Secrets of a Publicist: Patrick Bradbury on Fashion Week Planning

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Bradbury Lewis

What boils down to less than 10 minutes of fashion under bright lights is the result of months of meticulous planning by PR armies. From guest lists and seating charts to models and backstage access—we asked the industry's veterans to share some of the invisible logistics that go into the week.

Patrick Bradbury, owner of the small and mighty PR label, Bradbury Lewis, divulged how he balances Fashion Week's editor politics and late starts with squeezed-in interludes of cocktails and dancing. Bradbury also gave us a glimpse of that all-too-mysterious Fashion Week animal: the seating chart. 

Fashion Week Workload:
Total of 10 events, including one for Fashion's Night Out: Steven Alan, The Lake & Stars, Yigal Azrouël Men's, Karen Walker, NAHM, Antonio Azzuolo, Jen Kao and Anndra Neen.

Fashion Week Team:
"Bradbury Lewis has a staff that includes myself and four full-time publicists, three full-time interns and a remarkable group of fashion week interns."

One Week Out:
"We have been working on event details since the beginning of July: finalizing spaces, dates, times, teams; and have sent out invites for all events. The concentration from August 29 on is on RSVPs and pre-press for our clients."

The Seating Chart (Pictured):
"The politics of seating are very interesting, and we certainly need to be aware of each designer's relationships, and who has been supporting the collection. Each PR company has their own method to this madness. Much of the seating ends up happening at the show, just before it begins, filling spaces and moving people about."

Fashion Week Day-in-the-Life:
- Wake up with coffee and laptop at the ready.

- Check in with the office and make sure everyone on the team is in good working order, feeling well and ready to go!

- Pack our totes for the events at hand: guest lists, pens, index cards, etc. Our interns are really well-organized thanks to Jennifer White, our office manager and life saver.

- Arrive together to our venues, and always make sure we are close at hand for the designer, yet not underfoot. We are a taxi and subway army, no car services here! (I've been known to drive to a venue if the weather is not cooperating)

- End the day at the office to pow-wow about the next events and make sure our images are going out for the day's shows to, WWD,, etc.

- Sometimes a drink or dinner, but usually vitamins and off to bed as soon as we can get away from the computer!

Fashion Week Mantra:
"Work, work, work ... not party, party, party. Although this season, I'll definitely drop by the Fantastic Man party to boogie a bit."

Most Memorable Fashion Week Experience:
"Major, major stage fright and panic at the Rock & Republic show at Cipriano back in 2008. The show was an hour late, and we had editors outside on 42nd Street, freezing their tushes off. It was a painfully cold February night. My phone was filling up with voicemails, texts and emails from the angry mob!"

Pre-Fashion Week Regimen:
"I get a haircut at Tommy Gunns in the Lower East Side, a facial at Sally Hershberger Face Place and my teeth cleaned, too!"

Fashion Week Survival Tips:
"I survive on apples, my special berry, yogurt and coconut water smoothie, and lots of green tea and coffee. Certainly a cocktail at the end of the day helps!"

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