New York Fashion Week – An Insider’s View
From Joseph Abboud to Oscar de la Renta to Altuzarra, Kimberly Gomez takes you behind the scenes at this year's New York Fashion Week.
New York Fashion Week is the most important fashion week in the world. London, Paris and Milan may have their own fashion weeks and historical clout, but the influx of fashion designers and world-class events has turned NYC into the fashion capitol of the world.
Since I am by nature an organized person, I created a spreadsheet of my daily schedule which included each show, address, how to get there and any slices of free time so I could make the most of every second in The Big Apple. Did I mention I had never been to NYC before?
I flew to NYC on Sept. 5, literally dumped my bags and went to my first show, Joseph Abboud, menswear presented at New York Public Library. The image I had of their clothes was very conservative and professional so it was surprising that they were very colorful and fashion forward. Right away I started seeing celebrities; this show included Ryan Lochte.
Many of the fashion shows were presented at Lincoln Center, but I went to quite a few throughout the city. Milk Studios, a well-known media company that creates fashion, photography, film and music, hosted shows including one with Costello Tagliapietra and another at the IAC building in Chelsea, where I worked the Belstaff show. 3.1 Phillip Lim showed his rocker chic collection at the Moynihan Station in the post office building, and skate boarders were there for added entertainment. And who wouldn’t be delighted to attend (or work) the Oscar de la Renta show at his Manhattan show room?
NYFW is exhilarating and exhausting. I worked 20 shows, which was an insane number. All of my more experienced colleagues thought I was crazy for working that many shows, but I thought I may as well make the most of it. I promised myself—after seeing people tweeting how tired they were—that I wouldn’t complain. I kept my promise, but now I can say that every evening I staggered into my room, barely able to function.
The week is very glamorous from the outside, but inside, it’s a huge amount of precision work. Everything has to be perfect with no exceptions. The designers spent six months designing and creating their
collections, starting right after the previous fashion week is over, spending tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars putting on this show so the world can see, take notice and purchase their creations.
Of all the shows I did, Altuzarra was my favorite. His clothes are so beautiful and intricate and display an incredible amount of details. This collection included thousands of Swarovski crystals, making them even more incredible. Check out the video to get an idea of how beautiful the collection is. I wish I could point out my model but since they’re not numbered, it’s pretty much impossible.
My favorite part of the NYFW experience was being able to intimately interact with entire collections of top designers. I absolutely love being able to see, touch and experience the garments and get a sense of how much time and effort was really put into each one. You’ll never be able to see that from video or even photos. The amount of detail is incredible. If you have the budget or can save up, I strongly suggest you buy at least one couture garment—you won’t be disappointed.
Working backstage at 20 shows during NYFW was an incredible experience and I am already putting some of the things I learned to use in my business.