College Fashion Week: NYC Fashion Show

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One of my biggest inspirations has always been the wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt. So much of the adversity that she faced in her life is something that most women will face during theirs as well. Like all great and powerful women, Roosevelt perceived the challenges in her life as learning experiences. And like all true role models, Roosevelt used these lessons to help other women overcome similar obstacles. Her unfaltering belief in herself makes

her a timeless and incredibly special inspiration.

She once said, “you must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Did I ever think that I would find myself walking a runway in platform heels in front of over 500 people, many of which are from today’s most popular magazines — never. But when the opportunity came up to apply to be a model did I simply ignore the possibility of it because I was afraid and inexperienced? Nope. If there is anything that I have learned it is that if you reach out to
the universe, it will respond to you. With just the act of expressing interest in doing something challenging or frightening that you would not normally do, you will receive
the guidance that you need to get you there.

Walking down the runway at NYC College Fashion Week was one of the most empowering experiences that I have had. The Santos Party House had been set up so that the audience, which was full of fashion bloggers and magazine editors, was in front of and surrounding the runway. This way the clothing would be visible from all angles. As guests started arriving they were ushered into the pre-show party, which featured make-up tutorials by
BareMinerals professionals, hair-do’s by Tressemé, a brow bar by the European Wax Center and professional headshots and cocktails. The other models and I were able to attend an hour of the pre-party, standing out in the casual clothes we had come in though we’d already been through hair and makeup for the show.

Before we knew it we were ushered backstage once again to go over a final accessory check and get into our outfits for the first look. I was in two of the three featured looks, which required a quick outfit and hair change once I got off the runway from my first catwalk.
We had rehearsed catwalks and poses earlier that day, however upon going out on the runway for real that night we still did not have the slightest clue as to what music we would be walking to. The first look was a military-inspired style, to which we walked to Lorde and Florence and the Machine. My hands were shaking as were my legs, however I looked out into the crowd and embraced the energy. Embraced the camera’s that were right in front of my nose and the smiles and criticizing countenances on the people sitting below me. I focused on how blessed I was to be there, and how this was an experience that I would never forget.

My perception of time while on the runway was nonexistent. I moved with the audience’s reactions and the beat of the music. For my second look, after the hairdressers from Tressemé braided strings of leather into my hair, I was the first model to walk. As if this
does not sound intimidating enough, it was me who had to set the time for the entire Woodlander scene — full of fall trends. I tried to relax as I went through the motions of each pose in my head, still waiting backstage for my cue.

The model director ushered me out into the spotlight with less than a 30 second warning, but when I heard Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” blast over the speakers my nerves were instantly put at ease. Halfway down the runway I shed the plaid wool coat that had been designed as part of my look and stared comfortably into the cameras that seemed to
come closer and closer to me from the end of the runway. Then it was over. All of the models and directors came out for the finale. More pictures were taken, and the runway was emptied. I had done something that I never thought I would get the opportunity to do.
I let my self-confidence shine in front of hundreds and hundreds of the most important people in the fashion industry. I had seized an opportunity and made the most
of it.

I applaud Ms. Roosevelt for living this way her whole life— and I plan on continuing to embody it in the rest of mine, with one alteration. I believe with my heart
and soul that one should not just do the things that they think they cannot, but that one should go after these things. That one should be hungry to experience the things that at
one point or another he or she has told his or herself that they will never have the chance to do. I believe that we should all seek out the things that we think we cannot do, and then have an amazing time proving ourselves wrong.

stay classy! xx



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