Every year thousands travel to New York City to see the talented designers show off their latest creations on the runways, and this year I was fortunate to be one of them.
After having interned for popular brands, Giorgio Armani in Chicago and Yumi Kim this previous summer in New York City, I now have a deeper understanding of what this week really means to the fashion industry, including the designers and numerous people involved in the production of making this week-long monumental event a success.
New York Fashion Week took place from Feb. 8-16. There are four main fashion weeks that happen every year around the world, taking place in New York, Milan, Paris and London. None of the shows are open to the public, as it is an invite only scenario. Designers usually invite members of the media, prominent buyers, friends and celebrities who are paid to go. Designers want publicity, and they work hard to get it.
Jenna Sauers, a fashion model and blogger who did not shy away from major issues in the industry, wrote in a 2010 Jezebel blog post, “New York fashion week kicks things off, then comes London fashion week, then Milan fashion week, and then Paris fashion week.”
“These are the fashion weeks where designers including Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Dior, Burberry, Valentino, and any other purveyor of $3,000 dresses whose perfume or wallet or lipstick us regular folks might one day be moved through successful branding to buy, unveil their new seasonal collections.”
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Everyone is drenched in their finest apparel, wondering if they’ll get caught in one of the famous street style photographs that will appear in magazines.
Models who are in an average stage of their career will walk in anywhere between six to 10 shows, someone considered to be doing well will walk in 10 to 15, and the best models will walk in 15 to 20. Most of the time models are not paid; they are given publicity and free clothes from the designer.
For me, NYFW is something I have wanted to attend for so long. I have been obsessed with everything about fashion since I was a young girl. I landed Friday night, immediately met up with two of the girls I interned with this summer and we dove right into the madness of it all.
Two of us flew in for the weekend, and were very much dependent on the New York intern, Sophie Santagata, whom we had befriended this previous summer. Her experience was not only with the clothing line Yumi Kim, but also as a stylist with Milly, an intern with Spring Studios and an assistant to Cosmopolitan Magazine. Her connections definitely gave us a step up into the world of fashion.
We stayed on the Lower East Side and West Side of Manhattan — where most of the fashion seekers go — for the majority of the weekend. Although we did not sneak into any shows, Santagata used her connections and got us into private art showings, and a private display of a fashion collection.
We went to renowned restaurants on rooftops and in the inner parts of Elizabeth Street where many celebrities are often spotted. After all, if you go to New York and want to see the trendiest spots of the city, you have to go down to SoHo.
The designer that we worked with this summer, Kim Phan, owner of Yumi Kim, gave us each a big sum of money to pick out certain items of her line to show off during the weekend.
I chose to wear a big blue fur jacket over an all blue jean jumpsuit from my favorite NY boutique, Babel Fair, paired with Loeffler Randall shiny metallic shoes. She wanted photographs and publicity, so that is what we gave her. I feel incredibly fortunate to have attended part of the famous NYFW, and cannot wait to move to NYC after college and have the chance to experience many more.
London’s Spring Fashion Week was from Feb. 16-20 and it is a whole new ballgame out in Europe. I hope to one day get out and attend shows and private events in the three other main fashion hot spots of the world.