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