Secure your spot while tickets last!
With more and more celebrities showing up to fashion shows than ever before, the coveted front row spots are no longer just for industry insiders. Athletes, musicians and movie stars are in attendance for whatever reason, from contract obligations to a simple interest in the world of clothing. i-D took a look at the history of the front row, who is sitting there, why they're sitting there and just how they got there.
The #frow, as it has been affectionately and stupidly dubbed thanks to possibly the most vomit-inducing abreeve ever, started out exactly how you think it did, as the best seat to see the clothing unobstructed. Sure, the status was still there, but it was more about the art on display. The history goes a bit further back to the biggest Parisian houses showing collections for socialites and retailers with the occasional celebrity showing up for the show. In the decades after, more and more famous people started popping up, but early on, those first row spots went to lame, not interesting people who were important to the designer, like their family. The '70s ushered in a more professional vibe (if that even makes sense) and because cameras were not as widespread, everyone sketched in their notebooks quickly as collections were trotted out, so sitting with an unobstructed view of the runway was crucial. Without the street style mess outside the shows, things were a bit more buttoned-up than they are now and most of the attendees dressed in subdued clothing.
It wasn't until the '90s that celebs really started showing up and sitting down. Then, in the early to late '00s, it was the bloggers who fucked things up royally with their numerous wardrobe changes before each show, invading the front row due to their #influence and penchant for crazy outfits. Now, some celebrities get paid to sit and wear designs fresh off the runway, taking advantage and sometimes at the expense of the powerful people who are in attendance. The future could hold some interesting developments, but all we really care about is getting to see Kanye if we're being real.