I got myself invited to New York Fashion Week when I was 14 years old. I found a contact for BCBG/Herve Leger public relations and emailed her. I figured I’d never hear back, and was seriously in shock when I got my first ever invitation. And, they seated me FRONT ROW!
I had no clue what I was doing, and I honestly thought she was going to ask me to pay to go to the shows. I couldn’t figure out how people got invited to Fashion Week. In 2012, you had to be an editor, a celebrity, or someone seriously connected to go to Fashion Week. If you knew the names Whitney Port, Lauren Conrad, People’s Revolution, and Kelly Cutrone: you were probably going to Fashion Week. Once I got my first invite, I started emailing tons of other designers every season, asking if they’d have me cover the show on my blog.
When I first showed up at Fashion Week, I had no clue what to expect. The shows were held at Lincoln Center, which is in uptown Manhattan. Tons of people would flock to the shows in the dead of winter, taking pictures and trying to get themselves on the New York Times street style page. No one gave a s*** about being on an OOTD daily Instagram page: we all wanted to be in the Times! I was in awe. I loved the glam, the beauty, and honestly, how justifiably pretentious the atmosphere was. Going to NYFW at such a young age taught me so much about the type of people in the industry. You could easily spot the people like me, who were hungry and eager to be there, and you could spot the people who knew someone or just wanted to sit front row. Back in 2012, Instagram wasn’t nearly as big as it is today. You could almost sit through an entire fashion show without a text, tweet, or notification sound in your ear.
I’ve gone to Fashion Week in Manhattan for over 10 seasons now. I, along with the rest of the people who have been in this world for years, have seen it drastically change. As the industry got saturated, so did the parts of it that used to be so elegant and phenomenal. I’ve been learning a lot about the type of people I want in my life, and I’ve found that the people who now go to fashion week simply aren’t the type of people I want to surround myself with.
Along with tremendous stress, planning, exhaustion, and lack of nutritious food for an entire week, you battle a bunch of skinny b****** trying to act like they deserve to be pushing through to the front row when they probably snuck in.
I got to go to London Fashion Week a year ago, and was shocked to see how organic the setup is there. You have to be on the list, or you can’t get in. I’m allll for sneaking in places and doing crazy stuff, but when it comes to Fashion Week, there should be guest lists intact. There should be seating arrangements, and space for people to walk and breath. Until the London/Paris gets saturated (and I truly hope it never does) I will take every chance I can to travel their and view collections.
I gave away my tickets to NYFW last season, and it made my heart so happy to know that girls got to replace me who deserved it. They’re hungry for this world, and that’s how I was when I was younger.
P.S. My friend Chelsea wrote an article on why she isn’t going to Fashion Week any longer; read her take on it here.