A quick search on CraigsList turns up dozens of listings for entrée to fashion shows. Apparently, a fashion show seat is worth somewhere between $75 and $500. We were so intrigued by this act of corruption -- yes, we take fashion week very seriously-- that we even contacted a few of the seat sellers.
Turns out that one of the online sellers was even hocking an invite without a seat assignment, which means that the buyer may not even get into the show if it's too crowded. We won't give away the names or affiliations of the people with the people with which we spoke but lets leave it to say that the seat sellers were not lowly fashion students or rent strapped recent grads. Turns out that one person is an accessories designer and the other is a mid-level PR executive.
Sure we realize that American Express facilitates that same transactions with their platinum card customers but we see it more as a desperate cry for publicity. Hocking your own seat or those of your clients' is more closely related to eating your young. If you can't make it to a show, share the seat with your friend. If you really want to go to a fashion show, make a friend. And for those standing in the back row, just be content knowing that you weren't the sucker who paid to be there.