Real talk: 10 lessons I learned while working at New York Fashion Week

At a glance, it would seem as though New York Fashion week is all about Kylie Jenner's hairstyles and Kanye's front row (we see you Tyga!)

Thanks to live streaming and social media, the fashion industry has become more accessible than ever before. 

You no longer need a backstage pass to see what goes on at a fashion show, everything is a simple hashtag away! 

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HOWEVER, there are certain elements of NYFW that only few have the luxury of knowing! 

Last year, I spent 12 months working for Bradbury Lewis in New York, and worked Fashion Week… TWICE! 


Rebecca Minkoff #SS16 babies #NYFW #walkwalkfashionbaby #backstagepassyo 

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I learned the cold hard (and sometimes terrifying) truth about what life is REALLY like behind the scenes. 

Now, I'm not going to sit here and try convince you that NYFW is glamorous and exotic because, for most people, it just isn't. 

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1. You will feel famous

At the start, you feel like a proper celeb, but this will pass. I remember walking up to Lincoln Centre on the morning of my first ever show and being photographed by numerous people. I walked away thinking I was the absolute s**t, only to soon learn that EVERYONE gets photographed. 

2. You will SWEAT like a pig

My first NYFW was in February, the coldest month of the year, so I came 'prepared' with a coat and scarf. FOOLISH! I never understood the real meaning of sweat until my first show was in full swing. 

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3. You will meet famous people (DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT)

During my Fashion Weeks, I was lucky enough to brush shoulders with some pretty cool people. I met Sarah Jessica Parker and Emma Roberts, and even stepped inside the humble abode of The Fat Jewish. HOWEVER, these meetings were usually awkward, and a bit weird, so for the most part I greeted them and ran away…

4. The 'Z listers' are a**holes

For the most part, everyone was nice and courteous, but I found that the rudest people were actually those who were shoved into the fourth row, wearing last seasons collection (how embarrassing?!). Anyway, the 'Z list' of New York's social scene were a little bit rude, and took it out on the person holding the clipboard (that would be moi). 

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5. The caffeine myth

I have read countless 'My Fashion Week diary' articles, and they always have the same point. "Coffee is life"… sorry hun but were we at the same event? If you are lucky enough to be working at a fashion show, you most defiantly do not have time to sit back, relax and enjoy a cappuccino. 

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6. OCD has a whole new meaning

Before fashion week, I would have considered myself an organised (slightly OCD) person. WELL while I still pride myself in my organisational skills, the level of perfection that goes into these shows is next level. 

7. You will meet thieves (trolls)

For real though, people make a living out of sneaking into fashion shows to steal the gift bags. I remember seeing a shady looking elderly women walking around, with about seven bags on her arm. I strutted over and demanded she gave them back… FASHION DARLING! 

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8. You probably won't see the show

I was one of the lucky ones, but I made sure my bosses knew I wanted to see the shows. Some of the less experienced, quieter interns ended up waiting outside the venue when the show was in full swing. Don't be that guy, speak up and watch that show! 


Finale of the amazing #KarenWalker show at #NYFW @karen_walker @toastmeetsworld

A video posted by @beccaokeeffe on

9. 18 hour days

On my first day, my call time was 7am, and I was working the after parties also, so I eventually got into my bed that night after 1am. I actually fell asleep standing up waiting for my Indian to arrive… lifestyles of the rich and famous! 

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Okay, so there were definitely parts of it that tested my patience and sanity, but it was the best experience I've ever had. Genuinely, the people behind the scenes of famous fashion shows are like machines, I still don't know how they do it!