Spotted in the front row at the HUGO Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2013: Matthew Goode (British actor), Poppy Delevigne (model and it-girl), Claus-Dietrich Lahrs (CEO HUGO BOSS), Kate Bosworth (Hollywood actress), China Chow (actress), Klaus Wowereit (Mayor of Berlin) and Christiane Arp (editor-in-chief of German VOGUE). But what about the people sitting in the second row? And is the view on the runway really that bad in row three and four? With all the front row talk I guess it’s time to shed some light on the mysterious seating process of a fashion show and reveal some information about the essential question: Who sits where and why?
In general, fashion shows are invite-only events. So as soon as the sought-after fashion show invites with details on how to R.S.V.P. are sent out the planning process of the seating begins. The output of the seating process is the seating chart, which you can see in the snapshot below. But let’s start from the beginning…
First of all, a spreadsheet is updated with responses on a daily basis in order to get an accurate guest list. The master guest list is then sorted by category (international press, national press, websites and blogs, newspapers, stylists, retail etc.) and importance. Each category is assigned a specific color and all guest names of that category are written on little color-coded post-its. Then a large and empty seating chart is printed out and the fun part begins: Who will be sitting where? Of course, the front row seats are reserved for international A-list celebrities, editors-in-chief and well-known fans and supporters of the brand. All seats in the other rows are assigned according to the following three main factors: 1. How supportive has the person been to the brand? 2. What’s the publication’s circulation? And 3. What’s the person’s position at the publication? But there are many more criteria that have to be counted in as well, e.g. the person’s seat at the last fashion show or the general rule to keep co-workers from the same publication together. In addition to that, the seating chart usually includes one or two so-called jump seats in each block for unanticipated plus-ones, surprise guests or friends and family. All these factors make the whole seating process so complicated and complex. In the end it’s all about the right mix of celebrities, journalists, editors and clients. But enough with fashion politics. Do you know what what makes me really proud? It’s the fact that you can always enjoy a virtual front row view right here on the HUGO Blog!
Second image courtesy of Toni Nüsse.