I remember when New York Fashion Week was held at Lincoln Center and I’d stand in line for hours to get into fashion shows. I didn’t have a seat. I’d stand in the back craning my neck to see the beautiful garments glide down crisp white runways as the bass of the music shook the seats. I’m grateful to have had that experience. I just wanted to be in the room. To feel the anticipation of what the next look would be. To hear the reaction of the audience and people around me to what we were all seeing. There is nothing quite like it, especially when you love fashion. To some it may seem trivial, but to me, for a very long time, fashion was an escape. It was a way for me to imagine the life I wanted to live and the life I aspired to. I once brought a leather briefcase that I have to this day because it served the life as a writer in New York City, that I longed to live. Well, I made it and a large part of me making it, I’m certain, had to do with the fact that I dressed the part whenever I could.
I still love fashion. There’s something about it that sparks joy in me. The creativity of the designers. Being able to see the garments that will be on the shelves with my own eyes and in some cases feel with my own hands still makes me feel like I’m in some exclusive fashion club. Things are different for me now when it comes to my relationship with fashion. I’m don’t use fashion to escape anymore. I use it to amplify and express myself without having to say anything. For me, getting dressed for this New York Fashion Week, was more about going into my wardrobe and wearing things I’ve always had in different ways. It was about me staying true my style while being comfortable. After 10 years of going to fashion shows I’m more concerned with the fashion on the runway and connecting with friends and brands. I find myself less inclined to peacock, or go to shows solely for press and photos. Maybe, I’m a little jaded or maybe I’ve just outgrown that stage in my career but I’d rather show up as I show up in life. I do love to see what people wear to the shows. That often sparks new ideas for me of how to wear things in my wardrobe and also realize what’s missing from it as well.
The word on the internet is that New York Fashion Week has lost its allure. The word on the street is that New York Fashion Week is dead. There are think pieces on the very subject of certain people ruining New York Fashion Week, namely Influencers and TikTokers. There was a time when there was no access for the public to witness these events. Nothing was streamed. You had to find the photos online or follow a blog or website that would publish the looks. Fashion Bloggers back then, were the gateway to let other fashion enthusiast into a space where the public wasn’t allowed. New York Fashion Week was very much exclusive 10 years ago. There is definitely a change and shift that I have seen and can feel. New York Fashion Week is getting younger, or perhaps I’m just getting older. It seems it’s less about the fashion and more about personal press. It’s a lot more inclusive which I personally believe is a great thing. This is was OG Fashion Bloggers fought for. But when it seems that many people have the ability or the access do something, like attend fashion week, it has the tendency to make some people want it less. Or in other words, since anyone can attend fashion week now (they do sell tickets online), the event losses it’s value. It’s the same with influencers. The more there are, the less people are inclined to try to be one because of fear that there’s already too many.
I must admit from a personal stand point that New York Fashion Week when it was aligned with Mercedes Benz was thee era to experience Fashion Week. It was so much fun and it was a lot more grandiose. Everything was centered around the fashion and the designers and the art of it all. I miss that aspect of New York Fashion Week but I’d trade that for the inclusivity that we have today. Whether that’s increasing designers of color on the schedule or providing ways to highlight them. It’s not just the designers either but the people who attend the shows too. I see a lot more people in the audience and in the front row, that look like me. We were few and far between 10 years ago. That’s progress and certainly something I’d rather have versus keeping the exclusivity of it alive. There is still a long way to go but I like where it’s headed. I do miss the good ole Lincoln Center days though. That will always be a special time in my life when I was just dipping my toe into the wondrous world of fashion blogging. But then again…there’s always Paris.
Great Blog Post Monroe.
Thanks for reading Kawana x
Very touching and very well written, Monroe. Thank you.
Thank you Monroe for your absolute honesty! For what I’m hearing here in Chicago thing aren’t the same.It will be interesting to see if the powers that be will make any changes at all! To bring back that which has been lost in New York.
As an outsider to the fashion world I agree with you that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was an era! But I’m always here for the inclusivity. I love seeing you & your friends and other Black people featured so prominently front and center and absolutely SLAYING every scene! That makes me so happy and I appreciate the contributions that you all are making.
It was definitely an era! Thanks so much for reading!
Enjoy this Article. Hearing from you what fashion was for 10 years ago and were it is and going today, was
interesting, and beautiful written. I love your vlogs, your style of fashion, although mine is little more conservative. Continue to be the best version of yourself.
Well-written and poignant…they do say the only constant in life is change…
It was definitely a great read! I appreciate you describing the feelings around when you began attending Fashion Week until present day. It’s nice seeing people who look like me expressing themselves through fashion in all those beautiful colors. You’re showing up and look fantastic doing it!
Very well said…hope I get there next Year…
I’ve lived, vicariously, fashion-wise through your posts and vlogs. Informative, entertaining, inspiring, and adventurous are just a few words to describe your influence. As a mature, 45 yr old Texan who’s lived in New York for the past 10 years, you encourage me to keep aiming for the best. This article is amazing. Although, I’m more of a theatre kid, you’ve opened my eyes to fashion! Bravo!
Awesome read loved it
Enjoyed reading this piece.
Good read and perspective on FW. I love seeing my sisters having more presence at FW and through the art of clothes design, show the world our various taste in styling and being.
Love this post from the one who introduced me to New York Fashion Week.
The inclusivity is wonderful. I agree it’s fun to reflect on the early days as well. I attended my first show at the tents in Bryant Park. Like Lincoln Center, it was inspirational to have all the fashion frenzy in one place. Thanks for always delivering great content.
Monroe what an article! I totally agree NYFW is more on the viral moments than the actual fashion itself! We love you and the hard work you always put out!!
I was there when fashion week was at Bryant Park. That was a moment.
I agree, I think fashion week period, has lost its appeal. As someone who has designed clothing and dabbles in it from time to time now I see a complete shift and it’s almost as if something new needs to emerge but done in our own terms. I think it needs to be redefined. It saddens me that I see so many people aspiring to get the latest of a few major brands to make them feel important and accepted. I’ve lived and visited all over the world and there’s so many new things to see and experience outside of LV, Gucci, Prada, Hermes, Fendi and Chanel. I’m torn because I too enjoy these things but being behind the scenes it almost angers me that we put so much importance on things and spend so much money on items that arent really worth the dollars that we spend on them. Like it literally cost less than 200.00 to make and Hermes bag (leather), including labor but we spends thousands on obtaining these bags. I worked with exotics and although the cost is a bit more there’s no Hermes bag even in crocodile or alligator skin that demands a price tag of 50K or more. It sickens me to see the machine behind all of these things that typically makes those in our communities squander away what we should be using to obtain wealth. I want us to start putting money in our own pockets. I have toyed with coming out with a handbag line of exotics skins like crocodile or ostrich skins to rival Hermes and other luxury designers but make it more accessible but that’s not what our people want nor the industry….I digress but thanks for highlighting this and I agree NYFW has lost its shine but its time for something new and we need to be the ones to define it.