On this first day of New York Fashion Week, I wanted to flashback to Fashion Week almost 10 years ago. Behold, this pic of Angela and Vanessa Simmons and I, taken at the Tracy Reese show.
I probably crashed the show, stood in standing room, then finagled my way to the front row after the show to get this picture. At the time, there was no other way for me to get the content I craved for the Fashion Bomb Daily audience. I crashed innocently, thinking, “I’m not hurting anybody.” I stood in standing room and did my best from the nosebleed seats. All seemed innocent until I was caught!
A woman I thought was a colleague initiated a smear campaign against me, saying I was using her name to get into shows (I did a couple of times, I’ll admit it!). After her email campaign, I appeared to be blacklisted. It didn’t matter how big Fashion Bomb Daily was, I couldn’t get into any shows, especially not in Europe! It used to hurt my soul that the fashion world that I loved so dearly seemed to reject me consistently, but I stayed prayed up, and did the best I could with what I had. I started working for Paris Vogue and Italian Vogue. I worked my butt off so that I could continue to create the website I always wanted the industry to have.
Fast forward 10 years, and boom. Though I’m not invited to every show on the roster, I am now getting recognized for the work I’m doing. All I’ve ever wanted from Fashion Week was the below: My name, My brand, and a seat at the table. No more lying, anxiety, or prevaricating. Just me.
I’m also grateful for the strides I’ve made. On day 1, I attended the Red Dress Collection show, and was humbled by how many people I admire know and love Fashion Bomb Daily. I said what’s up to Phaedra Parks, Adrienne Bailon, and En Vogue, and will be interviewing En Vogue next month.
All that to say: don’t get discouraged.
Looking back, I’m not sure I would have changed anything. I did what I had to do, and have so many amazing stories as a result.
I’ve also learned so much. I learned that the fashion industry is VERY uptight about this invitation/crashing thing. And I get it. Now, I follow the rules. I also learned that the fashion industry isn’t very forgiving. But it’s ok. Because of the industry’s seeming commitment to keeping people like us out, I’ve gotten to create my own thing. And as you know, I’m just getting started.
And for all of you industry hopefuls, please know this: Fashion Week is fun, but it’s not that fun. As I was exiting a highly hyped party last night, I saw two kids standing outside. They asked, ‘It if fun in there’? The truth of the matter was that even though this party had all the elements of ‘fun’: snow on the ground, bright lights, celebs as far as the eye could see, and an unlimited liquor supply…it was not fun. The music was terrible, noone was dancing, and it was hot. A lot of times things look great from the outside, but once you get in, you think, “This is all there is?” It’s like pulling a curtain back and realizing the Wizard is a frail old man.
Fashion shows are just that: fantasy and smoke & mirrors. It’s not real. Focus on and find what is.
Love & Light,
*I wore a Daniel’s Leather fur, Gucci Crystal Shades from Specs New York, and Rochas Crystal Heeled Boots for Day 1.