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The black market of fashion show invitations

At Paris Fashion Week, the most exclusive events open their doors to those who carry enough cash

The black market of fashion show invitations At Paris Fashion Week, the most exclusive events open their doors to those who carry enough cash

Attending for the most-awaited fashion shows today is a job reserved for journalists, influencers, and buyers who have been sent an invitation. You can't buy tickets because they do not exist, and sometimes you can't even pass on the QR code to friends and acquaintances - the prs of the most exclusive brands check ID cards before admitting you inside their venue. According to what emerged during the current Paris Fashion Week, however, there are cases where having enough cash can help you pose your bottom in the front row of a show, alongside supermodels and pop culture celebrities, even if you don't have anything to do with the fashion industry. On Tuesday morning, on the eve of the Peter Do and Saint Laurent shows, fashion editor Louis Pisano shared on Twitter - his account on the app has more than 30,000 followers - the screenshot of an Instagram story for close friends posted by the manager of VICs (Very Important Clients) of a renowned fashion house. On the phone notes, this insider - whose name we don't know yet - listed the events, after parties and fashion shows to which he could give access to, subject to payment in cash. «A very lucrative side hustle I'm told,» Pisano added.

@nssmagazine The front row at the Fendi SS24 show >> #fendi #ss24 #milano #milan #fashionweek #milanfashionweek #mfw #mfw23 #frontrow #supermodels #lindaevangelista #naomicampbell #caradelavigne Luxurious - remix + slowed - Barbar60 & Mose & meydown

Pisano's post inevitably caused a stir on Twitter, yet this business has been around for some time. Perhaps prompted by the surge in engagement the fashion editor's account received after Tuesday's post, social media creator BryanBoy also shared a list of fashion show accreditations on Twitter, a screenshot of a Google document from a past Paris Fashion Week. Want to attend the Schiaparelli or Loewe show? $3,800; Valentino, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, or Dior? Up to $6,200. The list of shows and after parties auctioned off to the highest bidder by this unknowing manager seems endless, a so far anonymous sale that mixes the worlds of illegals bets and that of grocery shopping, offering free passes for the price of a property rental. «It's a shady operation,» the influencer explained about the sale of these passes, implying that it is an under-the-table process that few people know about - at least until yesterday. «Basically rich people pay these folks and they bribe people from within, either in fashion houses or PRs, or security, to give them an official invite and/or smuggling them in.»

For fashion students in need of inspiration or who simply want to see their favourite designer's show live, getting through the wall of pr blocking the entrance to fashion week's golden gates is child's play. To understand how it's done, just ask any design student who is wandering around the main streets of the fashion capitals these weeks, waiting for the right moment to join the stream of guests pouring into the presentations. «As the pr turns their back and makes small talk with a guest, you slip in and you're in,» one of them explained to us outside during London Fashion Week, «I think it also makes them happy to have more people at the show.» Crashing these events has even become a full-time job for Saint Lèon, the TikToker who amuses his followers narrating all the times he's managed to pretend to be a guest at fashion week, like the time he found himself backstage at the Yeezy presentation, alongside Kanye. Unlike the show crashing of Saint Lèon and the design students, born out of a genuine love for the fashion world - or at least one hopes so - and for the visionaries who are part of it, the accreditations sold under the counter in the backstages of event planning are unrelated to any artistic interest, indeed a bitter reflection of the true value of fame for those who have nothing to offer but bribes.