To an outsider, New York might seem like a town full of one well-heeled fashionista after another. That might not always be true, but it is this week. New York Fashion Week began last Thursday and will continue through the remainder of the week. The runway shows and surrounding fanfare at Lincoln Center are a bizarre sight to behold.
While your attention should probably be focused on the designs coming down the runway, we don’t blame you for being equally — or even more — enthralled with the people on the sidelines. Below are the eight people you’ll meet at Fashion Week. (No ticket? No problem. Check out our guide to sneaking in.)
1. The It Girls: If Fashion Week was the Olympics, Leandra Medine, Hannah Bronfman, and Alexa Chung would be the gold medalists. Bloggers, socialites, DJs, stylists, and TV personalities make up an extra-chic swath of Fashion Week attendees. Spot them in the VIP Lounge sipping champagne, hanging out at after-parties, and tweeting from the front row of cool girl brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rebecca Minkoff, and Proenza Schouler.
2. The Newbies: What better way to kick off a semester at NYU than to roll into Fashion Week, Instagram a few shows, and make all your friends back home jealous? Newbies are mainly Washington Square News freshmen who tweet things like, “Fashion WEAK #nyfw” and take semi-covert shots of B-listers in the front row. They may look a little lost gamboling around Lincoln Center now, but they’ll be running the show in a few years.
3. The “Over It” Crew: Fashion Week is a seven-day stretch of frivolity and fun (twenty-eight days, if you count Fashion Week in London, Paris, and Milan, too). It isn’t Syria. There’s nothing to complain about, and unless you’re Andrea Sachs, no one is even forcing you to be there. So please, Over It Crew, quit complaining about how exhausted you are from attending back-to-back shows and how your Rockstuds are giving you blisters. It’s fashion, not the 74th Hunger Games.
4. The Stressed-Out PR Girls: If you spot a girl clad in black with a pile of clipboards and a predilection for kale, congrats! You’ve found yourself a PR girl, the official gateway to your Fashion Week dreams. They can make or break your entrance into the show, so ditch your resting bitch face and Anna Wintour attitude and make nice.
5. The Editors: Anna. Grace. Andre. Eva. Devil Wears Prada-style, a smile or a nod of approval can mean the world to a designer’s collection. We could argue that they’re some of the most important people at Fashion Week — if they like something, it has a shot of eventually appearing on the pages of their magazines, where high fashion looks will eventually be distributed to every bodega and convenience store across the country. With inimitable styles, these powerhouses are easy to spot across a crowded runway.
6. Street Style Photographers and Their Muses: The moment an eye-catching outfit struts across the plaza outside Lincoln Center, a swarm of street style photographers descends on their chosen one and snaps away. A dozen blinding flashbulbs later, they’re onto their next muse. And hey, if your ego is feeling a little low, dress up and head over to Lincoln Center to be admired by photos — no NYFW invite necessary.
7. Fancy European Women: The front row might garner the most attention — aside from the runways, that is — but there are dozens of rows to fill. Lincoln Center is filled with rich European women dressed in fur coats which cost approximately the same as our national GDP.
8. Those Guys in Suits: Hello, non-famous rich man in an expensive suit. These guys look adorably clueless while pondering the difference between two nearly-identical cerulean belts and can usually be found mingling with socialites in the VIP Lounge between shows. Model-ogling aside, we’re not exactly sure why they’re there, but Fashion Week wouldn’t be the same without them.