Whenever I’m in the Meatpacking District, I’m always reminded of Vogue’s very first Fashion’s Night Out. It was 2009, and I was doing an internship in New York during fashion week with the PR team for Ports 1961. Their store is located in the Meatpacking District, which was the main hub for the nights festivities.
Fashion’s Night Out was an idea initiated by Vogue as a means to encourage consumers to shop. All the stores were open late, served champagne, and had Dj’s playing and along with other entertainment. We made sure to get out official ‘Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out’ tee shirt and wore them proudly as we helped with the party at the Ports store.
I have such found memories from this time. We worked crazy hours leading up to the show, but I learnt so much about what it takes to pull off a show at New York Fashion Week. I got to work with one of best stylists in the business, Tu Ly, along with the entire team from Ports who were incredibly friendly and welcoming. This was no Devil Wears Prada internship, although I did spend an entire day cleaning and organizing the entire back room of the Meatpacking District store. Oh interning.
Now, I teach a course on fashion show production, and often draw on my experience interning in New York. Even now when I come to fashion week, I always learn something new. After 10 years, the game has really changed. Brands are rethinking the way the position their runway shows, focusing more on the consumer and less on the media. Case in point, the Banana Republic runway show. We took these photos after a lovely brunch at The Standard Grill, before making our way to the Spring 2017 collection presentation. Select items from the collection were available immediately online. Club Monaco, J.Crew and Rebecca Minkoff all followed a similar paths, making the collection more accesable to their consumers.
Fashion Week is completely different to how it was in 2009. I miss ‘the tents’ when the shows were at Bryant Park. It was more intimate. The show spaces were smaller, and the backstage crew felt like family after the whirlwind week of show. (Shout out to Miss Patty, the ah-mazing volunteer coordinator for IMG who made many, many of my fashion week dreams come true. Because of Miss Patty, I got to work backstage at Michael Kors, Vera Wang, and Christian Siriano’s very first runway show)
The industry will constantly be evolving, and I’m very curious to see how brands will adapt over the next few seasons. Social media has turn fashion week on its head and consumers want items as soon as they see it on the runways. Change isn’t bad. It’s just different. Walking through the streets of the Meatpacking District is always so nostalgic. A wonderful reminder of where I started, how far I’ve come, and why I should keep pursing my fashion dreams.