Though it may seem that New York Fashion Week is now populated with bloggers, preening street style stars, and celebrities, it’s important to remember that there are still actual industry people who attend for work: buyers, editors, stylists, and more.
Case in point: Carmen Borgonovo, the fashion director and chief buyer for designer site My-Wardrobe. Borgonovo—who’s an alum of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle—sat down with us to share what goes into planning her schedule during fashion’s biggest week.
StyleCaster: As Fashion Week is soon upon us, what sorts of preparations are you making right now? What’s an average day like?
Carmen Borgonovo: At My-Wadrobe, we travel to all the international fashion weeks to see emerging and existing talent, so that means that we are out of the office for roughly a month and a half for shows and buying appointments. For our buying team, the week before we depart for fashion week we’re getting organized—making sure our schedules are set, our appointments are confirmed, and the whole team is ready to go out and find the best collections for the My-Wardrobe woman.
As a buyer for a retail site, what are you looking for during Fashion Week? Are you looking for specific pieces you want to feature, or more for trends in general? Or both?
We like to support new talent from around the globe.
One thing that separates us as an online retail site is that we can support these new talents because we do not have to buy as deep into the collections. We have the opportunity to test the waters, so to speak. When we’re at Fashion Week and creating the new buy, we don’t necessarily follow trends, but we do care about them. It is our vision to curate the best selection of must-have trends of the moment, wardrobe staples, and statement pieces.
What’s an average day like for you during Fashion Week?
There really isn’t an average day during Fashion Week—it changes every day. My day is always jam-packed between shows, running to showroom buying appointments, and re-sees so I can touch and feel the garments.
I also try to squeeze in a quick catch-up with friends while I’m in New York. I really like to make the most of my time no matter what city I’m in for Fashion Week.
What do you use to nourish yourself during Fashion Week? What do you like to eat? Do you drink coffee? If not, do you have a similar caffeinating mechanism?
Over the many years I’ve done Fashion Week, I learned very quickly that keeping hydrated and nourished is really important during this crazy time. I always have a bottle of Evian with me in my purse, and a few small snacks. I also like to run in the morning to release tension—it’s my form of meditation.
When I have some down time, I love to have breakfast at Saint Ambroeus downtown or grab a quick salad from Juice Press. I also make frequent stops to La Colombe for a pick-me-up.
What do you most look forward to about Fashion Week? Do you have any least favorite parts or things you dread?
My favorite part about Fashion Week is the opportunity to interact with My-Wardrobe’s amazing roster of designers, and also to find new talent. The only problem is that there are not enough hours in the day to see everyone, and my trip turns into a whirlwind.
What shows, presentations, and private viewings are you most looking forward to this season?
There are so many shows and private viewings this season that I’m excited about. I always look forward to My-Wardrobe favorites like DKNY, Thakoon, SUNO, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
And this season in particular I’m excited to see some of the new CFDA award winners and I have my eye on a few designers that I’m sure will be joining their ranks shortly.
What’s your biggest tip for newbies just going to their first Fashion Week?
The Starbucks next to The Empire Hotel takes forever; you will never get a quick coffee there. If you need a quiet moment you can always stop in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to relax and recharge your phone. Also, just to relax and enjoy it all! Fashion is fun! Yes, it can be stressful, but Fashion Week is meant to be a celebration.
What are some of your most tried and true bits of wisdom on how to enjoy and have a successful Fashion Week?
Relax and enjoy it. Seriously.