I came, I saw, I slayed...
Hi loves! So last weekend I went on adventure of a lifetime as a first time guest to New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Since I was a kid, I have been in obsessed with fashion; so much so that I started sketching designs when I was 7 years old in a planner that became my diary. Anytime I go through junk boxes at home, I find the planner and I remember my purpose. I always think, I've been manifesting this energy for style and creativity for many years and I can not stop now. Navigating pre-planning for NYFW was a job and a half but after collaborating with some seasoned minds, I now have a curated list of how to win big at NYFW and on a budget! Scroll down for more...
HOW TO PRE-PLAN FOR FASHION WEEK:
1. Utilize online resources such as Modem Online to get show schedules and find Public Relations (PR) information.
2. Email PR representatives one month in advance to get on their lists for shows and then 2 weeks in advance to specify which shows you would like to attend. If you are an overachiever, email not more than two months in an advance in addition to one month and two weeks.
3. Utilize the GPS Radar app (did not use for this fashion week but for sure the next) to find out about fashion week events. It is an exclusive fashion community where you can interact with brands upclose.
4. Join Facebook groups for NYFW bloggers/influencers. You can find valuable information about accommodation, events, tips, and more 1st hand. Also, you can arrange to find roommates since NYC accommodation is so expensive especially during NYFW. Many bloggers shared a room (4 to a room).
5. Facilitate collaborations one to three months in advance: hotel, brands, bloggers, photographers etc. If you are a blogger, other bloggers are your best friends.
6. Search Craigslist or Instagram for NYFW photographers if you would like to shoot in the city whilst attending fashion week.
7. Follow up with brands 2-3 weeks in advance for RSVP's. It's not uncommon to get RSVP's the day of the show.
8. Create a comprehensive calendar of shows with locations included. Make sure you include travel time to and from shows.
9. Curate jaw-dropping, fashion forward looks for fashion week. Being photographed is a super reality and you want to be snatched for your possible feature.
10. Prepare to see ALL the bloggers of your dreams in one space back to back.
NYFW was a dream! Unlike when I lived in Walla Walla, WA, NYC is a stones throw away from Connecticut; only 2.5 hours by train or by road. Because I was late, I drove all the way there. I left on a Thursday to make it to the Naturally Curly show at 6pm. I arrived just on time but had to pay Manhattan prices for parking which was $72 smh! The show was held at Gotham Hall and sponsored by Sally Beauty. Let me tell ya'll: IT WAS LIT! I met up with my new blogger friend Monique and she was so gracious to host me in her home for the weekend as well. It was the best show and I saw all the brown girl bloggers of my life there in one space.
The presentation featured 6 brands showcasing amazing hairstyles. Cantu opened the show with 5 fierce tap dancers called Sync Ladies dressed to the Gods. In addition, they had the McClure Twins come on which was the cutest, and man candy with The Twins also @liltwinofficial on IG! Carols Daughter featured looks styled by Beyonce's stylist Ty Hunter (yeshhhh hunty) which the gorgeous and pregnant Diandra Forrest walked for. Honestly, that night, the slay was too real! The roster included Angela Davis hosting for Shea Moisture, spotting Claire Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily, Nia of FroGirl Ginny, Dayna Bolden, and many more. There was an open bar and the goodie bag was at least 20lbs of full size natural hair products that will last me the whole year.
After that show, we walked a couple of blocks to Arno Ristorante for a Reward Style blogger meet up and dinner which another blogger boo, Candace of The Beauty Beau told me about. There, as alchemy and cosmic energy would have it, Monique and I met Frilancy and Zee of Zest and Z. Random story: anytime I travel I reach out to local bloggers who live were I am traveling to. I believe with my whole heart in the power of collaboration. Frilancy lives in Seattle but each time I went we would miss each other. As the universe would have it, we randomly meet each other in NYC at a random restaurant and end up having a blast the rest of the weekend! Also, Frilancy is from Zambia and she grew up near the town that my bae goes to school at in Michigan. She knows my aunt in Michigan and it's crazy! The four of us ended up having a fantastic time that evening sharing experiences, tips, and tricks to this blogging world.
Friday was a very chill day for me. I woke up and did homework all morning. In the afternoon, I headed to Times Square to meet a blogger friend Anna Maleeva of Hello Gorge for photos. We shot fow each other and then walked over to a small cantina for some lunch. I met her earlier this summer at BlogHer and she was undoubtedly the best dressed blogger at that function. I was immediately drawn to her and we talk here and there. In the evening, we somehow ended up at Cindy Monteiro's show. It was my first runway show and the experience was dope! Shout out to Frilancy for hooking us up with those tickets. I even ran into some of my CT bloggers there and we ended up catching a taxi to the Style Collective event.
I was really looking forward to the Style Collective event. Unfortunately, after spending $50+ on a ticket I left there feeling like it wasn't worth it, like at all. I thought I was the only one, but an official email went out from Style Collective apologizing to attendees for disappointment in the event based of a survey that had gone out after the event. I just expected the event to be a mega networking social time which it was but also was not. The food was on point though and I met a lot of bomb ladies from all over. Either way, I made the best out of it and I will still vouch for Style Collective especially for new bloggers. There are so many resources there and for $10/month, it is truly worth it! When I first started, it came in clutch. After that event, a bunch of us ladies got together and went to a low key Middle-Eastern spot called Horus for Hookah, drinks, and food. It was super low key and just dope!
Saturday was a chill day! Monique and I had a late morning. We had the Banana Republic show at 1pm that we had to get ready for. We got on the train from Brooklyn to Manhattan to get to the event venue to find a line that was circling the entire block. And it didn't seem like the show we had signed up for; everyone was there to meet Olivia Palermo and I was interested but not interested enough to stand in line. However, in that line I saw the most stylish people I had seen all weekend. So instead, Monique and I met up with a CT blogger babe Diane of Style Context and got pictures at the Flat Iron Building. We then went to the cutest Thai place and had lunch together before all splitting up. Monique and I headed to Williamsburg to the cutest cafe for a few hours so that I could get some homework done. We had tea and cake and just got some work taken care of. Saturday was a very chill time and I was so here for it.
This was the show I personally had been waiting on. Both of us had received our Leanne Marshall SS18 show tickets and her work looked beautiful! I was also so obsessed with the fact that she is from Portland, OR. Per usual Nonee, we left 10 mins late and got to Skylight at exactly 3pm when the show was supposed to start. We got there, checked in, and headed to the line. We bumped into Anna and Frilancy in line. Halfway through, they told us that the venue was at capacity and we would have to watch from a screen. Big lesson! Get to the shows at least 30 minutes in advance if you hope to have a seat. We ended up staying to watch it from the screen and it was BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING! Her collection was just simply gorgeous. After the show we stood in line for photos, and we ended up seeing like 10-15 mega bloggers walk by! I definitely peeped Mama Cax who is an extraordinarily talented blogger and Courtney Quinn of Color Me Courtney who fills my feed with joy! We stepped outside and decided to do an impromptu fashion shoot! You guys must understand, outside the building at Skylight, there are photographers everywhere. It was then that we learnt a valuable lesson; shooting each other gets the attention of photographers who then end up shooting you! Before going to NYFW, my fashion forward brother Thulani told me to make sure to get photographed. So dressed to the nines in Faschinn by Chinnyere McPherson, I came to deliver. I wore the "Peach Skin" wrap dress with a matching turban. I paired it with a 'Chloe' bag dupe by Louise et Cie, Glitter Topshop Mules (alternative), Round Glasses, Gold Hoops, and simple, nude makeup.
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Overall, it was an amazing experience! I met so many fabulous ladies and also got to catch up with some I knew before! I also got to experience NYC at such a high moment which was incredible! I tried to not overwhelm myself this time around with Fashion Week so I planned to do one show per day to get the hang of things. Next time, I will be prepared and will be ready to work l! A very special thank you to my NYC host Monique of Wanderlust My Way. We met this summer by chance in Orlando, FL and have become friendly ever since. She is definitely a good egg and so glad to continue along this journey as a blogger with someone who fully understands the life we live. Until next time loves, big bisous!
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