for a non-celebrity model. With 10 to 20 models working in an average show, this can get expensive, and some international brands will pay as much as $200,000 for all of their models.

International celebrities used to line the front rows of every big-name fashion show and cost a hefty price. Today, designers rarely opt to recruit front-row celebrity attendees for their shows. If they do, their payment depends on their attendance at other shows, how much the celebrity ‘fits’ the image of the brand, how often their photos get published and how famous they are. Rihanna was paid $100,000 to attend Karl Lagerfeld’s show in 2010, one of the higher celebrity paychecks in NYFW history. A B-list fashion icon may receive closer to $15,000 or solely be paid in clothes, travel and accommodations.

So how much does it cost to show at NYFW? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, it greatly depends on the preferences and budget of the designer. Regardless, in today’s cutthroat world of fashion, it is near impossible to showcase for less than six figures. However, from up-and-comers to established cornerstones of fashion week, a memorable show is imperative for success in the fashion business.

This year J.L Rocha presented his first collection at Fashion week San Diego and without spending over 10K nor paying anyone to attend. Our show was broken into two parts. The first, for our resort shoes, was fun colorful and playful. Our shoes are all handmade in calfskin with a pebble finish and our take for SS2015 is that life should be celebrated in full colors. Our Lime, Orange, Lemon & Blue shoes will just do that.

Our second look was elegant and modern with our lambskin jackets taking you for a ride into the luxury of leather.

Fashion should be an extension of who you are. We hope that you come to our shows and wear our brand because the quality, design and ,materials complement your lifestyle. By the reaction of the attendance and the response of the retail world we are doing just fine using our money for something more important than paying celebrities, How about making the fashion better for a better price? It’s entirely your call.