Some people may be wondering why it is that I attend New York Fashion Week. So I wanted to explain why for the past 16 seasons (or 8 years), I’ve attended New York Fashion Week. At first it was just something I wanted to experience. I wanted to be in the room but of course that wasn’t a big enough reason to actually figure out how to make that dream a reality. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and attended my first New York Fashion Week in 2011 and have been at it ever since. I’ve done New York, Milan and Paris. Paris is by far my favorite, but I digress. The first 3 years of attending shows, I actually covered the shows. Meaning I wrote a show review within 24-48 hours after the show on my website. I’ve since graduated from show reviews and attend Fashion Week for 5 main reasons as a Blogger, Influencer and Editor and Chief of Steele Magazine. If you wanna know more about Fashion Week and attending, make sure to check out The Bloggers Guide to New York Fashion Week!
There is no greater place than New York Fashion Week to make quick fashion industry connections. Think about it, all the major online and print publications are in attendance. All the designers are in town. It’s a full on smorgasbord of the who’s who in the Fashion Industry. You never know who you’re gonna meet and what those connections can do for you in the future. In just 3 short days I found a venue to host Steele Magazine Print ISSUE 5 Launch Party as well as a possible sponsor. I met 2 makeup artists to contribute their skills to the next issue of Steele Magazine for beauty and fashion spreads. I met a few models I can connect with for beauty shoots as well as an up and coming designer who I can pull exclusive looks from for content for my blog or Steele Magazine. I connected with photographers that I can work with and even people who I want to interview for the next issue of Steele Magazine. The connections I’ve made during New York Fashion Week over the years have been priceless. Some have led to extraordinary opportunities and even paid collaborations.
As a content creator either for my website, Youtube Channel or for Steele Magazine, my job is to create! I need something for my readers to read and something for my viewers to watch. The main objective is to provide engaging information. Fashion Week is not something that everyone knows about or has the opportunity to experience so it’s a wonderful way to take my readers along for the ride. I can do that with fashion outfit photos, or fashion week behind the scenes vlogs, fashion show recaps, fashion week guides and more. Anything really that is interesting and that I think will be informative and fun.
A lot of people hate the word exposure. I am indeed one of those people, especially when brands try to pay me with it. Sorry guys, exposure doesn’t pay my rent or put food on the table. But there is a time and place for everything and that time is New York Fashion Week and that place is outside any fashion show venue. As a full-time influencer, a need to garner a certain amount of features every year. That can be magazine features (hey Instyle), online publications like vogue.it, Refinery 29, Ebony Magazine etc. Press features have a way of legitimizing you and the only way to get them is to get yourself out there. New York Fashion Week is just an easy way to do it. All of the major fashion print and online media send photographers to capture street style every season outside the shows. Your job is to show up and get photographed, garner some features that you can then include in your Press Kit. It’s pretty rad when you can send a press kit to a brand you want to work with and they see that you’ve been featured in The New York Times or Essence Magazine. Something as small as that can open doors for you and increase awareness about you, your brand or your projects.
There are a lot of up and coming young designers showing every season. Sometimes they are shown in the official New York Fashion Week venues and other times they are off-site. A lot of time, money and dedication goes into these productions. Blood, sweat and tears that we, the consumers, never see. The least we can do is show up and support if given an invitation. I make it my business to vigorously support designers of color especially black designers like Christopher John Rogers or Laquan Smith. Don’t just show up to show up. That’s really selfish and elitist. I make it my business to highlight the designers, whether that’s a link in a blog post, and Instagram or Instastories or a youtube video. I use whatever platform I have no matter how big or small to support their artistry because they gave me a seat at the table. Who knows your support could lead to further partnerships or opportunities where you can both win.
There aren’t many brown people at New York Fashion Week, there are even fewer Black people. Sometimes just being in the room as a black women matters. There will be someone who sees me and think it’s possible for them to sit in the same seat as well. Fashion needs more people of color in the room, on the runways, making the clothes and writing the stories about the clothes. If we really want inclusivity, we have to show up, even if it feels mundane and sometimes not even worth it. Representation matters and the more we show up, the more we’re seen, the more it becomes the norm and not just an anomaly.
BONUS REASON: IT’S FUN!
Yes, New York Fashion Week is hella fun. There are tons of parties and meet ups and chances to hang out with the people you only ever have time to talk to on social media. It’s also a great time to meet you favorite Insta-Friends. You know the ones you feel like you’ve already met because you stay in each others DMs or Comments! It’s a huge conglomerate of like minded people who all in some way or another love fashion. You can connect with friends and just have a fun time.
#NYFW Day 8: How to Get into Fashion Week, Penthouse Party with Shea Moisture + Staud Fashion Show
So there you have it. The 5 reasons I attend New York Fashion Week and perhaps why you should consider attending too if you’re in the fashion industry in any form. You can check out my Perfect Pitch Template Package too if you need a step by step guide on how to ask for an invitation to get into Fashion Week or a particular fashion show. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out my New York Fashion Week Vlogs chronicling my entire fashion week. From blogger sleepovers, to events, to not getting into shows and more. It was a pretty wild ride.
Have you Checked out Steele Magazine ISSUE 5 yet? Well you should and subscribe to stay up to date with our upcoming Launch Party too.
Check out Steele Magazine ISSUE 5