New York Fashion Week is the ultimate fashion event. A style-filled week unlike any other, NYFW has to be one of my favorite events out of the whole year. The semi-annual event is held in February and September to showcase Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter looks. International collections created by the top designers in the world (and upcoming stars!) are presented to buyers, press, industry professionals, and the public—and of course commented on and shared around the internet.

Fashion week is anything but subtle. Everywhere you look on the streets of New York City, there is an outfit that will catch your eye. The city that never sleeps turns its style up to the max during this crazy, non-stop week of trends and fashion events hosted across Manhattan. This year, Fashion Week returned after two virtual seasons due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Spring/Summer 2022 collections were stunning, but they were also the perfect excuse for the fashion world to reunite in person.

Returning to NYFW this year was a special honor. I have been dreaming of strutting down the runway as the world reopens for months. So, to say I was inspired by the return of NYFW and its events is almost an understatement. I was beyond inspired by the fashion magic I got to experience in September, walking for designers from across the globe in international fashion collection debuts from New York, California, Austria, Russia, Mexico, Canada, France, and Italy!

My love of fashion makes me excited for each Fashion Week event that happens during the year, but the 2021 runways meant even more than that. While the clothes were stunning and the atmosphere was inspiring, the events were proof, demonstrated through fashion, that the fun and joy of life still exist. They didn’t go anywhere. They’ve just been on hold.

Haute couture, casual looks, streetwear, sportswear, business casual ensembles, and of course evening wear brought life back to the runway and joy to everyone involved. One of the big trends this year was color—big, bold, vibrant color. Talk about a saturated wardrobe! One of the standout hues this season was hot pink. (My favorite. Your favorite. Showstopper’s favorite. You know the drill.) New York was alive for NYFW.

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It really takes a village to make the magic of a fashion show happen, and I am so lucky to have met and worked with many talented people this Summer/Spring 2022 season alone. There is a lot of detail that goes into each show behind the scenes. Clothing designers, makeup artists, hairstylists, tech crew, DJs, dressers, stylists, photographers, press, backstage teams…There are so many roles to be filled, and each is just as important as the next. It is beyond inspirational to see so many hardworking people with diverse skillsets playing a part and working together in the name of fashion!

Everything leads up to one moment, right? The runway, the show! It must go on, and it’s back! Model castings, outfit fittings, meetings with designers around the city, stylist sessions, outfit orders, runway rehearsals, hair, makeup, it all leads up to the split second of calm backstage before its time to walk. Final touchups happen in the lineup, and that’s when, standing in my high heels, I reflect on it all. It’s like standing in the wings before a dance performance. You have to appreciate the process before you take the first step.

When the music begins, a steady beat echoing through the speakers, and the cameras start flashing (paparazzi!), someone adds hairspray to my ponytail. someone else dusts a glowy highlighter across my cheeks. The stylists do a final check on my outfit, jewelry, heels, handbag. It’s all in order. The look is ready to make its debut under New York City’s magical skyline. It’s time to strut! Go, girl!

I still get butterflies every time I step out on the runway to walk in a designer’s creations, knowing I get to be part of their fashion story and a piece of unique art being released into the world. The language of fashion is universal. So much is communicated in what we wear and what we create. It is so beautiful to see people coming together from all over the world to celebrate fashion, to celebrate being together again.