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7 days filled with fashion shows, street style, events, networking, etc, and New York Fashion Week NYFW for short is over for this season.
This time last year, I was in Jersey City working on a client for “busy season”, struggling to stay focus and wishing I sitting in on an NYFW show. I was able to get my feet wet last September when I dressed models for Minika Ko’s fashion show. This season, I decided to step it up a notch.
I started researching opportunities as early as December. A fellow alum gave me the suggestion to check hashtags on Instagram. Between Instagram, Craigslist, and Indeed, I sent out emails for two weeks straight. If designers were out of my league, they received an email.
My goal this season was to work as many NYFW shows backstage as I could. Credibility and resume building were essential since I’m transitioning to a different industry. The goal was achieved! I worked with over 20 designers which included Mint Swim, COLOUR by Nandi Madida, Adriana Sahar, and more! It was an experience I’ve PRAYED for. I’m dying to share the many lessons that I learned. Check them out below.
A few lessons I learned from my NYFW experience.
Closed Mouths Don’t Get Fed
I probably live by this quote because of its accuracy. My first opportunity wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t seek help. Long story short, I was looking for a pattern-maker. We connected and she offered me the opportunity to shadow her as she styled a show. I took the position without hesitation. That one opportunity led to even greater opportunities for this season. It wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t speak up for myself.
Work Now, Play Later
Being invited to the top designers’ shows is a great opportunity; but, you won’t get in without the work to show for it. I knew I needed to prove myself in this industry before I could ever think about sitting front row. Each day consisted of more than 10 hours. I ran blocks to buy hangers for shows (true story), steamed DOZENS of pieces before shows, and ran to get food for directors in my downtime. It wasn’t pretty, but it led me to connect with top individuals in their after parties. I was given the opportunity to promote my ideas and collection for Caliber X and receive their advice. I gained their trust first before asking for anything in return. (KEY)
I frequently checked each website, Groupme chat, and social media platform for opportunities. I checked emails twice a day so I wouldn’t miss a message. Once I received those opportunities, I made it a priority that every designer I worked with knew my name. Once the shows were over (and I had my time back), I researched everyone’s address and mailed them thank you cards. Some people may think it’s extra, and decide to send an email instead; however, I believe personal thank you cards add a special touch to the experience.
Overall, the 20 hours of sleep, probably less, I received over the course of five days was well worth it. The long hours don’t phase you much when you’re passionate and stay focus on your end goal. I can’t wait until next season or even a new city where I can learn more and connect with even more industry professionals.
Thank you for continuously following my journey!
Confused on the industry change? Check out my post “New Year, New Chic on Wall St?