Fashion blogger Asima Khan shares insight into what New York Fashion Week is actually like, helpful beginners tips and advice on how to navigate the infamous week in fashion.
Story and photography By Asima Khan
It all started a couple weeks ago when I woke up one morning starting my day as usual by checking general emails. I came across one in particular that read: “Glow out with TULA | Your Official Invitation: NYFW.” Just seeing the words New York Fashion Week alone sent a chill throughout my body. My immediate thought was, “Wow, I can’t believe I am being invited to anything that is even in the realm of fashion week.” I had been in touch with a blogger friend of mine, Viviane (@jolieandgrace), and we had both discussed meeting up in New York and attending something together. She had also received an invite from Tula which gave us the perfect opportunity to follow through! I was still a little hesitant on making a trip to New York if I was only going for the launch party, so this is when I decided to go to work and make my dreams a reality. Check out my guide on for experiencing New York Fashion Week!
I’m going to be real and candid about the details of what the craze of fashion week is all about. For starters, let’s talk shows! Getting invited to any shows whatsoever, I’ve realized, is extremely difficult. Unless you have a large-scale blog or your own reps, you have your work cut out for you. First thing I did was email a reputable site that could assist with all the necessary information I needed to get my requests out. NYFW.com was the most helpful out of the two I went through. They sent me a detailed list of all the shows taking place during the week along with contact information for each of the PR firms handling each designer. So this gave me direct access to the people who send invitations. I spent about two days working on a profile to send each of these PR reps, including all of my work as a blogger and my involvement with different fashion organizations dating back to my college days. Keep in mind, there were about 40 emails that went out, all specified to each designer. I figured this would be the best way to plan on what days I would go If I was lucky to get any bites back. Although I heard back from most, getting an invite was still hard. One of the replies I received was from the PR firm handling the Son Jung Wan show. After quite a few emails back and forth, I then received an official invite. Oh, what a feeling that was! Especially because this show was to be held at Spring Studios (Gallery I) which is considered the home for most premiere shows. There are tiers that fashion shows fall into, and to attend any that take place at Spring Studios, is truly a privilege. After that, I was also extended an invite to the Damowang show as well as all the shows that the Riviere Agency were going to host the full week. I decided to pick the Afffair show (designer, Rufat Ismayil) as it fit in with my schedule. So happy I did that as his collection was amazing!
Organization is key if you are thinking of scheduling a few different shows and events. Your stay should be in a central location where it’s easy to get around everywhere, and timing things out ahead of time will save your life! I chose to keep my trip minimal, as it was my first time going to fashion week, and also because I happened to be invited to back-to-back events. The most hectic 48 hours of my life to say the least! I flew into New York on Sept. 5 and headed back home on Sept. 7. My first day I had a quick meeting just as I landed and then had to head to my hotel to get ready for the Tula launch party event which was held at Lightbox Studio. After the launch party, I immediately headed to the Afffair show held at Spring Studios.
Thursday morning started at 6 a.m. folks! My day started with the Damowang show, and I had to be at Spring Studios by 8:30 a.m. I found time to grab a quick bite so I had energy to keep me going. After the show I headed back to my hotel and changed into a couple different looks to do some personal content shooting on current trends for fall. My friend and ultra blogger, Lora Kawar (@lamstyle_), flew in that afternoon and we decided to spend the rest of the day checking out some of the fun popups around the city and visiting the CAMP exhibit at the MET. If you find yourself in New York anytime soon, please do yourself a favor and visit this exhibit. Needless to say, it was incredible! Later at night we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Soho House located in the Meatpacking District. By the time I got to my hotel, it was already 2 a.m.
Friday started around 8 a.m. as my first show, Son Jung Wan, was scheduled at 11 a.m., and I had to pack everything back up to head home later in the afternoon. After the show, I met up with Lora again, and we decided to go to a popup that one of our all-time favorite bloggers was at, Negin Mirsalehi (@negin_mirsalehi.) Then before I knew It, it was time to head to the airport and fly back home to Detroit! It was back to back running around with tons of work in between, but the adrenaline kept me going! Tip: Stay hydrated and pack an umbrella and jacket with you no matter what! And always, always, always, bring comfortable shoes with you wherever you go! You will be walking a mass amount!
I chose to stay at the W New York – Downtown mainly because of the location. The hotel was just a short Uber ride from almost everything I had planned. Based on my stay and experiencing how accommodating the hotel was, I will be staying there each time I go for fashion week going forward. I had spoken to the manager at the W upon booking and explained that I was coming in for a couple of days for NYFW and would need some assistance with things that are not typically included in the rooms such as a steamer and high-power blow dryer.
Upon arrival, they provided me with a large clothing rack, a steamer, the dryer and a super cute welcome package/note. It’s the little things like this that display the integrity of what a hotel represents, and I felt like they helped so much with whatever it was that I needed. Highly recommend!
Wow, wow, wow! What a jolt of electricity you feel while attending a fashion show during New York Fashion Week. The lights, the music, the mass amount of photographers and well dressed fashionistas will keep you wide-eyed! So the process goes like this: If invited, your invitation will be sent to your email, and if you are approved for the GPS Radar app then your events will be added directly to the app. This app is awesome, and I would definitely suggest finding a way to be a part of it.
A couple of days before the show, you will be sent your seat assignment. Seating at the shows are sectioned off so you are not able to just sit anywhere. I was so incredibly lucky to find myself front row at Damowang, second row at Afffair and second row at Son Jung Wan. I was only able to capture the right shots from Damowang since I had a clear view, but Afffair and Son Jung Wan were a little harder to capture from where I was sitting.
Each show was mind blowing, and my admiration for designers has grown. You can check out content from each of the designers through their Instagram pages @afffair.fff, @damowang_official and @sonjungwan. Also, you can check out my NYFW 9.19 highlight reel at @asimakemymark, to see videos and overall content from my trip.
Looks and Trends:
Here goes the most stressful part of this entire process — planning out your fashion week outfits! Where do I even begin when breaking down this process? I had two weeks to put together roughly seven full outfits that would cover me for all I had planned. This included accessories, shoes, bags and any and all layering pieces. It felt like another full-time job to say the least! Although the shows are previews for the upcoming spring season, you are expected to wear more of your fall fashion and current trends. Again, organization is key. I suggest to split up your looks and work on each outfit one at a time.
The Tula launch party was easier because they specified a “pink” dress code. I ended up wearing a Rotate (Birger Christensen) dress with huge puff sleeves which is a major trend this year. The tricky part of it all is usually the weather. You see, fashion week in September usually has high temps. Meanwhile, you are walking around in boots and blazers! My tip for you all is to layer. That way you can take off pieces if it’s too hot or add on if it gets chilly. This being my first fashion week, I didn’t know what to expect so I stuck to my own true style with some extra flare in the accessories I chose. Please stay tuned on my Instagram page @asimakemymark to see posts and links to all my pieces.
Another tip I would like to suggest when looking for designer items to wear is to join Rent the Runway! I wore a structured Tibi blazer for Damowang and an Amur dress for Son Jung Wan, both rented from RTR, along with a Yuzefi bag which I actually think I want to purchase now. The puff sleeve, headbands, plaid and mini bags are all the rage now. What to expect for spring you ask? Lots of color such as tie-dye prints, sequins and feathers, bucket and oversized hats, and embellished belts just to state a few!
Well, this concludes my post on all things you should know for a newbie NYFW attendee! I had to research, organize and figure out every inch of this process myself, and I feel like I would have benefited quite a bit from a post like this so I hope this helps anyone looking to go to fashion week in the future. My biggest advice to you is this: Don’t focus on the number of followers you have or compare yourself to others. As a blogger, it is easy to get caught up in perception. Let your work and what you bring to the table in the fashion community speak for itself. I was asked to provide a mass amount of credentials to all these PR firms, and my following had nothing to do with the approval or invites. Fashion week has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, and to sit front row at any show whatsoever has been in the top 10 of bucket list check-offs! You will be restless and working around the clock, but every minute is worth it! See you next Spring NYFW!
Styling, designing, blogging — Asima Khan does it all in the name of fashion! After working in luxury retail for most of her life, including most recently for Chanel, Asima is sharing her style chops with the world through her blog, asimakemymark.com. From what to wear, how to wear it and where to wear it to, Asima shares her fusion of high-low OOTD’s on her Instagram @asimakemymark.