New York Fashion Week: A Life-Changing Experience

I swore that if I was ever offered a chance to attend New York Fashion Week, it’d be a no-brainer—I would pack my things and be on the first thing smokin’ to The Big Apple. 

 And sure enough, opportunity knocked. I’ll admit, I was afraid to answer. I was afraid to believe that an editor in Los Angeles would fancy my portfolio enough to grant me a shot to fulfill one of my dreams to attend fashion week and write for a magazine. 

I pinched myself; I even changed contacts thinking that I was seeing words on the screen that weren’t there and after that didn’t work, I sought out the advice of a professor who simply told me I had to take advantage of the opportunity (Thanks Fred!). 

Fast forward two days later. I’m on a flight to New York sifting through my favorite fashion magazines unaware that I’d be running into the editors (Joanna Coles and Tracy Taylor of Marie Claire, Andrea Linett of Lucky, Nina Garcia and Joe Zee of Elle and the legendary Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley of Vogue) responsible for the content in these celebrated publications—and turning flips on the inside fantasizing about how badly I want their jobs! 

Sure, I saw amazing clothes from established designers (Michael Kors, Vera Wang and the breath-taking designers from Project Runway (I’m on Team Christian, by the way!), clothes from the new kids on the block (Malan Breton from Project Runway season three). I even went to a few parties, which honestly mirror James Holt’s party in The Devil Wears Prada. I saw tons of celebrities (actresses Eva Longoria, Victoria Beckham and Sophia Bush; mogul Russell Simmons; and Mrs. Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad)) in the flesh. And world-renowned photographer and International Creative Director of Elle magazine Gilles Bensimon even snapped my picture! 

But the highlight of my fashion week was when I realized I chased a dream—and made it happen. 

This column isn’t about the updates made to the Little Black Dress for fall, how menswear-inspired trends are still dominating the runways, or how masterfully designers mixed black and brown in their collections (which isn’t a fashion faux-pas believe it or not!). However, this column aims to inspire you to chase your dream like I did. 

If you want to be a teacher, don’t let the detractors tell you why you can’t be one; show them you can. If you want to be a lawyer, don’t let your friends deter you from staying in school a few extra years; take them along for the ride. Whatever your dreams are, exhaust every measure to make them happen…because when you do, often you find out all the hard work was worth it in the end. Your dreams aren’t meant to be realized when it’s convenient for others; they’re meant to be reached on your time.  

Who knows where I’d be if I would have listened to the idiots who swore off fashion as a superficial industry that doesn’t require “real” work and suggested I stay home, or the people who told me to give up when I got rejection letters from tons of editors (it happens!). I surely wouldn’t have been at Fashion Week interviewing supermodel Tyson Beckford! 

Thank you to all of my professors who worked with me while I was gone to make sure I didn’t get behind, to the greatest parents in the world believing in me enough to send me to New York for the most amazing five days of my life, to my friends, family and mentors who provide continuous support for me and most of all, my readers for allowing me to share my journey with you.  

And remember the only way to make dreams come true is to wake up and make them happen.

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!