Fact or Fiction: What REALLY Happens During Fashion Week?

Summer K

There’s the truth and then there’s the glossy version most of you see on TV and magazines. To be honest, fashion week in NYC can be exciting, tiring, nerve-wracking and totally glam — and that’s just from our perspective. Realizing that those of you who aren’t in the industry might not know the whole story, we hit up our friends and fam and asked for their take. Here’s a sampling of questions and assumptions that made us laugh, shake our heads and feel the need to set the record straight.

1. “I don’t feel sorry for you – you get to meet all these famous designers, models and celebrities. You can’t tell me that isn’t fun!

Well, it is and it isn’t. You see, everybody’s running around town in uncomfortable shoes (because you just never know who’s taking pics and there’s never any cabs) and the crowds can be really stressful. Nothing ever starts on time and this means getting stories and pictures up for you guys is a race to the finish line. Sure, we see and interview some famous faces, but they’re in a rush too, so half the time they’re a little annoyed that we’re bugging them (even if we did arrange it ahead of time with their PR reps).

2. “I bet you go to some great parties, right?”

This is true — we do. But we’re also working them, which means while you’re heading home after a stressful day at the office, we’re still in our (extremely painful) heels, working the room and watching the clock because we have 3-4 more events to hit. And what happens if we’re too tired and don’t go? Well, a PR rep can get mad and that can hurt our relationship when it comes to booking a celebrity, pulling clothes for a shoot, etc.

3. “I don’t think I could sit through an hour show. Watching a bunch of models walk down a catwalk seems boring.”

Not at all! Again, shows never start on time, so this is a blessing in disguise. It gives us a chance to catch up on our emails, text, people watch (who’s sitting front row, who’s not), and say hi to friends and former colleagues. In all actuality, most shows are barely 10-15 minutes long. It’s the getting in and getting out that takes FOREVER.

4. “I bet you get a bunch of free stuff.”

Drinks? Sure — hangovers are par for the course during fashion week. But when it comes to designer clothing, shoes and bags, let’s be real. That’s limited to a few select editors, big-wig buyers, celebrities and all the models (FYI: most models don’t get paid to walk the catwalk and take free designer clothing as payment).

5. “I don’t get it. What’s the point?”

Yes, we’re there staring at clothes that won’t available for another six months, but we’re also keeping an eye out for emerging fashion and beauty trends (which helps us plan our editorials and photo shoots), which designers or clothing people respond to most, and which celebrities are getting the most attention. Most likely, these are the same people that will be gracing the covers of your fave magazines and fashion websites in the next year.

6. “Why can’t you take me with you to a show or a party?!?

Because it’s not a concert and they don’t just hand out tickets to shows. Sometimes we don’t get invited to stuff — sometimes we FIGHT to get invited to stuff. Sometimes we get shot down if we ask if two editors can go. You have a limited number of shows and events, press and buyers coming from all over the world, and limited space to put them in. The worst feeling in the world is when you’re looking forward to going to really great show and knowing you’re going to miss it because the last one ran over. On top of that, every designer is looking for press for their collection. Unless you’re a blogger/writer/stylist/photgrapher/media guru it’s hard to convince a designer’s PR rep that you taking up a sought-after seat is really going to benefit them.

7. “So why do you do it if it’s so stressful?”

Because we love fashion — plain and simple. And if we’re going to live up to our “Style To People” motto that means we have to be in the trenches. Of course it’s exhausting at times, but from a big-picture perspective our job is to not only make sure YOU’RE seeing what we’re seeing, but also to translate that into an affordable, fun and thoughtful way. We know you can’t afford a 10K bag or a 20K gown (neither can we), but we DO know you want to feel confident in what you’re wearing and the only way we can make that happen is to figure out how you can take something INSPIRATIONAL and rejigger it so its ACCESSIBLE.

8. “Seriously, do you ever sleep?!?”

Nope, not during fashion week. It’s a small price to pay when your take and perspective is helping people to gain a better understanding of not only the clothes, but also the industry and what it’s really all about.

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