(Wear)house of Dreams
This weekend I got to go to an event that I was really looking forward to: a market show called Capsule. Capsule is a sort of launchpad and serves as an affordable start to break into the New York market for those brands that are just beginning to set out. As the brand gets traction they move on because they have made it or they have not and leave and close up shop. New and eager grads from fashion school take their place. You can spend days there walking up and down long aisles in a cavernous space and view ready-to-wear, athletic wear, bathing suits, lingerie, jewelry, shoes, hats, eyewear and bags. I spend hours when I go because I end up meeting and talking to young designers, hearing their stories about hard work and dreams. There are, surprising to me, a number of them who I do not know but they follow me. They find inspiration in my story: that someone who is just an ordinary person can work hard, have a dream and find success. They know I support them when I can. When I first started and no one knew me, the only way I could psuedo explore fashion week was by getting a press pass to a market show like this one since I was not invited to runway shows. Since it was a show for unknowns, it was easy for me to get in. There is something very important to me about loyalty.
Busy buyers don't stop unless they see something they want so for the participants it means three long days of sitting and waiting. They are grateful to have someone stop and ask them about their work, even if you are not buying. They become animated and excited as they tell me their inspirations and share the story they want to tell with their current collection. There are struggles between artistic vision and what is commercially viable. I can identify with that too. I leave feeling inspired, uplifted and with many new friends and cards in my bag. Usually held in a space on one of the Piers, this year there was a new venue further downtown and is where many of the recent NYFW shows were held. The space feels alive and is shimmery, filled with dreams and hopes. This market show is where mine started.
Aside from the above, why I love to go and the most important reason is that for me it is the perfect combination of business and pleasure. It is business because it is where I go to meet emerging designers and generate content for my blog. No one else usually has the clothes emerging designers send me so I have probably one of the more unique wardrobes in town. These designers helped me build my brand and so if I love their clothes I like to help them build theirs. I also have readers who care enough to want to hear a designer's personal story and how they think about the garments they design and make. It is pleasure because I now have many friends who I get to see and it is much like a reunion for me. It is a day filled with hugs and excitement and tales shared of highs and lows on both sides. The outfit I choose to wear reflects this combination of business and pleasure. The vest and shirt are by my dear friend Flor, the creative director of Blackblessed and the shoes by Laura, creative director of Miista. I met them both at my very first Capsule show and they have since become loyal friends and supporters. Both have moved on and I did not get to see them at Capsule this year but our relationship continues through the times I choose to wear their clothes and shoes because they express what I need to say perfectly. But mostly because the women who make them are my friends.