Once upon a time, the words 'fashion week' conjured up images of celebrity and industry heavy-hitters taking their 'rightful' front-row seats. And those who were unfortunate enough to get their front row seat were sometimes reduced to tears. Paul Wilmot, a PR executive has "seen meltdowns" and says: "it's just math. If there are only 100 front row seats, and 200 people who want to sit in the front row, it's not going to work." The thought of regular members of the public attending fashion week, let alone deigning to consider a front-row spot, was unthinkable.
Last season, however, saw the dawn of a new era. The usual status quo shifted when the likes of Burberry and co proceeded to stream their shows live online, meaning that the average Joe was given access to the 'holy grail' - inside the fashion tents. This season, things look set to change even more, as regular fashionistas now have the option of buying a front-row seat. Dr Nina Koduru, a research fellow at Cornell Medical School has done just that. As a member of Noir, an invitation only club - courtesy of Gilt Groupe, a sample-sale website - Koduru was able to purchase a front-row seat for the Richard Chai show, at a cost of $2,100, which also entitles her to a choice of two pieces from his Fall 2010 collection.