Ever since I watched Carrie Bradshaw take on New York Fashion Week in Sex and The City, I wanted to do the same. The over-the-top looks, international collections, trend forecasting, and much more lends to my favorite time of year. You could say that NYFW is like Christmas for fashion enthusiasts like myself.
Over the years, I have attended the sem-annual events, and every year it keeps getting better. This season, I wanted to give a sneak peek of what fashion week looks like for a fashion writer. Keep reading for an NYFW diary full of inspiration of all kinds!
NYFW Day 1
I started my favorite week of the year off with the Saks NYFW Kick-off Party hosted by Chloe Bailey. As soon as I strutted into the oh-so-stunning L’Avenue at Saks, I was met with an eight-foot-tall tower of champagne glasses overflowing with bubbles. I immediately thought, “Oh, we are about to have a time tonight!” And I was right. From running into designers like Christopher John Rogers and LaQuan Smith to dancing the night away with Chloe Bailey, it felt amazing to hold space with such icons.
NYFW Day 2
Day 2 began at Spring Studios with the Black in Fashion Council Brunch + Showroom hosted by Lindsey Peoples and Sandrine Charles. These two powerhouses created BIFC with the mission to represent and secure the advancement of Black individuals in the fashion and beauty industry. This year, they partnered with Mailchimp and NYFW: The Shows “to elevate Black creatives, shining a spotlight on their talent during a time that is traditionally dominated by the big fashion houses.” Over delicious food and amazing drinks, we talked about fashion, diversity, and the launch of their special capsule collection featuring one-of-a-kind designers: Izayla, Ndigo Studio, Kwame Adusei, Sammy B, and Muehleder.
Next up, I headed to the Kate Spade Presentation overlooking the beautiful downtown landscape. This was the debut of Tom Mora and Jennifer Lyu as the new head designers, and they gave us a collection comprised of oversized polka dots, exaggerated florals, and spring stripes. The rain motifs were my favorite as they gave the perfect looks for when it’s pouring outside and you still want to serve a look.
I stopped by L’AGENCE at the Boom Boom Room atop The Standard at The High Line, and it was a whole vibe. Between the sunset, the vibrant pieces, and the star-studded guest list, I was happy to be in the building with such brilliance. The collection screamed romance and emotion with its textured prints and tailored shapes. Not to mention, I ran into Cassie, and my inner high school Joce was overfilled with joy.
I ended the night with the Kensington Grey agency for their inaugural Cocktails & Conversation at Public Hotel. Every season, the boutique influencer agency gathers its diverse network of Influencers to enjoy drinks, bites, and camaraderie. It is always one of my favorite events to attend, and this season was no different. Being surrounded by Black women taking over the world in so many ways was an honor and a pure delight. I got to kiki with Vic Styles, Dayna Bolden, Chi Adogu, Monet McMichael, and many more queens. This space being for us and by us is so important during fashion week because we were all able to just be, and we deserve that.
NYFW Day 3
Emerge by Oxford Fashion Studio was first up on the agenda for Day 3. From menswear to homegrown kombucha leather and wearable Indigenous art, the showcase continues to be the best platform for emerging designers. This year’s lineup included Laura Lanzerotte, CarsonFashion, NH ALRABIAH, García del Castillo, House of Arti, 1 Atelier, Prémya by Manishii, nauni J, Alicia’s Designs, I.N.A APPAREL, Lexlo, Burnt Glitter Clothing, Shannen Maria Samuel, Colleen Cecelia’s Designs, and Lillian Jenae Designs.
Next, I dashed to Spring Studios to interview incomparable fashion designer Son Jung Wan. I have had the pleasure of speaking with her over the years, and I am always excited to learn more about her design process. This season was about enchanting romance with unbelievable silhouettes, voluminous pleating, and dramatic detailing. Wan told us, “Swinging sixties is my inspiration for this collection. The sixties was a dream era. I wanted to show a unique mixture of freedom and contemporary trends.” The Korean designer also shared that it took her nearly four months to create over 20 designs.
To wrap up day 3, I popped over to Moonlight Studios for DEITY NEW YORK. A Black woman created this collection, so you know I was geeked. This collection sat divinely at the intersection of natural and industrial. The theme of female empowerment prevailed through the 36 looks showcased by the luxury womenswear brand. Some of my favorites included the fringe blazer dress, the neon silk cutout dress, and the nude embroidered kimono. In a press release, DEITY says, “DEITY New York’s SS23 collection is designed for the unapologetic and bold woman who dares to challenge tradition.” And that was more than evident, as shown on the runway.
NYFW Day 4
By the fourth day of NYFW, I was exhausted. Lucky for me, Studio 189 was my first show, and I was in for a treat. Rosario Dawson took us to church with dance performances and a special rendition of Amazing Grace. The runway was chock full of unique handcrafted African textile designs and colors. More importantly, the representation of the models was the most beautiful display I had ever seen. From a model with a pregnant belly to a non-binary model strutting in heels, to a model giving it their all in a wheelchair, this is how a runway should look.
After a quick photoshoot, I ran to Hudson Yards to see the REVOLVE Gallery, an immersive, multi-brand installation featuring exclusive brands like Andrea Iyamah, emerging fashion designers, and premier partners. This was the perfect event to snap all the content surrounded by fashion pieces you could easily shop using the QR codes in each themed room.
After grabbing a quick bite, I returned to Spring Studios for the Indonesia Now show. The collective show featured ViviZubedi, Coreta Louise, Kimberly Tandra for Suedeson, Heaven Lights, lleira Carys Care X Amero Jewellery, and SPOUS by Priyo Oktaviano. Their unique representations of their heritage proved to be rooted in passion and creativity.
Black-owned hair care brand, Thank God It’s Natural (TGIN), invited me to their private Curls In The City dinner at Pietro Nolita, and it was the dose of Black Girl Magic I needed. TGIN’s mission is to redefine beauty by cultivating a community that empowers women to be the best versions of themselves is a mission I stan all day and night. Over cocktails and dinner, we had meaningful conversations with the managing partner, Aris Singleton, and other amazing Black women in beauty, lifestyle & fashion. The sisterhood was real.
The finale of Day 4 was the JUNE79 Show & Afterparty at DUMBO House. The designer, Shawn Pean, told Vanity Fair, “The June79 journey has been an incredible one in relatively a short matter of time. We are leading the modern renaissance of menswear dressing and defining an undefined category in men’s tailoring. NYFW is an important part of our journey.” It was amazing to see this Black man take up space on the NYFW schedule and at DUMBO House, no less. And the luxury menswear brand gave exactly what it was supposed to give. After the show was the after party, so you know we had a time.
NYFW Day 5
ErigoX was one of my favorite shows for many reasons. The most prominent is the consistency of the streetwear brand. According to them, the True Through You collection is dedicated to those who strive to find their true identity and authenticity as an individual. It enlivens everyone to show up authentically just as the models did, wearing everything from denim to mesh to chain accessories. Originality is the brand’s DNA, and we love to see it.
Samantha Black of Sammy B had another NYFW show this season, and I couldn’t miss it. Last September, I met the designer at a Black in Fashion Council showroom and fell in love with her spirit and creations. This collection was a fave because of its wearability. The themes of satin, midi skirts, and bold colors excited me for spring.
NYFW Day 6
I started my last day of shows with Homolog PARIS’s Spring / Summer 2023 collection, HAPPINESS, inspired and created to cherish our fragile environment. It was beautiful to see the Malaysian founder, Emily Cheong, bring her environmentally friendly fabrics, like natural plant-dyed eucalyptus silk, to life on the runway. It effortlessly supported her vision of creating a beautifully crafted collection using textiles with the planet in mind.
Afterward was the Fashion Week Online x Christian Cowan Party hosted by Serhant. Not only were the views amazing but the drinks and music made for a dreamy party set against New York’s beautiful skyline atop a colorful sunset.
I went out with a bang for my last NYFW event by heading to Boohoo by Kourtney Kardashian Barker. We know that this Kardashian only moves with intention, so this collaboration with the well-known retailer was created to empower herself and others with a better understanding of the fashion industry’s environmental impact. I appreciated seeing the various pieces on all body types. Not gonna lie – it made me head to the site to add multiple things to my cart.
Style Writer Joce Blake Documents Her Six Fashionable Days Of NYFW was originally published on hellobeautiful.com