Tips for Volunteering at Seattle Fashion Week

#SFW2011 is Twitter talk for Seattle Fashion Week 2011, but I’m not going to be talking about my experiences managing SFW’s social media presence because DUH I’m not managing it. If you haven’t heard, Seattle is on the up-and-up of becoming the next fashion city, so I’m really excited about finally being able to volunteer at SFW. Running from May 4th through the 15th, the event-filled week opened with the kick-off event at Trinity Night Club. A mini fashion show, a meet-and-greet with designer Jeffrey Williams, and guest DJ Roxy Cottontail were the main attractions, but it took a lot behind the scenes to make it happen. Here’s what I learned on the day of and what you can take away:

1) Bring Flats

I was helping out wherever needed from 5PM until 10PM then partying it up until 2AM. Being on my feet for 9 hours, I was glad I wasn’t in heels all day. Flats will save your feet!

2) Clip Your Nails

Zippers,  models, and long nails don’t mix well. I struggled to dress models and zip up dresses because I didn’t want to scratch the models (ouch) or break a nail (double ouch). Clip clip

3) Forget the Bangles

Loud and always in the way, I didn’t even attempt to wear bangles. So go easy on the accessories.

4) Be On Time

With the rain and the Mariners game going on at the same time, traffic was a mess. To make sure no one missed the show, it was pushed back two hours. Although there’s the saying, “We’re running fashionably late,” there’s also the saying of, “The show must go on,” so don’t intentionally come late.

5) Step Up

Dressing models seems like it’d be a breeze (you know..unzip here, button there), but once the show started it was madness. Models were running around, scrambling to make their changes and make it back on stage. Although I was helping dress for a specific designer I stepped in when I saw another designer needed help. So help when you can.

6) Speak Up

SFW is fully volunteer-run so nobody knows who’s who. Don’t assume there’s a hierarchy or that you’re unimportant. Everybody’s there to have a good time and celebrate Seattle fashion. Don’t wait for introductions, just make em.

I learned and experienced a lot in one day of volunteering at Seattle Fashion Week, and that was just the kick-off event. I’m excited for the Men’s Fashion Night on Thursday, and I’ll be prepared following these tips. Have you ever helped at a fashion event? Share your tips!


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