How The Top Designers Survive Fashion Week

Twice a year for an entire month, the cities of New York, Milan, Paris, and London are turned over to street style photographers, festively clad fashion editors, and Hollywood starlets. These fashion weeks are glamorous spectacles, to say the least. But behind all the glitz lies the hard work and creativity of the sartorial maestros who have worked tirelessly putting their names and reputations on the line to display their idea of how men and women should dress over the next six months. 

In the days leading up to the show, way before the lights dim and the parade of glamazons struts down the catwalk, the real theatrics begin. It’s a non-stop marathon: booking models, making last minute alternations, and even changing concepts entirely mere days before the presentation. “I’m worried until I know how everything comes together,” designer Anna Sui, a New York Fashion Week veteran, says. “Physically, I luckily always have a lot of energy.  Emotionally, I try to stay strong and focused.”

Most designers concur with Sui’s sentiments. So to help them down the runway, they develop certain rituals, certain good luck charms. Whether it’s a lucky bracelet, a selection of vitamin-rich juices, or the ubiquitous iPhone (many of which are custom designed), these traditions help them survive season after season. Because, no matter how practiced they are, as Sui points out, “it never really gets any easier.”