I should preface this whole thing with I love New York Fashion Week. Right before a show starts, two men run in synchronization pulling the plastic that was covering the runway. Everyone gets settled in. The room fades to black. Then with what I imagine as a “3-2-1! Lights! Cue music!” the models start strutting down the runway. Amazing hair, gorgeous makeup, and chic pieces. What more could a fashion lover ask for?
For those who have never been to fashion week it probably seems like a completely glamorous experience. For the most part it is, but there are a few not so fabulous aspects of it. So here’s what you don’t see from a fashion week insider.
You don’t glide into a show and get directed to your seat like it’s a Broadway play. It actually more like a cattle call with a lot of waiting in heels that are not meant for standing in for lengthy periods of time. Unless you are a celebrity of sorts, standing in line is inevitable (for every show).
There is occasionally a little bit of ‘tude
Even though your name is on the list, checking into shows can be met with a little edge. I get it. Having to wrangle everyone into a show in a timely matter could put even the most pleasant person in a sour mood. Compound that with the fact that it’s probably not the only show you’re working that week (or day), we’d all get a bit grumpy. So don’t hold it against them!
It gets pricey
Between buying new outfits, transportation, and food fashion week can be a hefty price.
You don’t always get a seat
Unless you have a certain level of notoriety, a seat is not always a guarantee. When I first started attending fashion week, I quickly learned that standing and Alexa Alfonso were going to be two peas in a pod. Now, I sometimes get a seat (which is always nice).
Here’s the thing about not getting assigned a seat, it doesn’t matter. People rsvp to shows and don’t attend all the time so shows very rarely are at capacity. Right before the shows begin they offer of up the empty seats. I’ll just leave it at the fact that I’m Cuban, Jamaican , and a Jersey girl. I know how to hustle for a seat. 😂
Your feet hurt (like really hurt)
I mentioned the standing. That does your toes very little favors. I’ve worn flats and my feet still bothered me a bit. Shuffling from show to show, waiting in line, and standing before they offer seats is murder on the feet. Add in the fact that you’re going from morning until night to that. Ouch.
The shows are spread apart.
There are two official locations for NYFW– Skylight at Moynihan Station and Skylight Clarkson Square. One is midtown and the other is further downtown. Many designers skip having the shows in that location and do it in completely different venues all over the city. So basically, you’re always semi in a rush for your next show. Then you arrive and have to wait in the aforementioned line.😐
I mentioned morning until night and I’m not joking. One day last season I started with a morning show, ran around to back-to-back shows all day, came home for about an hour, changed, and headed out to a Ferragamo party that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. I always need a few recovery days after fashion week to say the least.
- Be nice.
Be nice to people in line.You never know who you’re standing next to. Be nice to the person checking you in. They are probably having a stressful day/week. Be nice to the people you are going to shows with. It’s more fun when everyone is getting along.
- Make a budget
There are a lot of freebies during fashion week, but you do have to open your wallet on occasion. Make a rough budget on how much you are spending on cabs, food, clothes, and beauty (haircuts, makeup, nails, etc) and stick to it. You can easily spend a ton of money very quickly if you don’t.
- Bring comfortable shoes to wear between shows
Outside of every show there are photographers so in those moments it’s important for your outfit to be on point. In the lulls between shows though, give your feet a break! Swap out those sky high heels for a pair of comfortable flats. You won’t look as fabulous, but your feet will thank you. Fashion week is like a marathon so you need to pace yourself.
- Don’t overextend yourself.
If you’re new to fashion week your shows might not be back-to-back, but as the seasons go on you will definitely get to that point. While it is great to be invited to shows, it simply isn’t feasible to make it to all of them. I personally like to pad an hour between shows to take travel time into account. The only way I will do shows back-to-back is if I have two shows in the same location (which is rare). For example, if I have a show at 1 pm I will usually go to a 3 pm show next. I do not like to kill myself to make it to the 2 pm show. I break this rule only if I have three shows in a row that I simply cannot miss.
New York Fashion Week, especially in September, is my favorite time of year. The highs outweigh the lows significantly, but I just wanted to share the slightly less glamorous side. Can’t wait share my fashion week adventures next week!