The Choice To Skip Fashion Week


When I was younger, the only thing I wanted to do was grow up and go to New York Fashion Week.

Grey Coat New York Fashion WeekGrey Coat New York Fashion WeekGrey Coat New York Fashion WeekGrey Coat New York Fashion Week Grey Coat New York Fashion WeekGrey Coat New York Fashion WeekGrey Coat New York Fashion Week

THE LOOK | stripe tank, grey sweater, grey coat – last seen here (identical), raw hem denim, black heels, celine sunglasses

As a born and raised New Yorker, that was fairly easy for me to do. I remember my first Fashion’s Night Out – a cool concept that began in 2009 thanks to Bloomberg (our mayor at the time) and the CFDA. I thought I was “part” of the industry. Just going in and out of the in-store events was good enough for me. Nope, of course I didn’t attend any shows. I was a teenager, and NYFW was strictly for editors and industry professionals. Regardless, I still thought I was so cool.

Throughout high school and college, I slowly made my way to the industry I so wanted to be part of because I was lucky enough to call NYC home.

And now I’m here.

You could also say I’m lucky enough to get to be on both sides of the industry: The influencer side and the brand side. I felt so blessed to spend my first year out of college learning how to become a merchandiser and also how to get to NYFW through not only my company, but through my blog.

Fast forward almost 3 years later, and my feelings have definitely changed. The result of these feelings? I skipped New York Fashion Week. I did not do ONE thing. No events, no shows, no meetings. And I was 100% okay with that.

New York Fashion Week didn’t make me excited. A few years ago, everyone who was an influencer wanted to get invited to shows and backstage and events and parties. And everyone who followed influencers wanted to see the behind the scene world of New York Fashion Week. For a while, it was cool. It was a shift in the industry.

But that’s not how it is anymore. 

Unfortunately, influencers have a bad rep…especially when it comes to fashion week. To me, now NYFW is literally just about what shows you can say you went to. It’s about which “big name bloggers” you could be seen with. It’s about the best parties or events you can plaster all over Snapchat and Instagram Stories. And it’s certainly not about the clothes or the meaning behind the collection that designers work SO hard on for months. (Trust me, I know all about that.)

And to be honest, that’s sad to me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are so many influencers who TRULY just get fashion. They talk about the collections and what they just witnessed; they actually follow and love the brand or want to get to know the brand better. THOSE are the girls I follow and I am so happy for. THOSE are the girls I’m proud of. And THOSE are the girls who are trying to erase the bad rep influencers have gotten over the past few seasons.

But New York Fashion Week is kind of ruined for me. 

Let me start off by saying, I personally think the fashion industry as a whole is changing.

In regard to fashion week, it’s now becoming less about the publicity from the influencer side (yet we’re still an integral part of it), and more about getting editors’ eyes (and hands) on the collection again. Then there’s the whole “see now, buy now” aspect. Let’s just take my company for example: For the past four seasons, my Creative Director, Michael Maccari, has put Perry Ellis runway shows back on the map. For Fall, we decided that a runway show (or presentation) just wasn’t worth the time, effort or money. Instead we created an elevated, premium capsule, shot a look book and blasted it out to the editors and publications (check out the write ups on WWD and Vogue). And guess what? Influencers are STILL involved with this process.

…when the collection actually hits stores. Not when the collection was brand spankin’ new.

And I mean,Tommy Hilfiger and Rebecca Minkoff straight up said “no” to NYFW and held their shows in California. Then on the other hand, Club Monaco just invited everyone on their email list to their flagship store for their presentation. WWD even mentioned “young bloggers with mobiles held high”. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds derogatory. Like a back-handed statement. Just ugh.

I stumbled upon this article from Glossy, and it was an eye opening read for sure. Although I am an influencer and love being part of this industry, I honestly don’t disagree about what Kelly says about us. She’s 100% right. Now this next part may seem harsh. But I need to talk about it.

“I just can’t stand working with and being around people who think they understand the fashion industry and have no idea what they’re doing.”

That’s a quote from the article. And it hit home because I do work in this industry. So when I see people just running around town just to Snapchat shows and take outfit photos and NOT MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS THEY SAW, I get annoyed. It’s become a popularity contest, a battle of the cliques. And I’m just over here like, “NOPE”.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be a know-it-all. I haven’t even been in the industry for three years yet. So I apologize if I came off that way. But this kind of stuff rubs me the wrong way. So I could only imagine how those editors feel. Don’t you?

Basically, it comes down to this:

If you’re using your blog and social media to share beautiful images and videos from shows to promote the designer and their collection, then I applaud you. And I’m rooting for you. I WANT to read your thoughts (and yes, see your adorable OOTDs in the mix). But if you’re attending New York Fashion Week because you want to show off where you’re at and want to be seen, then that’s something I don’t agree with.

And until New York Fashion Week changes, it’s not something I want to be part of.


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  • Elizabeth Oliveto

    Couldn’t agree more with this. Happy Tuesday! PS – Love the stripe tank layering under the sweater!
    Xo
    Elizabeth
    http://stripesandsolitaires.com

    • Dana Mannarino

      Aww, glad you enjoyed it, Elizabeth! Happy Tuesday to you too! I’m obsessed with this tank, I put it under EVERYTHING!

      Xx

  • Elle

    LOVE this post!! Thanks for posting about it. I hate when influencers went to shows and didn’t even mention the collections… like what did you see? What trends? Nothing! It is cooler for people to say they went to the shows and were able to capture it on Snapchat. Thats not what NYFW was to me many years ago!
    xo elle // https://splashofpreppy.com

    • Dana Mannarino

      Thanks for your support, Elle! I know, like fine, Snapchat the show. But tell me about it on your blog. I want to hear more about what you thought about what you saw!!!

  • Great post! It’s good getting another perspective of fashion week! I’ve always wanted to go see the shows and new trends but haven’t made it out yet!

    Brittany 🙂
    http://www.kingdomofsequins.com

    • Dana Mannarino

      It’s definitely a great experience and I recommend going, I just think saying you went to NYFW gives some people big egos!

  • This is an awesome post, Dana! I had a blast at NYFW, but it’s really easy to be caught up with the parties, the swag, and outfit planning for yourself. I took photos with my DSLR at every show and so many bloggers asked me why I was doing that, and I said so I could have the best quality photos on my blog for recap coverage. Some bloggers who were new were like “oh…you’re putting this on your blog?” Yikes!

    • Dana Mannarino

      I mean of course the parties and swag are amazing! And I’m glad you had a great time! I think many girls don’t see attending all of these shows and events as a privilege – they think they’re entitled to it because they write a blog. That just rubs me the wrong way. BUT on a better note… I can’t wait to see your posts and hear about your experience at the shows. I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet up 🙁 I’m the worst!!!

      • Omg no, I’m the worst! I got sick during Fashion Week so that cut into my time to hang, but I’m actually moving closer to the city and I’ll be there more offen so I can see you on a week that isn’t super insane, hah!

        Agreed with how much of a privilege it is — I actually interned at multiple fashion weeks in college because I thought I wanted to work in fashion PR. It was really hard work to set up the shows, sit through model castings, hand deliver invites, assist backstage, etc. When I got the opportunity to just go to a show and not work it, I was so overjoyed. I hope more bloggers read this post and NYFW can be taken a little more seriously in the future by bloggers!

  • I think this is such a great (& refreshing) perspective! I also work in the fashion industry and am amazed at how many influencers “waste” the opportunity to share the trends/styles they saw and instead make it all about how cool they were to be there. Good for you for speaking out! We have to be the change in the industry 🙂

    • Dana Mannarino

      Aww, thank you Gentry! I had a feeling you worked in the fashion industry when I saw you were here for market. What do you do?! I can’t believe we haven’t chatted about this!

      But I agree with you – I think some people feel like their entitled just because they have a blog. They think their presence and some IG stories are enough – but it’s not!

      • I’m an Associate Buyer for jewelry at HSN (Home Shopping Network)! So fun to “know” someone else in this crazy industry!! I’m actually going to be at Market Week March 6-8, my schedule is a little crazy when I’m there but we should try and plan drinks sometime!

        • Dana Mannarino

          OMG! That’s so fun! We definitely should try and plan drinks while you’re here – I’d love to hear more about HSN and the buying side! Xx

          • Yeah!! Ok I will email you next time I come in for market week- I think I’m coming back in August! 🙂

  • Whoaaaaaaa–interesting read. I hadn’t thought of it from this perspective, but it makes sense. I enjoy seeing recaps of people going, but totally get where you’re coming from. I don’t think it’s for me, but not sure I’d want it to be with all the things you’re mentioning! Thanks for sharing.

    • Dana Mannarino

      Hi Amanda! I’m so glad you found this interesting and that you see where I’m coming from. I definitely enjoy recaps and seeing what my favorite bloggers were up to and even what they wore. It’s just when someone thinks they’re entitled to attend a show or event JUST because they have a blog and then doesn’t even mention the collection, that’s when I have a problem. Especially when I come from the industry that works so freakin’ hard to put a collection together.

      Thank you SO much for reading and sharing your feedback! Xx

  • I love that you wrote this girl!! You know I’ve only been the one time and I did have a blast but I had envisioned in my mind something totally different. I was there for the shows and to see the art of it all but literally that wasn’t the case half of the time. It was all about “omg I need to snap this for snapchat” omg we have to go here because so & so is going to be there and I want to see if I can say hi to her…I mean I was in aw of all the celebs and big influencers especially since I had never even been to NYC before but that wasn’t why I came to FW. I came because I wanted to see the collections in person and not from the pages of WWD which has been by bible per say since high school. I don’t know both sides of the industry like you do but I can definitely see the shift in the industry and while part of it is amazing and exciting and super cool that influencers are included more I hate it because it’s like you said become a clique and who’s seen where and with who. Like can we just focus on how amazing these collections are and draw inspiration from it instead of trying to look cool on social media?
    PS. I’m ready for another trip to NYC not during fashion week so I can really see the city!

    Love you boo!
    xo!!
    Taylor | http://www.styleiseverythingblog.com

    • Dana Mannarino

      Awww, thanks my friend! I know you had a great time and I’m really ALL for influencers to attend NYFW and experience it all….IF you genuinely want to be there. I’m 100% guilty of this myself. But I think as I grow more into my professional role and my role as an influencer, I’m getting fed up. Even as influencers, our jobs are to stay up to date with trends, and show the general population (who follow fashion blogs) how they can incorporate these trends into their every day style. I agree with you on that social media part too – it gets INSANE during NYFW.

      PS: UM YES, COME SEE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

      Love ya girl Xx

  • I’ve never been to Fashion Week before, but I’ve seen a lot of changes throughout the years, so this was a VERY interesting read. It’s actually pretty scary how quickly the fashion (and influencer) industry keeps changing. I’m a part of it, and I still have a hard time keeping up. I can’t even imagine how tough it must be on the brand side, when they make a big decision, like not showcasing at NYFW.
    Jackie
    Something About That

    • Dana Mannarino

      Thanks for your input, Jackie. I still recommend going to NYFW at some point, if you can! It’s a great experience, I just needed to step back this season! Xx

  • AMEN SISTER!! Oh my gosh you actually said everything I have been thinking and didn’t know how to put into words. Growing up NYFW was a dream! I would come home every day after school or in between classes in college and scroll through the images from the shows on style.com and just be in awe at the beauty and imagination of the designers. It was about the collection and what their vision was. Now it’s all about Insta stories and parties. I still love seeing the collections and how they inspire RTW but the industry has definitely changed. I love following bloggers with amazing style (like you) because it’s inspiring, it’s not about what shows they went to. Does anyone even notice who goes to what? I know I don’t. Great post girl! xo Bryn http://www.waketonroad.com

    • Dana Mannarino

      Aww, YAY! Thank you so much, Bryn! I totally agree with you, everything just seems different now! Xx

  • I 100% agree with almost everything you said. FW has become too much about influencers, who they’re sitting with, and what they’re wearing, when it should be about the designer and their collection. I actually don’t agree with completely shutting it out though. If you don’t lead the way and be the change you want to see, how can you expect others to? I would say, if you have the privilege of being invited to these amazing shows, go and be the different one who truely cares about the collection and not snapping front-row selfies. Show them how to act, not just tell.

    Audra | southernnyorker.com

    • Dana Mannarino

      Audra! Thank you for your comment! This was a personal decision to step back from NYFW this season, because I didn’t know how to respond to everything I was seeing. That’s not to say I won’t ever attend NYFW again, but for this season, I felt the need to sit this one out. I think it actually helped me process my feelings towards both the fashion and influencer industries, which lead me to write this post. I do 100% agree with you, I need to take action now that I got all of my feelings out there! Again, thank you for you comment, it definitely made me think more about this topic and I really appreciate it!

  • Mes Voyages à Paris

    The grey coat is amazing!

    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: NAVY STYLE & LOVE

  • Interesting post! I have to say I was really sick of seeing the 100+ bloggers I follow on social media posting a million times a day while they were there and never mentioning the clothes. Good for you for speaking your opinion on this, great read!
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

  • I see what you’re trying to get across with. But honestly, one of my dreams is to attend NYFW. This seems like a far fetched idea now but I do hope I can make it happen one day. And by then, perhaps I can contribute more reasonable opinion on this post. Amazing article though. Provided me a lot of insights.

    Jil
    http://www.jildiamante.com/2017/01/frost-bite.html
    http://goo.gl/LfTL3n

  • You, my friend, hit the nail on the head. I went last February and honestly didn’t have any desire to attend again. I feel like I went during the major shift and suddenly it wasn’t about the designers or the collections anymore. I loved going to the shows, the thrill of them, and seeing the beautiful collections, but I felt like there was a constant competition between influencers, “being seen,” and climbing the social[media] ladder. I applaud you for speaking up and sharing your thoughts on the matter. I always love hearing your perspective since you see both sides!

    I do have to say, though, I have my Fashion Week experience to thank for our friendship! Have an amazing time in London! Miss you!

    xo, Lauren
    http://www.itsallgoodblog.com

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  • Lisa Tran

    Hi Dana!
    I really enjoyed your perspective on this topic, especially because you do have that unique insider view of working in the industry yourself. It’s not a topic I know too much about/have much of an opinion on, but I can definitely understand your POV in skipping out because of what you’ve seen. It’s great that you’re able to share your perspective, and remind people of the amount of hard work that goes into each show/collection, so that they can be more aware of that next time they are at a show. I never really got too much into social media, but I do enjoy networking and connecting with other like-minded people, so for me, that would probably be the one main reason I do attend NYFW (in an alternate universe in which that could potentially happen! ha!) Lastly – I think when you share more information on your job as a merchandiser, that will help people to see how much work goes into producing those amazing pieces of clothing. Ooops – this was a long comment! 😉

    Have a fabulous one! PS you continue to inspire me, thank you for continuing to post such awesome content! Just purchased some heels you wore in a previous post, super excited to get them! 😀

    -Lisa