• New York Fashion Week is a notable event where fashion brands present new collections.
  • It is also a great opportunity for small businesses to grow through events and collaborations.
  • Two founders share advice on using events like NYFW to boost small business growth.

Fashion Week is one of the regular events that define the beginning of autumn in New York City. Major fashion brands invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in presentations and runways, celebrities spend their week traveling from show to show, and street style photos flood social media feeds for days.

Historically, this week has featured luxury brands such as Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger, but small businesses are usually on the backburner. Even if you don’t present at , you still have important opportunities. Her two founders, Alyssa Coscarelli and Abby Price, who run curated collaborations her platform Infinite and home goods brand Abbode respectively, see it as a great opportunity to grow their small business.

“New York audiences understand the importance of making small purchases, knowing where their work comes from and who is behind it.

At this year’s NYFW, Coscarelli and Price partnered to host a pop-up shop featuring a curated collection of fashion and lifestyle brands, including products from Price’s own label.

Coscarelli said the pop-up shop is a cost-effective and accessible alternative to runway presentations. “I’m not going to tell any brand to put on a runway show because it’s a huge financial investment and not the right format for some brands,” she said.

Coscarelli and Price shared their tactics for business growth and suggestions on how founders can increase brand awareness and sales during NYFW.

Pop-up shops bring new customers to your business

The pop-up will be held at a physical Price store in New York City.

The pop-up will be held at a physical Price store in New York City.

Sophie Sahara

Coscarelli and Price decided on a pop-up shop that creates an intimate, face-to-face experience for customers to connect with their brands, products, and each other.

“It’s a really special feeling to feel they’ve discovered and to have something that no one else has,” Coscarelli said.

Both Infinite and Abbode have built a mission to elevate women and other small businesses run by BIPOC founders through curation. The pop-up will include a curated collection of brands such as Los Angeles-based underwear line Poppy Undies and LGBTQ-owned textile brand Zoe Schlacter.

But Coscarelli and Price said they are partnering with slightly different goals.

Since Infinite officially launched in February, Coscarelli hopes to reach new customers through the event. She believes Abbode’s existing shoppers are the same consumers who appreciate Infinite.

Meanwhile, Price hopes the event will bring in sales and help establish Abode in New York’s fashion and lifestyle community.

To pay for rent and inventory, sales are an important part of hosting the event Price. I’m looking forward to it.”

Guerrilla marketing is a cost-effective way to get noticed

In-person events like pop-up shops can be expensive, especially for brands like Abbode that don’t have physical locations. Founders have to rent space and may compete with other brands looking to take advantage of NYFW, which can drive up costs exponentially. To keep prices low, Coscarelli and Price suggest using other avenues for growth, such as guerrilla marketing and unconventional low-cost marketing tactics that can increase brand exposure.

“If you have space for a lot of people, try setting up a table,” or handing out promotional items, Price said.

When she founded Abode, she would drag a wagon full of disco balls to the West Village and give them away for free if people posted a picture on Instagram and tagged Abode. We took a guerrilla marketing approach.

Allowing people to create their own content and promote themselves while sharing the brand is a great tactic for events like NYFW, she said.

Strategic product placement is free advertising

A collaboration collection between Infinite and Miga Swimwear launched in June of this year.

A collaboration collection between Infinite and Miga Swimwear launched in June of this year.

Courtesy of Coscarelli

With so many events happening throughout the week, “you don’t have to do the maximum,” says Coscarelli. “There are more intimate and creative ways you can participate in a week like this.”

Small business owners should consider inviting a handful of micro-influencers or local fans of the brand to a small dinner party to showcase their new products, suggested Coscarelli. Or you could host an apartment-style showroom so people can come see the products and have a place to stretch their legs and relax during the week, she added.

Pricing also suggests placing products strategically throughout the week. Invite influencers to wear your clothes to their shows or lend you your products as decorations for their events. will appear in street style photos, and event attendees will be able to see your product in action.

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