So as you were ALL well aware of New York Fashion week was held at Lincoln Center from September 4th-11th. Not only was that THE thing to do but it was the major theme for parties, events, magazines and obviously your news feed. I’m here to let you in on a little secret anyone can be someone (literally ANYONE, yeah I know you also know those people) at MBFW with a little help from the old quote: FAKE IT, till you MAKE IT. Really my friends, all it takes is some makeup, dressing up like your life depended on it (and here at FIT we have that pinned down to perfection) and standing for 15 mins outside of Lincoln Center. Instantly you become someone who people want to take pictures of and think they are striking gold. Don’t get me wrong this is very fun to do (read on and I’ll tell you about my experience) but the real action happens backstage, not out there with the fashionistas, bloggers and all sorts of wannabes (sorry, had to say it). The only way to get a glimpse of action is through FIT and then network your way up.
- My 1st fashion week (February 2011): I had just moved into the dorms and I started school. Walking through the hallways I noticed a bulletin board (keep your eye on those) with a sign that said NYFW volunteers wanted. There was a set date and time where you would sign up for the shows you wanted according to your schedule. I signed up for Zang Toi, Ruffian, Daniel Vosovic and Risto as a dresser, and can honestly say my dreams were starting to come true. In less than a week I was already working inside the tents with recognized designers and got to fill up a second row seat that was empty because it would make the runway look bad (pure luck). Right now, I should warn you about how very intense and secretive these people are I had to legit sign a NDA just to be able to volunteer with them (crazy right?). During those opportunities I got as much Intel as I could and networked my buttocks (you know what I mean, haha) off. This way I got to be asked again to work during next fashion week, needless to say that and my work ethics got me in again.
- My 2nd fashion week (September 2011): This time I worked with the events sponsored by PLITZ Fashion Marketing Group and United Colors of Fashion by supporting back- and front-of-the-house efforts and planning and executing silent auction, including assemblage of gift bags at their Annual Gala (sounds very resume material and that’s right, just copy pasted it from there). Other than that I did do dressing again and of course more networking. I could’ve signed up through FIT but my schedule was a bit tough to make it even though they do them during common hours (Tue&Thur no one has class between 1-2pm).
- My 3rd fashion week (February 2013): I got invited to the David Tlale show a designer who I met volunteering for UCOF and was his first presentation in MBFW. Turns out networking really paid off!
- My 4th fashion week (September 2013): Enough with the volunteering! By now, I was well aware that I deserved to see a show or at least enjoy having a gift bag instead of making one. Even if my previous experiences were valuable I wanted to experience the “glamour” of it. With my roommates almost forcing me to go I accepted to go with them and have my fame. Indeed, 15 minutes later I was starting in a video and people were asking to take my pictures. Mind you, I’m NO one in terms of fashion moguls, editors or buyers but yet it seemed like they couldn’t get enough of me. Shutters clicking everywhere and I knew it was my time to leave, I couldn’t keep pretending (haha those poor people) and wasting their time. So everyone knows it by: INVITATION ONLY, right? Well NOPE it’s not. Living proof here. I dressed all in black as volunteers are supposed to (plan B) and just walked through those doors with an all deserving attitude to find myself inside with less than a glance by security. Long story short, I got my hair done at the Tresemme Salon, free gift bags from Ebay and fashion magazines, free ice cream, pictures and drinks and more. I was about to get into a show but what the heck it was never going to be second row like the first time. Instead I went ahead and swam in all my free stuff.
- This fashion week I stayed home and avoided everything altogether (seems kind of weird, doesn’t it?) I did post for my website InfoModaRD about the Dominican Models that were spotted on the Runway this time. Though, my new take on fashion week is exactly what Suzy Menkes describes in The Circus of Fashion, “something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade.” I did see people lining up and camping out to get into the volunteer signups at FIT. My recommendation to you is do it once because it is a learning experience, of course if you can. If you are uncertain just check out the designers and opportunities before you make that line. Anyways just remember, whether you fake it till you make it or go flaunt your stuff all over Lincoln Center be wise before you answer any questions. Or you might just end up looking like this: