I fell in love with you at the age of 16 and my love for you has grown. We had our ups and downs ins and outs, but you have made me stronger, wiser and given me the confidence to not be afraid of who I am. You’ve embraced me with open arms and showed me what it takes to survive in this glamorous, but not always world of fashion. I’ve learned that hard work and persistence can get you to the top if you never ever give up. If you decide to give up to keep going because there is always someone ready, willing and able to take your place.
I’ve watched the crowd in front of Bryant Park and said “one day I will attend a show in The Tents.” I would walk by to collect the free WWD everyday for 8 days rain, sleet or snow. I would read them from cover to cover and study the whose who. I would watch the the invitees outfits, take pics and study on what to wear and would not to wear. To go a step further I studied every single magazine masthead and knew who ran what magazine. I learned earlier on if I am going to work in this industry I had to know their names and what position they held. I would walk to the back of the tent and watch the celebrities and models go by. I knew not to cross the guards…..but others had the guts to. I wanted to enter in the right way. Weeks later my entrance was becoming a volunteer. A fashion week volunteer was a big deal! Not only did you set up the shows, view the shows, got gift bags, but received a volunteer tee shirt!!!! Score. I volunteered season after season until it was time to move on to bigger.
Your name was “7th on Sixth” then Olympus Fashion Week.
Years later I interned for a TOP celebrity stylist, she couldn’t attend a show and told me to go in her place. EXCITED…..beyond excited. Excited was an understatement. I had already picked out my outfit and I was ready to go. I went to The Tents with the invitation in my hand and its like the pearly gates opened. I had arrived. I made it my business to carry my resume, design and printed my own business cards and said “hi” to every person that looked my way. I stood on line waiting to check in with Public Relations also known as the PR team. I told her my name and because I was not the actual celebrity stylist, but her intern I was given a standing ticket. Standing never guarantees entry into the show. I waited patiently. I took a seat in the back row my dream was about to come true. The lights dimmed, the music played and the models started to walk the runway. In less than 10 minutes the show was over. “That’s it?” The show lasted 10 minutes. 10 minutes. All that work designers do for months for 10 minutes. Shocked, but that was apart of the industry. I learned my 1st lesson. Its not about the length of the show, but what’s and whose on the runway. I stayed in the tents for hours. Took every single free item I could get and left. When I walked out the tents I said “someone is going to take my picture and they sure did!” Days later at work a friend called me frantically “YOU HAVE TO STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND PICK UP GLAMOUR MAGAZINE RIGHT NOW.” Much to my surprise I was a “Do” on the last page of Glamour December 2009 with cover star Rihanna this was just the beginning of our relationship.
Your named changed to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and now NYFW.
Interned, interned, interned and finally decided to go out on my own as a freelance Wardrobe Stylist. It took years before I received my very 1st invitation with my name on it. Once again NYFW you welcomed me with open arms. I got invited to more shows and bulit relationships with the PR teams. Season after season I was apart of the in crowd. I saved my money, shopped the the hottest trends to be worn during fashion week. Snap! Snap! Snap! Pictures were taken, but I never let it once get to my head. NYFW you have been good to me.
I followed you when you went to Lincoln Center, Moynihan Station, Milk Studios, Pier 59 Studios, Industria, Park Avenue Armory. I still follow you now that you’re at Skylight Clarkson Sq. I work for you, I work with you. My purpose is you. My name is Hope and I love fashion. I love this industry. It doesn’t always love me. How do I know, I don’t see me on the runway…or in the front row….or producing the shows or even part of the PR team, but my purpose is bigger than just the clothes. Its about Spreading Hope. It’s about giving hope to the hopeless. I’m not going anywhere and I can’t wait to see where we will go next. This is just the beginning.
To be continued………………………………………………………………….
Sincerely your biggest fan,
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