Two weeks ago I moved back to New York City, just as Fashion Week was starting. It’s been years since I walked the New York runways for the shows. Not much has changed as far as the models and the shows themselves, just the designs and designers. I haven’t kept up but was delighted to see so many great designers lined up for the Fashion Week Shows.
Because I made a last minute decision to move from Colorado, I was late being able to get into the big shows. They were already full. I tried not to be envious I couldn’t attend the powerhouse designer shows, some who were old friends and contemporaries of mine. I was busy attending many other shows however.
The smaller designers brought in models from places like South Carolina and Philadelphia. Some of these new, young designers didn’t know who I was. I found myself standing in the back at one show where a mother turned around–with her Chanel bag–and asked if I had a daughter in the show. My ego took a big hit on that one.
Other shows sent a car for me and gave me the best front row VIP seat and pulled photographers over to get shots of me. After the shows, I went back stage to interview the designers and to get photos taken with them.
What I had to watch out for was the insecure feeling that permeated the shows. I could feel everyone saying, “Look at me! Discover me!” There was a desperateness in the air that was very sad. I saw many models from these small towns, who, in my opinion there was no way they could make it in New York in fashion. It didn’t stop them from dreaming though.
I had to talk to myself to keep from questioning why I was there. I’m 35-years-older than these young girls, looking for somewhere to make my mark, again.
It still puzzles me that so many girls want to get into the modeling business. They have no idea how brutal this business is to their emotions and egos, or that it takes more than beauty to survive in NYC. It takes inner strength. I’m tapping into that inner strength each day.
When I look at what that inner strength was for me back then, I think it was that I didn’t need the business: If it didn’t work out for me, I was willing to walk away. I knew I could go back to school, and I could make another career. I had great parents and sister. I leaned on my family, who gave me strength, because they believed in me.