“Leave your ego on the plane,” my boyfriend cautions as I complain yet again about one of our show invitations not going as planned. It’s New York Fashion Week. As much as we all want to paint a 24-karat-gold picture of front row seats and black car service, you’ll still see Coco Rocha doing a coffee run for her entire team clad in leggings and trainers, no makeup. I almost didn’t recognize her.
And that’s when it hit me. New York will erode any sense of pride you had before you got here. No matter who you are. She’ll have you swimming through puddles in high heels. Walking eight blocks with no umbrella in the rain. She’ll have you wait in line. And traffic. The traffic here alone is capable of turning a king into a pauper; a sort of Toronto-famous blogger into a nobody.
Of course there are still glimmers of that fabulous life we boast on Instagram. I did get to see a Cadillac XT5 cross the Hudson River on a helicopter from a hospital-bracelet-exclusive loft party on the West Side with Nick Wooster in attendance. We took a picture together, arms crossed.
But it’s precisely the grim welcome the city gives you upon arrival that makes what have become ordinary moments for us influencers, extraordinary, again. You gotta keep it light and humble during fashion week. Your WiFi will crash (hence why I’m writing this on a Google doc in my hotel lobby, connected to my iPhone personal hotspot – don’t ask). Your ego will be bruised. You’ll swallow your pride every single time The Blonde Salad walks by you. You’ll be so fucking happy someone stopped to take your picture outside of a show you might feel your legs buckling underneath you. Yup, still happens.
It takes time to get on New York City’s good side. You don’t just show up and think she’s going to welcome you with open arms. You gotta do you time. Ask anyone who sits front row – they’ve probably lived in NYC for an extended period of time at one point or another. They put in their time. They’ve taken the harsh beating this city gives you from Meatpacking all the way to Alphabet City.
New York Fashion Week is kinda like a religious pilgrimage, only with fabulous outfits and hangovers. It recharges your spirit and re-sets your morals. If you return home feeling absolutely fucking humbled, you did it absolutely fucking right.