NYFW is a crazy experience and something that I only dreamt about when I first started blogging. Honestly, this dream started way before I started blogging, but this blog made me feel closer to the fashion world that I so admired. I didn’t go to NYFW until the year 2017 (about three and a half years after I started this blog) and it was truly a mind-blowing experience. I’ve never been one of those people that feels that I am above everyone else or too cool for school when it comes to opportunities like attending NYFW. Maybe, it’s because I feel in awe that I even get to be a part of such a long time dream coming true or that I like to remain humble in everything I do.
I remember being so relieved that I would be experiencing NYFW with my girl Sarah (@sassyredlipstick) and that she had attended the previous season for the first time. I can’t help that I am a worrier when it comes to new experiences, even though I also like challenging myself to do new things. Sarah and I had a great time and it was pretty inspiring to see different runway shows and run around New York City. For the first time, I felt like a “real” blogger, someone who belonged at NYFW. Even though I perseverated over what I would wear and if I would look like I belonged (you wouldn’t believe how many different things I ordered before I left), it ended up being a great first experience. With that said, there is an overall vibe amongst bloggers at NYFW that is hard to ignore. I remember sitting with a bunch of bloggers all comparing their Instagram numbers (who had the highest follower count? Who bought engagement or used apps to inflate numbers?) and a variety of other things (who was the biggest bitch? Who got into what shows?). I remember feeling so on the outside of all of these types of conversations and it was very hard to ignore. I remember calling my mom and telling her that I didn’t feel like I belonged at NYFW, to which she responded, “of course you do! Just ignore the BS!” Like I said, having Sarah there to counter this was very helpful because we were able to process through a lot of this as well and I loved that that were moments where we would “ditch” the runway show or event that we had scheduled to go laugh our butts off at Shake Shack. I think mostly I felt thrown off by the blogger vibe of NYFW. I’m not saying that there weren’t other nice bloggers there because of course there were, but it was a rude awakening for me to hear so many of my “colleagues” talking this way about others and playing the not so passive aggressive comparison game with everyone. I kind of just wanted to scream “AREN’T YOU JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE?!”
Fast forward to 2018, I attended my second NYFW. This time, I attended in September, which was a big to-do because fall is the much bigger NYFW event of the two. Again, Sarah and I were traveling together and it was amazing to have such a close friend with me the whole time. We were also hanging with a few other solid gals that I love and that was also great. I had kind of put some of the negative thoughts from my previous NYFW out of head to start afresh for the 2018 season and had also grown in many ways as a blogger. Overall, the experience was amazing. I was honored to be Sarah’s plus one at Christian Siriano’s runaway show (if you didn’t know, he designed my wedding dress so I am a huge fan of his) and it was a surreal experience. I remember tearing up thinking about how lucky I felt just to be there in that room experiencing a BIG TIME runway show. It was amazing.
There were also a few events that I had not been to before that were attended by quite a few big time bloggers. It was amazing to be invited to these types of events but let me tell you, they often left a bad taste in my mouth. The not so passive aggressive comparison game was even worse than the last time and I constantly felt like I was being asked “did you get into this show/event?” with a smug look like if I had said yes, they would’ve been shocked. It’s almost like this question kept being asked because they just wanted to see the look on your face when you said that you didn’t get invited. As someone who is 33 and pretty confident in who I am as a person, I feel so beyond this bullshit mean girl behavior. It’s just stupid. Also, the level of “fake” nice in these types of settings is so thick that you could cut it with a knife. As an introvert, it’s really hard for me to exist in these types of social situations because they are just so FAKE AF. After awhile, I can’t fake another smile with someone who clearly doesn’t give a crap about who I am and is just faking interest. It’s exhausting. I was also shocked by how different girls look in real life than they do on Instagram/on their blogs. Like, SHOCKED. Some girls I didn’t even recognize until I was told who they were. This was also really disappointing. As someone who tries to be as real as I can both in personality and physical appearance, it was weird to be around so many girls that clearly make it a point to edit the hell out of what they truly look like. It just felt so disingenuous to me and really left a bad taste in my mouth. Hey, even I have done this on bad breakout days because I can’t stand to look at myself but I definitely try to keep things more natural if I can. Even Sarah mentioned that I got really quiet at one of the parties (no one believes me when I say I’m introverted because I am a world class faker) because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Luckily, Sarah and I are always on the same page and we even escaped the craziness of NYFW to go and spend the day together getting high tea and talking. It was lovely.
Also, let me break down just how expensive attending NYFW can be. First of all, hotels in NYC don’t really offer free stays and even their media rates are not as great as you would hope for because they don’t really NEED bloggers to promote their hotels for people to want to stay there. I mean, it’s freaking NYC. The hotel cost alone can really add up. Plus, for me, outfits are EVERYTHING for these types of events. Really, it’s one of the reasons why I loved attending. However, that also gets expensive. Then you need to add up all the Lyft/Uber charges for getting around the city AND food. Things can add up real quick and while some girls get sponsored to attend NYFW, I would say the majority don’t. To me, the amount of money that it costs to attend is crazy expensive and while I’ve made great relationships and partnerships because of NYFW, I don’t always think it’s worth the cost.
Overall, I feel incredibly lucky to attend NYFW twice. They were both great in their own ways and also introduced some challenges that I was not expecting. As always, I want to be as honest and real as I can with all of you and thought this would be a great time to share my thoughts on this topic. This post was not intended to bash other influencers or NYFW events, but just my own experiences that I felt compelled to share. I always thought that NYFW was the most glamorous thing you could attend as a blogger or someone in the fashion world, but really, it’s a lot of work and a LOT of money to attend, which is why I’m happy to be taking a break this season. Also, I hate to admit it but a lot of the negativity and comparisons between bloggers actually got to me. Like, I felt bad about myself and felt like I shouldn’t be there, which is stupid. I wouldn’t say that I will never go back (never say never!) but for now, I feel very solid in my choice not to attend. I hope someone finds this blog post helpful or insightful!