Hey, gidday mate! Fashion week has been pretty good, thanks. To answer your question, I enjoy myself more these days, but I’ll never forget the early days.
In my first few seasons, everything was exciting and new, I was traveling around the world by myself for the first time, I didn’t know anybody, and nobody knew me, so I had no qualms about sneaking into shows and running around backstage and taking the kinds of crazy irreverent liberties that only a kid from New Zealand would take.
This meant that I had insane access that very few people have and that I will probably never have again. I’d be standing right next to Donatella Versace and Giorgio Armani in Milan one day, and Karl Lagerfeld and Raf Simons in Paris the next.
I’m the type of person who doesn’t function so well without friends around, so while I did enjoy myself, I hated it at the same time. Milan was the worst, because I literally knew nobody, but once I got to Paris, I had some friends who I could hang out with in the evenings after the shows were finished so things would get better as the season went on.
These days I know a lot more people, and Milan is great fun in particular because I work with a lot of the Italian brands that show there, so I get treated pretty well when I’m in town.
Paris is more difficult, because the French haven’t embraced the internet as openly as the rest of the world, so they’re much more concerned with which publication you’re backed by. In past seasons I’d bust my ass writing for big international magazines or newspapers, which would get me amazing seats at top shows, plus access to brilliant people for interviews, but the workload was enormous and the compensation was so low that after I’d paid for flights and accommodation and food it worked out that I was actually paying the magazines for the privilege to write for them. Any businessperson will tell you that model is not sustainable, so I decided to not do that and focus on my own projects instead.
This season has been fun because Jenny has been here with me, so I’ve had a wingman with me every step of the way. Milan was amazing, we were even seated front row at Gucci for the first time, and that felt great.
The thing about fashion weeks and the fashion industry in general is that everything is out in the open for the world to see. You always know how important you are to a brand based on where you’re seated (front row, back row, standing, or not even invited), you always know how well you’re dressed based on whether or not the street style photographers choose to shoot you, and if you’re not extremely thick-skinned, this stuff can take a toll on your self esteem.
I’m so close to it all that I don’t even know if that sounds completely ridiculous, but it is what it is. The easiest way to explain it is to put it in terms of school — either you’re invited to the birthday party or you’re not, and either kids want to play with you at lunchtime or they don’t. This is the adult version. It’s obviously based on merit, but at times it can feel like a giant popularity contest. But I’m still here so I guess I don’t mind it that much, right? Riiiiight.
The best bit is that I’m in Paris, and it’s my favorite city in the entire world (alongside New York and Auckland), so it’s about time I got out of the apartment and did some exploring.
Got a question you want answering? Ask me here!
Photo 1: Jonathan Daniel Pryce of Garcon Jon fame; Photo 2: Karl Lagerfeld, Lara Stone and Baptiste Giabaconi backstage at Chanel Haute Couture in 2010, shot by me on my Blackberry Bold 9000.
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