New York Fashion Week Power List: 50 People To Know On and Off the Runway

Leah Bourne
New York Fashion Week Power List: 50 People To Know On and Off the Runway
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New York Fashion Week kicks off today, with designer shows taking place around the city from Lincoln Center to Brooklyn, and more parties and launches than a single person could possibly attend. Want to know who the biggest power players of the week are to keep your eyes out for? We’ve assembled a list of the movers and shakers that define New York Fashion Week, from some of the most revered (and, let’s be honest, feared) editors, the fashion bloggers who now dominate the front row, and the designers who make the New York Fashion Week calendar what it is.

MORE: How It’s Decided Who Sits Where at Fashion Week

So, how did we decide on our New York Fashion Week Power List? The people included are uniquely successful in their individual professions. We also tried to include influencers in a broad range of categories—from models to retailers to social media gurus.

To come up with the rankings, we also enlisted the help of a panel of experts to weigh in on the selection, including InStyle’s Fashion News Director Eric Wilson, Founder and CEO of One Management Scott Lipps, and our Beauty Director for StyleCaster Media Group, Rachel Adler, who oversees beauty coverage for our sister sites Beauty High and Daily Makeover.

MORE: Garance Doré: ‘Heels Don’t Make Sense During Fashion Week’

The exciting (and often scary) thing about working in fashion is that you can be in one season, and out the next, so the people that made this list might be making waves now, but be far less influential during the next round of shows in September. In other words, watch this space.

Click through the gallery see our New York Fashion Week Power List, and keep in mind that the list is organized in alphabetical order. 

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Mica Arganaraz, Model

A veteran of shows like Dries Van Noten and Christopher Kane, Buenos Aires-born Mica Arganaraz is set to have a major presence during New York Fashion Week this season. According to Scott Lipps, Founder and CEO of One Management: "[This] new model on the rise, [has] great personal style, [and is] taking show week by storm." In other words, know this name

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Glenda Bailey, Harper's Bazaar Editor-In-Chief

One of the most important editors in the business (she's been at the helm of Harper's Bazaar since 2001), you would be hard pressed to attend a major New York Fashion Week show and not see Bailey at her front row perch. Why is she so powerful? When Bailey nods approvingly at a dress coming down the runway it could very well end up on the cover of Bazaar. We'll be watching.

Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Bloomingdale's

Erika Bearman, Oscar de la Renta's Director of Communications

Erika Bearman not only holds a key position at one of the most prestigious American fashion brands, she is also the voice behind the highly influential Twitter handle @OscarPRGirl. Her social media influence extends beyond Twitter, and she has used social platforms like Tumblr and Pinterest to bring the De La Renta brand to a wider audience, particularly during Fashion Week when the brand live-streams its runway show. Be sure to look out for Bearman, perfectly coiffed, getting everyone seated February 11, from the comfort of your computer.

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley, Co-Founders of Kirna Zabête

Champions of young designers like Prabal Gurung and Wes Gordon, what Buccini and Easley eye for their ground-breaking fashion emporium Kirna Zabête, located in New York City's Soho area, is always something to watch during New York Fashion Week.

Bill Cunningham, New York Times Photographer

"We all get dressed for Bill," Vogue editor Anna Wintour famously said speaking of New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. Cunningham essentially invented street style photography with his "On the Street" column in the Times, and naturally he is a Fashion Week regular. Look for him in his signature blue jacket capturing the scene outside of shows and from the front row, where he usually takes his seat at the very last minute.

Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Edie Campbell, Model

"Why are all the most intriguing models always British?" InStyle's Fashion News Director Eric Wilson jokingly ponders, referring to Campbell. Seriously though, why? This British beauty got her start posing for Mario Testino, and has since gone on to win "Model of the Year" at the 2013 British Fashion Awards. Having recently starred in Marc Jacobs' ad campaign, you can bet she'll be walking in his show later in the week.

Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Anna Dello Russo, Vogue Japan Editor-At-Large

Sure, Anna Dello Russo is a fashion influencer because of her role at Vogue Japan, but she has become a fashion week power player much more because of her status as a street style star, regularly getting snapped in everything from a head-to-toe look from Dolce & Gabbana to a hat styled to look like a watermelon. It really wouldn't be Fashion Week in New York without Dello Russo front row, and we can't wait to see what she turns up in this season.

Photo: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images

Cara Delevingne, Model

There is no question that British beauty Cara Delevingne is the model of the moment. And being the model of the moment means only opening and closing the hottest shows during New York Fashion Week. We can't wait to see what runways (and after-parties) Delevingne makes an appearance at this season.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images

Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus Fashion Director

For every designer on the planet, landing coveted floor space at Neiman Marcus is about as good at it gets. The man who decides if that happens? Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus' Fashion Director. This New York Fashion Week front row fixture keeps a schedule each season that makes our head spin, which must at least partially explain why we can't get enough of Neiman Marcus' offerings.

Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014

Miroslava Duma, Founder of Buro 24/7

This pint sized fashion star who hails from Russia, has become serious street style photographer bait during fashion month, making her one of the biggest power players to watch. It's easy to understand why these photographers follow her every move considering her wardrobe consists of the latest "it" pieces from labels like Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Photo: Getty Images

Linda Fargo, Senior Vice President at Bergdorf Goodman

A power buyer in the retail space, a nod from Linda Fargo, and a coveted spot at Bergdorf Goodman, can be career making for designers. Fargo is renowned not just in her fine-tuned buying skills but also for her signature style and always perfectly coiffed silver bob. The front row would not be the same without her. Also, check out Fargo on StyleCaster's 50 Most Stylish New Yorkers: 2013 Edition.

Photo: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for Ralph Lauren

Ed Filipowski (Pictured Right), KCD President

Whether or not you get a seat at Marc Jacobs, Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang (and a myriad of other major New York Fashion Week shows) comes down to Ed Filipowski, his Co-President Julie Mannion, and their team at KCD. Our advice for getting on Filipowski's good side? Play nice early (like way before fashion week) and cross your fingers.

Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for VF

Malaika Firth, Model

This Kenyan-born British fashion model rose to the forefront when she was booked as the first black model in almost 20 years to appear in a Prada ad, and her star has only been on the rise since. "Let's hope last season’s MVP model continues to break barriers," InStyle's Wilson says. 

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Bridget Foley, WWD Executive Editor

Little known outside of the fashion world, Foley holds enormous clout within it. Her runway show reviews in fashion trade bible WWD make and break designer careers, and most people in the fashion industry look to Foley to dissect what the best of the season is.

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Ariel Foxman, InStyle Editor-In-Chief

Ariel Foxman took the helm of InStyle in 2008,  becoming the first male editor in the magazine's history. "I love that each month, 11 million women stop their day for at least an hour to sit with our magazine and really indulge themselves," Foxman told Crain's last year. Proof that this editor still has the magic touch? The start of 2014 is InStyle’s biggest first quarter in six years, with 574 ad pages altogether. No wonder every designer who matters is desperate to have Foxman in their front row.  


Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

Odile Gilbert

Ever wonder who is behind some of Fashion Week's most memorable hair moments? That would be French-born Odile Gilbert. According to StyleCaster's Beauty Director Rachel Adler: "Odile Gilbert is responsible for some of the most memorable looks from Fashion Week's past. Think Rodarte's half-up rose knot and Jason Wu's black feathered hair from Spring 2012." Watch out for her work on the Fall 2014 runways!

Photo: Getty Images

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Co-Designers of Proenza Schouler

Jack McCoullough and Lazaro Hernandez ascent to the top of the fashion pack is something of legend. They founded Proenza Schouler in 2002 while students at Parsons School of Design and Barneys New York famously bought their senior thesis collection. Cut to over a decade later, and the duo continues to be stars of the New York Fashion Week scene (albeit more seasoned ones). Their show, which takes place on the second to last night of Fashion Week, is always a seriously coveted ticket, and InStyle's Wilson calls the duo "the new establishment."

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Marc Jacobs, Designer

It has been said so many times that it has essentially sunk into the Fashion Week subconscious—Fashion Week begins and ends with Marc Jacobs' show. It is hard to argue with that logic. The trends that start on the Marc Jacobs runway are the ones that tend to stick, and the fashion industry is always waiting with bated breath to see what this designer super star will show. Now that Marc Jacobs has stepped down from Louis Vuitton and is focused solely on his namesake collections, InStyle's Wilson wonders, "How great will this show be, now that he’s focused solely on New York?"

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

James Kaliardos, Makeup Artist

James Kaliardos has worked with everyone from Mario Testino to Irving Penn and has become one of the best known makeup artists working today, in the process. StyleCaster's Adler says, "Kaliardos is quite busy during Fashion Week, working with brands ranging from MAC to Maybelline to NARS on shows such as Ruffian and Diane von Furstenberg. If anyone loves a bold lip, and teaching you how to get it right, it's him."

Photo: Dario Cantatore/Getty Images

Steven Kolb, CFDA CEO

As the CEO of the CFDA, a not-for-profit dedicated to supporting the American fashion industry, Steven Kolb spends a great deal of energy championing America's emerging designers and spearheading special projects like the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (an investment fund aimed at revitalizing New York City's garment industry). Not surprisingly, Kolb is also a Fashion Week front row fixture.

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014

Michael Kors, Designer

Not only is Michael Kors one of the most important American fashion designers, he recently joined the billionaires club, thanks to the soaring stock price of his namesake company. According to InStyle's Wilson, Kors' success is one of "the greatest examples of the power of perseverance, and also how to make some money in this business."

Photo: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Karolina Kurkova, Model

Supermodel Karolina Kurkova needs no introduction. One of the few "supers" who still occassionally walks the runway, it goes without saying that when she does, audiences go wild. Fingers crossed she struts her stuff this season at a New York show. According to One Management Founder and CEO, Scott Lipps, Kurkova is a "supermodel, style icon, businesswoman—the one and only—[she] always makes a big presence at Fashion Week."

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation

Scott Lipps, Founder and CEO of One Management

Known around New York as the "model mogul" Lipps runs one of the top boutique model agencies in the world, representing faces like Bar Refaeli, Claudia Schiffer, and Helena Christensen. Beyond representing some of the biggest names in the business, Lipps has developed a reputation for discovering rising stars, and scores some extra serious cool points as a member of Courtney Love's band, Hole.

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld Gallery

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Opening Ceremony Co-Founders

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are something of fashion legends. They founded Opening Ceremony in 2002, quickly turning it into one of the most influential boutiques in the world. Now there are outposts of Opening Ceremony around the world, and the pair shows its Opening Ceremony private label during Fashion Week. "Everyone wants to know how they will top their 'Fast & Furious' runway debut for Opening Ceremony," InStyle's Wilson says, that happened last season, and which drew the likes of Justin Bieber and Rihanna. We do too!

Photo: Mark Von Holden/Getty Images

Chelsea Leyland, DJ

Both a regular in the front row at Fashion Week, and behind the DJ booth at Fashion Week parties, fashionistas have Leyland largely to thank for getting the crowd dancing after hours during Fashion Week. Look for Leyland this Fashion Week DJing quite a few of the major parties including Vince's IPO celebration at Top of the Standard.

Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Jenna Lyons, President and Executive Creative Director of J.Crew

Besides being one of Fashion Week's most important influencers, Lyons is responsible for making it cool to love a mass-market fashion brand. Lyons brought J.Crew to the Fashion Week tents in 2011 (a pretty unprecedented move) and the presentation quickly became one of Fashion Week's biggest draws. One year even Beyonce showed up. Lyons' behind the scenes role working with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has also cemented her status as a mentor in the industry.

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune Fashion Critic

There aren't many people in fashion who are worth holding the show for, but Suzy Menkes, the longtime fashion critic at the International Herald Tribune, is definitely one of them. Look for Menkes in the front row, sometimes with a laptop on her lap (now that is a serious reporter) with her signature bumpit hair style. Now that Cathy Horyn has stepped down from the New York Times as its fashion critic, what Menkes writes will be more watched than ever.

Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images

Natalie Massenet, Founder and Executive Chairman of The Net-a-Porter Group

Credited with changing the way that we shop online for luxury goods when she launched Net-a-Porter in 2000, Massenet is looking to expand on the success of her company again with a print magazine, Porter, launching this Fashion Week. "We have been focused on content and commerce since day one," Massenet told the Business of Fashion, speaking to this brave move. One thing is for sure, the entire fashion industry is watching.

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Marigay McKee, Saks Fifth Avenue President

Formerly the Chief Merchant at Harrods, McKee was named President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 2013. Now representing one of the most important retailers in the world, McKee is certainly one to watch this Fashion Week. And considering she plans to spend $1.25 billion rejuvinating the chain, you better believe every designer wants to be on her good side.

Photo: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images for Agnona

Leandra Medine, Founder of The Man Repeller

The front row at Fashion Week is no longer just reserved for major magazine editors and buyers, top bloggers have also secured a key place, including Leandra Medine. Medine, behind the blog The Man Repeller, not only writes about what she sees from her front row perch (in her typically hilarious style), but is a serious fashion week street style star to boot. One Management's Lipps says, "Her humour and her Instagram gets me through those long fashion days."

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Chloe Nørgaard, Model

Known for her rainbow colored hair, it is hard, and we mean very hard to miss Chloe Nørgaard on the runway. One Management's Lipps says, "She takes a sometimes black and white world and makes it colorful." It is no wonder brands like Benneton and Nasty Gal clamor to have her in their ad campaigns. 

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Phil Oh, Founder of Street Pepper

Tons of street style photographers have burst onto the scene, but only a handful of them have had staying power, one of those being Phil Oh, the founder of Street Peeper, who traverses the globe capturing street style, and in recent seasons has been the go-to street style photographer for Get snapped by Oh during Fashion Week? Give yourself a serious pat on the back for putting together one great outfit.

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Dick Page, Makeup Artist and Shiseido Artistic Director

"Shiseido's Artistic Director, Dick Page, is notable for bringing the vision of Marc by Marc Jacobs to recent seasons," StyleCaster's Adler says. Page is one of the most in-demand makeup artists during Fashion Week, and the trends that he starts, are the ones that stick (and that we all end up wearing). 

Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Guido Palau (Pictured Left), Hair Stylist

This British born stylist is the man behind the hair at some of Fashion Week's biggest shows including Marc Jacobs. Fun fact: Palau's big break was when he styled the hair for supermodels including Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Cindy Crawford in George Michael's Freedom! music video in the 1990s. "The man behind the hairstyles at no less than eight of the top designer's shows at New York Fashion Week, Palau is the one who created that famous side braid at Alex Wang years ago—and can be credited for the sexy, model off-duty look we all strive for as well," StyleCaster's Adler says.

Photo: Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

A$AP Rocky

"A$AP Rocky is a style icon, and has tapped into the heart of pop culture," One Management's Lipps says. No wonder the rapper sits front row at major shows like Alexander Wang, and has been linked to supermodels like Chanel Iman. We can't wait to see where he turns up this season.


Photo: Rindoff Petroff/Dufour/Getty Images

Carine Roitfeld, CR Editor and Harper's Bazaar Global Fashion Director

The former editor of French Vogue Carine Roitfeld has retained her title as one of fashion's most distinguished front rowers thanks to a new post at Harper's Bazaar as Global Fashion Director (she's in charge of doing fashion editorials across the brand's various international editions) along with the launch of her namesake magazine CR. It really wouldn't be Fashion Week without feeling pangs of jealously after spotting Roitfeld in the most perfect of outfits sitting front row—one of the million and one reasons she made the cut on this list.

Photo: Pierre Suu/Getty Images

Andrew Rosen, Theory CEO and Fashion Investor

Andrew Rosen is not only the CEO of Theory (where he was responsible for bringing on Olivier Theyskens as Creative Director) and the CEO of Helmut Lang (which Theory owns) Rosen is also a revered fashion venture capitalist. Rosen invested in Proenza Schouler in 2011, and has since been considered a major power player on the business side of fashion. All eyes are on what he might invest in next. According to InStyle's Wilson, Rosen is "America’s equivalent of [LVMH CEO] Bernard Arnault."

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Accessories Council

Pierre Rougier (Pictured Middle), PR Consulting Founder

The New York Times dubbed Pierre Rougier as the fashion publicist not afraid to say no, so it goes without saying that Rougier can be tough when he needs to be (likely a quality his top clients adore about him). With clients include Rag & Bone and The Row, you better stay on Rougier's good side to score coveted invites come Fashion Week.

Photo: Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Band Of Outsiders

Lauren Santo Domingo, Vogue Contributor and Moda Operandi Co-Founder

Lauren Santo Domingo proved that she is much more than just a pretty face with a great sense of style when she co-founded Moda Operandi a ‘pre-tail’ site, offering customers early access to covetable runway looks just days after they make their appearance on the catwalk. Santo Domingo has always been a fashion week regular, but now she is one of its biggest power players. With Moda Operandi's newly launched app, where you can look through runway images, and swipe if you like it, her power is only on the rise.

Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Jin Soon Choi, Founder of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spas

"Manicurist Jin Soon Choi has worked on countless editorials and runway shows...but what makes her standout backstage is her ability to put a simple spin on a nail look, giving it just the right amount of oomph for the runway," StyleCaster's Adler says. In other words, all of those great manuicures that you see on the runway? A lot are owed to Soon Choi.

Photo: Anna Webber/Getty Images for JINsoon

Stefano Tonchi, W Magazine Editor-In-Chief

Stefano Tonchi cut his teeth as the editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Now at W magazine, Tonchi continues to be a front row regular, with a reputation for being one of the nicest (and smartest) Editor-in-Chiefs in the business. Considering that all anyone can seem to talk about at the moment is Miley Cyrus on the cover of W, Tonchi clearly has the magic touch.

Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Diane Von Furstenberg, Designer and CFDA President

Yes, Diane Von Furstenberg the designer needs no introduction, but Von Furstenberg's other role as CFDA President is yet another reason to bow down to the Queen of the Wrap Dress. Beyond staging her own runway show (one of the toughest Fashion Week tickets to get a hold of) you can also spot Von Furstenberg front row at various young designers' shows, like Prabal Gurung's, championing their work. InStyle's Wilson calls her "the ultimate power player, fashion or otherwise."

Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Diane Von Furstenberg

Alexander Wang, Designer

Sure, Alexander Wang's New York Fashion Week show is one of the week's toughest tickets (along with his annual after-party) but this designer's star has only been on the rise since being appointed Creative Director of Balenciaga (one of the few Americans to be at the helm of a major French label). On top of all of his success, Wang is holding his show in Brooklyn this season, and its practically the only thing fashion folks can talk about. "It’s not that hard to get to the Brooklyn Navy Yards (F train, one stop out of Manhattan, people), but showing outside Manhattan is a deliberate power move," InStyle's Wilson says.

Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Soho House

Bruce Weber, Photographer

Behind some of the most iconic fashion photographs of all time, Weber is known for his ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Abercrombie & Fitch. A mainstay at Fashion Week for years, Weber is in the forefront this season because of a just released ad campaign for Barneys New York featuring nearly 20 transgender models. The retailer is celebrating its debut with a party this week, naturally.

Photo: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images

Emily Weiss, Founder and Creative Director of Into The Gloss

While tons of fashion bloggers have infilitrated the front row at Fashion Week, Emily Weiss is one of the few beauty bloggers to have joined the Fashion Week A-list. Find her in the front row, and capturing beauty looks backstage, and make sure to check out her Instagram feed, which we can't seem to get enough of. 

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Elizabeth Stewart, Celebrity Stylist

With Rachel Zoe sitting out this season because of her new baby, we have a feeling celebrity stylist and former stylist at the New York Times, Elizabeth Stewart, will be taking her place as this Fashion Week's power stylist. With clients including Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence, and the Oscars less than a month away, designers will be clamoring to get on Stewart's radar.

Lynn Tesoro, HL Group Founding Partner

The number of shows that fashion powerhouse PR firm HL Group puts on during New York Fashion Week will make your head spin: Oscar de la Renta, Bibhu Mohapatra, DelPozo, among them this season. At the center of HL Group's success is Founding Partner Lynn Tesoro. Between invite lists, seating charts, Fashion Week egos, and all of the moving parts that it takes to put together a fashion show, we really don't know how Tesoro manages to do it all with a smile, but we could probably take a few notes from Tesoro on how to do it all, and then some.

Gucci Westman, Makeup Artist and Revlon Artistic Director

As Revlon's Artistic Director, Gucci Westman is responsible for the makeup each year at major Fashion Week shows including Oscar de la Renta and Rag & Bone. In other words, women look to Westman to see which lip color they should be wearing. StyleCaster's Adler says, "While I'm already envious of Gucci Westman for being married to David Neville, one of the Rag & Bone designers—free Rag&Bone for life—the looks she can create with a makeup brush are jaw-dropping. The Revlon Artistic Director made a statement during the spring season sending models down the runway at Rag&Bone with orange lips...and I can't wait to see what she does this season."

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Anna Wintour, American Vogue Editor-In-Chief 

“There is something about fashion that can make people really nervous,"Vogue editor Anna Wintour has famously said. Well, that something is arguably her. Considered the most important person in fashion by many, designers live for Wintour's approval, which often comes in the form of her attending their Fashion Week show. Guessing if Wintour actually likes a show is anyone's guess, considering she tends to wear her signature sunglasses from her front row perch.

Photo: Rindoff/Dufour/Getty Images

Jason Wu, Designer

"He’s the new Boss," InStyle's Wilson says. Yes, Wu is definitely a boss, both as the head of his namesake brand, and as the newly appointed Artistic Director of Boss Women's. Wu is showing Boss Women's for the first time this season, and all eyes are on the designer to see if he can revive the brand.

Photo: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

The Expert Panel:

Eric Wilson (pictured left) was named InStyle’s first-ever Fashion News Director in November 2013, overseeing designer and industry features in print and online. At InStyle, Wilson pens two columns, “This Week’s Wow” on and “Look Smart!” in the print publication. Prior to InStyle, from 2005-2013, Wilson was a reporter and fashion critic on the “Styles” desk for The New York Times.

Rachel Adler (pictured middle) is currently the Beauty Director for StyleCaster Media Group, overseeing its two beauty properties, Beauty High and Daily Makeover.

Scott Lipps (pictured right) is the founder and CEO of One Management, a top boutique model management company representing major faces like Claudia Schiffer and Helena Christensen.

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