One of the questions I get asked most often is what it’s like to work New York Fashion Week. While as a fashion blogger, and am lucky enough to attend some smaller shows, my primary job is working in luxury women’s fashion, currently for the brand Cushnie, and so the bulk of my ‘fashion week’ is dominated by getting ready for, and working our show the day-of!
This is my third season working the Cushnie show, and I have worked several other designer shows in my four years as a student at FIT, so as my father would say, ‘it ain’t my first rodeo’.
So from a relative Fashion Week veteran, here’s what it’s like to work the shows:
You prep WEEKS before | Even a month out from the show, the PR team is already casting models, and finalizing celebrity guest lists and creative concepts. The design team is still recieving and rejecting samples, and curating what from the collection will end up walking the runway. The fun part about being at such a small company is that even though I work on a different team, I’m often pulled to help with PR, design, or any department that needs an extra hand that day!
It’s a lot of late nights | Especially the 2-3 nights before the show, samples need to be altered or fixed, and everyone is rushing to finish everything before the show! Last spring, I spent two nights re-beading two samples that had to be completely altered. It was tedious work, but watching those two pieces go down the runway was so worth it
You’re on your feet ALL day | The day of, you’re up early and on your feet from dawn till dusk (and often in heels). You’re running to find a table for camera crews to set up, trying to find a missing accessory that was supposed to be in Look 12, or even just standing and waiting for the next order to be given. Either wear flats or pop some Advil.
You also probably won’t eat all day | I’ve learned the hard way to eat a BIG breakfast and carry snacks! You run on adrenaline all day, so if you aren’t careful and set phone-reminders to eat, you’ll look up and suddenly it’s 9pm and you’ve had nothing that day but coffee, water, and champagne.
The hour before the show is madness | There’s always one model who shows up obscenely late, something that goes missing, some celebrity who refuses to enter through a main entrance, you never know! The hour before is always running around trying to put out seven fires at once!
The seconds before the show are gut wrenching | The lights start dimming, the music starts playing, and your team’s months of hard work culminate in this 8 - 12 minutes. Anything that’s gone wrong, you now have to drop and hope that it’ll all be ok.
When you watch it walk, it’s magic | Whether you’re backstage watching the monitor, or sneaking into the press booth for the best seat in the house, there is nothing like those magical few minutes when you forget all the late nights, all the flaws, and you see it come to life under the runway lights. You see Vogue editors, bloggers, and celebrities ooo and ahh at something you helped create, and that feeling will push you through to the next fashion week!
And of course a huge thank you to my amazing CUSHNIE fam for working hard, creating something truly beautiful, and being some of the best people I’ve ever worked with!