New York Fashion Week is looked as to be the most exciting and fabulous fashion event of the season. Most of my clients think that when I leave for 10 days to work NYFW, that it means I walk around dressing glamorous while being pampered as I work backstage fashion shows. What they don’t realize is for us lucky ones, who get to work backstage, is it like a fashion bootcamp. Grabbing a taxi, rushing from one place to another, setting up your station, finding out what looks we are going to do to the models minutes before they arrive. Then pulling off hairstyles that should normally take an hour, in 20 minutes. And the damn well better be flawless. You have very little time to think, working on pure instinct, talent and adrenaline.
I love the energy and the rush you get from working backstage. It is certainly not for the meek. You need to be able to take direction and execute on the drop of a hat. You may think your work is great, but if your key stylist doesn’t approve it, it has to be fixed and now you have even less time to make it perfect. All egos need to be left at the door and your mind must be ready to create whatever you are asked.
Normally you are partnered up with someone to get the looks as fast as possible, so trust and teamwork are very important There is no time to get to know the models and relax because there are normally 18-35 models needing to be done in a few hours including makeup and nails. And when things get really hectic, you find yourself working on models at the same time they are getting their nails and makeup done. That is a lot of cooks in the kitchen, so you have to make sure to concentrate on your task and stay out of the way of the rest of the team. Respect your teammates and they will respect you.
My favorite part of each show is when you finish all the models and you feel a huge sigh of relief and accomplishment. You got the job done and did it flawlessly without a second to think. However, multiple times this particular season we thought we were done and then come to find out 3-6 models are coming from another show, just when you thought you were in the clear. When this happens, you never know what to expect the models hair is going to look like coming from another show. You better be prepared to do whatever you have to to make it fit for the show you are doing. I have seen models come in with glitter glued to their head needing a sleek look with no glitter, with 10 minutes until the show starts. But, when this happens is when you see teamwork like you have never seen before. In one case we had 4 hairstylists, 2 makeup artists and 2 nail techs on one model. I remember hearing the producer screaming “2 minutes to runway!” You are sweating and hoping that you can finish in time before everyone is screaming and carrying the model away looking completely different then the other models. When you work with a team like Oribe, which is who I work with, no matter how intense the situation get, we always know we will get the job done in time.
Now, I know I have made working at NYFW seem like a very intense and stressful experience, but, let’s be honest, what truly rewarding work experiences don’t come with those feelings. When you finish and get to step back and realize you are a part of something that you are so passionate about, you can’t help but feel like on of the lucky ones who gets an opportunity to work on the biggest event in the industry. All the fashion, all the glitz, all the glamour, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. New york Fashion Week is my favorite week of the year.
Houghton Key Adam Markarian
Sally Lapointe Key Yannick D’Is
Eckhaus Latta Key Ramona Eschbach
Veronica Beard Key Rutger
Adeam Key Yannick D’Is
Sir Key Kein Hoang
Richie Rich Key Kein Hoag
Koonhor Key Adam Livermore