I moved to New York 13 years ago to work in fashion. I had no idea what to expect but I was determined to go to a show. Back then getting in was as easy as giving my boss’ name at the door. Over the years, I learned how to navigate the system and find a pace in the marathon of NYFW that leaves me feeling inspired as opposed to disillusioned in the end.
As my relationship to the event has evolved, I’ve found myself searching for what truly connected me to the fashion industry in the first place. Because it’s the same thing that drew me to New York: discovery.
Every fashion girl knows the feeling of finding something truly unique and special. We dream of not being the 4th girl wearing the same Zara top at the club tonight. When I first arrived, New York was full of gems. Every corner held the promise of hidden treasure. People still shopped — brick-and-mortar style. I miss it. But that spirit can still be found at fashion week. It just takes a bit of legwork.
As fashion month draws to a close in the City of Light (P.S. if you had to click that link to know what city I’m referring to, yes, I judged you. Digo, no mas.) let’s have a look at New York’s finest.
Disclaimer: To those who feel like fashion just isn’t their thing, I offer un dicho my tio would always say after getting us lost for hours in the backroads of one of the Carolina states, somewhere between New Jersey and Florida, “Tomalo como un paseo!”
Vamos pues. Dale.
I lived across the street in the East Village for many years, so I know the place well. The restaurant hasn’t changed in over 50 years, one of the few left of its kind. But instead of popping in for the legendary Beef Stroganoff, we were ushered to the mysterious hall upstairs where the Ukranian community have met and feted for generations.
The locale is completely fitting as the designer, Svetlana Bevza, was inspired by her hometown of Kyiv when creating the Fall/Winter 2019 collection. She dressed the auditorium with a subtle intention, utilizing just one willowy white curtain to set the stage, allowing the silhouettes to strut for themselves.
In short, I want everything. Damelo todo.
I don’t hide the fact that I play favorites with designers. And Maryam Nassir Zadeh is my favorite designer at NYFW. I first discovered her at a low-key sample sale in the Lower East Side. I practically had to throw bows to get my hands on a pair of her cult mules. As a former buyer, I’m not above a bit of beast-mode shopping. It’s standard behavior for a NYC sample sale. Obviously, (earning the @NuevaYorka title) I walked away with a pair in the perfect shade of moss green.
I also play favorites with my shoes.
MNZ, as she is affectionately called, didn’t disappoint for AW19. I haven’t wanted a suit (see pics below) this badly since I found a yellow plaid set circa Cher Horowitz (If you clicked this link I judged you again. Hellurrr, Clueless?!) at the GAP when I was 8-years-old! Casi me muero.
Beyond suiting MNZ’s designs are desirable because she herself is aspirational. Each look is something she would wear — styled in such a singularly MNZ way. And who isn’t down for that?!
I can spot a Sandy Liang coat from here to Brooklyn. Probably because I want all of them, and therefore have memorized the styles. Also because her most famous technique is an audacious (read: fabulous) leopard-camo-neon mashup in fleece. An outwear style so hot the guys want in on it, too.
Steal and you shall receive, boys. (I know I’m going to regret printing that line in the very near future, but it’s so fun!) This season Sandy is offering her first capsule unisex collection. Win for dudes, what else is new?!
I kid. But not actually. Pero like, kind of.
“My father taught me that all life is sacred. Connected. I learned that everything we do is in honor of our ancestors, in honor of those who came before us and in honor of those who will inherit this planet, of the future generations that are yet to come.”Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez’s narration underscored Collina Strada’s edgy presentation. The scene was lit as the kids would say, crowded as the elder millennials (aka yo) would say. A diverse set of models (including a woman famously carrying a baby on her shoulders) blazed down a narrow runway flanked by some seriously “Cool Kids.” It was the perfect crowd for the soliloquy of sustainability. Because we aren’t actually woke until it’s #hashtagged in the Stories.
Martinez, most certainly the coolest of the dique, “Cool Kids” is an 18-year-old Mexica-descendant, climate activist, hip hop artist, model and author. Martinez knows how to make an impact and admitted that his role in the fashion industry, one of the environment’s greatest foes, is often questioned by fellow activists. Hillary Taymour, the designer who dedicated her AW19 collection to environmental consciousness, asked him to help drive awareness to the biggest issue threatening the human race: climate change.
Find out what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint here.
It rained the day of the presentation. But nothing could deter the steady stream of fashion’s most elite from curiously navigating Nanushka’s unifying vision of the world. And the impossibly cool way we should dress for such an occasion.
Bucking the binary, Nanushka’s collection effortlessly ebbs and flows between the typically masculine and the typically feminine. Same colors, similar styles, same allure.
As the finance bro’s would say, “I’m a buyer.” Lo compro.