Image: Jane Leung, StyleCaster
If you thought simply rocking your hottest Alaa booties and a fresh blowout was all you would need to work a fashion party: think again. There’s nothing scarier than feeling alone on an island when you’re surrounded by people with champers in hand who seem to all know each other. In order to help, we turned to industry peeps from a girl who covers parties to a TV host, a party photog, and a few who throw bashes on the regular for tips on how to network, deal with celebs and maybe even meet a future paramour.
Owner, Alison Brod Public Relations:
Alison Brod (middle) Photo: Steven A Henry, FilmMagic
1. I go to dozens and dozens of events many we produce, whether charity benefits, new product launches, celebrity buzz events or personal (I had about 55 childrens birthday parties last year alone). I always try to meet someone new whenever I go to something and get a card. Having a variety of collected personalities helps in business and enriches life overall.
2. I am constantly asked when I host events to make introductions to people or I volunteer I think that is one of the easiest ways to meet people. If there is someone that seems interesting or you think that you have a connection to, ask your host to make the introduction.
3. An easy way to get conversation started is to compliment something that someone is wearing tell them that you love their earrings or ask where they get their hair colored because you love the color. You will pretty much be guaranteed a positive response and then can take the conversation wherever you want from there. Ha and men can always talk about sports right?
Style News Editor, Elle.com:
1. Im awful at working a party, but the one tip Id give is to keep introducing yourself. Sometimes you have to meet the same person 10, 15 times before they remember (or choose to remember) who you are. It may feel annoying, but its worth doing.
2. Most people in this industry are incredibly nice, so its worth approaching them to say hi, tell them you’re a fan of their work etc. I got my first writing gig by approaching the editor of Fashionista at the Kate Moss for Topshop party at Barneys a few years ago and just saying, Hey, I hope this isnt weird, but Im a huge fan. It worked out pretty well.
1. I always go to a party on my own. That way I can come and go as I please, and I can socialize with fellow guests without having to worry about the person with whom I may have attended. Stan doesnt like having to babysit.
2. Immediately upon arrival, I ALWAYS greet and thank my host. This way, Ive done my part, and I dont have to worry about having been rude or ungracious. This also gives your host an opportunity to introduce you to people you might not know or who you might want to meet.
3. Never has social interaction been a problem for me, but I find a martini or a glass of champagne always helps those with fear of settings outside their comfort zone just dont blame me for the hangover after that fourth cocktail.
Scenario To Avoid: I once witnessed a man moonwalk across the room, spin once, give the thumbs up and ask a young lady, Whats YOUR name? Normally, Im all about quirky party-goers, but I was not surprised when the lady picked up a call on her cell phone right at that moment.
On-Air Fashion Host, Fashion Expert
1. My first rule of thumb for a party is obviously stand out! Wear something bold and different! People will notice you and it will be a conversation starter for sure. I like color and Pucci ties it ALWAYS works.
2. Also, try NOT to talk about “what you do.” It comes off as shallow, superficial and self serving! Ask people about themselves nine times out of ten people love to talk about themselves.
3. In the age of Twitter/Facebook/Google there are always ways to find someone after a party. Follow up after the event with an email or, better yet, a written note and let them know you had a great time and would love to set up a more formal meeting/date.
4. Keep EYE CONTACT! Never look over the shoulder to “see who else is there.”
5. Don’t check your phone every 10 seconds!
6. If you’re looking for work, think of a party as an “informal interview” keep it light, fun and if you are memorable you will get a call!
Check James out on First Comes Fashion. Photo: Katy Winn, Getty Images
Party Photographer Extraordinaire
Hanuk Hanuk, Right
1. My one tip would be just have fun at a party! Smile (which comes naturally after a drink or two)! Make nice eye contact but not scary like a pigeon looking for a mate (I witnessed this and I was scared). I’m not so great at networking at a party but kissing them on the cheek is another story.
2. I don’t like when people just snap pictures away at “famous” people without asking them I always ask if I can take their pictures. Sometimes they say “no” but I understand because I don’t feel pretty every night either. But, the biggest mistake I ever saw someone make was me. I was living in Paris and I met a really interesting guy. He gave me his card and asked for my number. Apparently I flipped his card, wrote down my number and gave it back to him. What a bitch! Wait, that’s me!
President, Four Hundred (members-only club)
Tony Abrams (middle)
1. Get familiar with greeting people with “nice to see you” rather than “nice to meet you.” I have been busted many of times with the ever-dreaded line “Tony, we’ve met like four times already.” I learned this the hard way.
2. Don’t drink too much (or talk “business” with people that have). I would have either a million different businesses or business partners if I believed everything that is told to me when others are under the influence.
3. Make strategic introductions (otherwise it gets awkward). You always want to be the connector.” I have a member who owns some great restaurants here in NYC/LA and another member who happens to be a big fan of them. I introduced them at a Four Hundred event two years ago and now the fan is his business partner and largest investor in all restaurants moving forward.