(Bryan Bedder for American…)
One of the best kept secrets of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has to be the VIP treatment received by American Express card members.
Let's start with the American Express Skybox.
Card members are escorted through a door in front of show guests - you can almost see them drool as you walk by - and up a flight of stairs to the opulent suite, which is perched above the top row of the actual runway show. The suite features a fully stocked bar, a mini stage where Q and A sessions are held between shows, and comfy seats for guests to watch each sashay and swivel on the runway.
Passed hors d'oeuvres - everything from shrimp, salmon, and lamb - and drinks are brought to guests.
Probably the best thing about the suite is the Q and A sessions with fashion insiders and celebrities such as: Miss America Alyssa Campanella, Paula Abdul, Vogue's Director of Photography Ivan Shaw, Elle's Creative Director Joe Zee, and designers Tadashi Shoji, Rebecca Minkoff, Lubov Azria and Naeem Khan. Lottie Oakley, former associate publisher of Vogue, serves as the host.
In addition, to the Skybox at Lincoln Center, American Express also offered a similar layout at MADE at MILK Studios, which housed a number of top shows as well.
American Express' culminating event Thursday night was a cardmember-only show with stylist Rachel Zoe. The event included pre-show cocktails, a conversation with the celebrity stylist/designer, and the showcasing of Zoe's Spring collection.
Cardmembers weren't the only ones to get a taste of the rewards. American Express set up Instagram Towers in the main lobby of Lincoln Center. The towers featured the work of fashion photographer Garance Dore, along with curated work from fashion enthusiasts from around the country submitted through Instagram.