Caitlin Catarozoli lives in Milwaukee, has never worked for a magazine or fashion brand, and is not a model, blogger or influencer.
But she is a regular attendee of New York Fashion Week, one of the most exclusive events on the planet. She has sat in the audience for shows by Anna Sui and Prabal Gurung, watching models like Ashley Graham and Gigi and Bella Hadid sashay down the runway.
"When I was sharing it on Instagram, there were people who sent me messages telling me:" How the hell are you there?! ", the 30-year-old told The Post.
The truth: she paid to enter.
It's the dirty little secret that some fashion industry experts don't want to take out, but anyone can buy a ticket for some of the most popular shows of New York Fashion Week.
Endeavor & # 39; s Experience Group, a branch of the organization that runs NYFW, offers packages that start at around $ 500 for a simple ticket and VIP concierge and up to $ 1,500, for a front-row seat for the Rag & Show Bone, plus an exclusive gift and a private design consultation on the brand's Soho flagship.
Fashion week starts Thursday and tickets are available for designer shows like The Blonds, Cynthia Rowley, Alice + Olivia and Monse.
But some experts say that public tickets have stolen the semi-annual event of their exclusivity.
"For all the people who worked to get an invitation, that's the most daunting part," said Aliza Licht, former Donna Karan publicist and presenter of the "Leave Your Mark" podcast. "People spend years fighting for that access, and now you can buy it."
"Receiving an invitation was a privilege and a reward for how much my fellow editors and I sacrificed along the way, and the fact that anyone can buy a ticket is simply pathetic," added a former editor of a fashion magazine.
Clients range from aspiring influencers to design students and women who do their thing after their husbands arrive at the Super Bowl.
Licht recalled how, when he worked at Donna Karan, “he used to receive ridiculous requests. People would offer money or crafts. The one that stood out was the dry cleaners that offered free dry cleaning for a year in return ”(he said he never accepted such offers).
Bev Sambrotto, owner of the Your VIP Pass concierge service, has seen that tickets cost up to $ 3,500, but said shoppers were disappointed by how short the actual shows were.
"The fact that anyone can buy a ticket now is simply pathetic."
– A former editor of a fashion magazine
"People were a bit disappointed by the prices," Sambrotto told the Post. "They felt the value was not there. They don't know what to expect and they are paying a lot for a 20-minute show."
In the case of Catarozoli, he wanted to see the shows and the celebrities who attend, but he also hoped to connect and improve his career as a makeup artist.
"You never know who you will meet," said Wisconsinite. In fact, she managed to connect at a Fashion Week event with someone from Aveda, who hired her. As a result, he got concerts in Greece and Asia, and worked in NYFW shows for brands like Elie Tahari, Concept Korea and Studio 189.
Organizers say they limit the number of tickets for sale, to retain a degree of exclusivity. “There are limited seats. . . it's about maintaining the integrity of the show, "said Paul Caine, president of On Location Experiences.
The sources told The Post that designers negotiate a percentage of the revenue for themselves, usually allocating extra money to production budgets for their shows.
As for Catarozoli, who still pays to go to shows that he is not working on, he will be out of Fashion Week this season after giving birth recently. But she is already looking forward to September.
"I save for that," he said. "It was worth every penny".