Sunday, October 30, 2011
My Fashion-Week adventures:
My trek into one of the Fashion-World's greatest events started out rather ironically. I wasn't initially going to go to any events, because I was preoccupied with other things. But, as Allah would have it, He redirected my path (as usual) to something better. And, it was indeed better that I checked out Fashion-Week.
It all started on a Thursday night, September 8th; I was chillin' wit some peeps from the Islamic Center @NYU (New York University). We had proceeded to chill at one of the local residential halls where all of the action of Fashion-Week was, on Lafayette St., bet. White & Walker Sts. We walked from the Islamic Center, from 6th Ave. to Houston, then to Broadway. While we were walking, I noticed that there were so many people on the street, and began thinking to myself, "Why are there so many people on this part of Houston?!!!".
Actually, I ended up saying this out load as well. Then.....boom!!! We were right at the hub of all of what I'd like to call the March-Madness of Fashion, and that's exactly what it was too.....pure madness!!! People were just everywhere, like a colony of ants that you were to see, once you cut on the lights in your house or apartment, just droves, and swarms of all different types of people.
As we were walking down Broadway, we got separated from one another, then there were just myself, and four other people, as opposed to the original 10-20 people that I started out with. We were trying so hard to play catch-up, and actually catch up with our other friends who were ahead of us, but it was just wishful thinking by this point. So, we decided to just stay together & make sure that we didn't lose one another. So, we started to engage & delve into the atmosphere that was Fashion's Night Out, the official kick-off event to Fashion-Week in NYC.
Man, there were so many stores open after regular business hours, with so many discounts on stuff. We were so amazed at the low prices (relative to what the normal prices in these stores are...#wink...wink), and every store that was open was filled to the brim with tons of people. So, we ended up at the Lafayette dorm, but one of the NYU security guards on duty was a real jerk about letting me in the dorm, because I wasn't a student, and because of an earlier incident that had nothing to do me personally. So, we went back & forth, and I then decided that I was just gonna bounce because it just wasn't worth the hassle.
I initially intended to just go home, but I then wanted to just check out the scene of Fashion's Night out, just a little bit more, which in hindsight, I'm very much glad that I did. I ended up going back on Broadway, where I went pass the Aldo store (big up's to Aldo). I was gonna go up further, but then I wanted some shoes, and I haven't really bought any fresh shoes in a minute, plus I had the money. So, I just decided to treat myself. It was a worthwhile investment going to Aldo. I got these fresh smokey gray shoes, that zip up, so you dont have to un-lace your shoes every time you wanna rock them, and they have some wicked straps, so you don't even need the laces...the best of both worlds.
Almost immediately after I came out of the Aldo store, I saw a Muslim that I knew, Marlon (Marlon is my man). He really looked out for me, because he ended up giving me a VIP pass to a Sabit event @the Samsung Experience @Columbus Circle on Friday. I was sayin' to myself, "VIP @a Sabit event.....oh.....hell.....yeah!!!". I ended up going home to just rest after a long day, and got ready for my huge schedule for the next day. I'll talk about that later.....
On September 9th, I started off my day giving the weekly Islamic Sermon (Khutbah) @NYU-Poly in Brooklyn. Then, I chilled with some of the NYU-Poly guys for about an hour, before going to a CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) press-conference, on the eve of the 9/11 weekend. That was an interesting press-conference, mainly due to the fact that barely any news press was there that was domestic. I mean, there were no representation from Fox News, CNN, or any of these other mainstream news outlets. Oh yeah, that's right, they only wanna cover things about Muslims doing negative stuff, not positive, yeah that's it.
Anyway, after some good interviews which I, personally, participated , I proceeded to the Samsung Experience @Columbus Circle for the Sabit NYC sashion-show. It was just amazing to say the least (Sabit NYC rocks.....for real). Sabit really did their thing on Friday night, showcasing an amazing Fall/Winter & Spring/Summer collection that are must-haves in anyone's closets. I actually ended up meeting Shoichi Amemiya, the owner & founder of Sabit NYC, along with one of his children. Let me tell you, it's a really good feeling to actually meet someone who has made something that you take pride in wearing. And, likewise, it's a great feeling for them to know that so many people show up to these shows, who appreciate the clothing that these designers produce.
Basically, everything in the collection was boss!!! I was truly impressed by the designs themselves, color-schemes, fabric choices, it's all just slammin'!!! In fact, my boy Marlon was there too, workin' behind the scenes, as only he can. I also linked up with a Muslim guy from LIU (Long Island University), he's a great photographer by the way (kudows to my main-man, Kazi.....I see you, son). I also meet up with one of my former College cohorts, Alan Mildor (if you don't know who he is, you need to find out.....just Google his name, he's the man).
We were all just chillin' choppin' up, enjoyin' the show. It was a real treat to be at a fashion-show of this calibar & magnitude. And, for me as a Muslim & an up-coming designer myself, it gave me a different, realistic insight into how the Fashion-World works, from an aspect of presentation. Presentation does in fact mean everything in the Fashion-World, and there's no room for error.....at all!!!
This experience left an impression on my mind & in my heart, that reinforced my commitment to provide proper representation of Muslims (especially those of us who live in predominantly Non-Muslim countries) a sense of self-definition when it comes to fashion. Unfortunately, for us as Muslims (particularly & especially Muslim men), there so many different aspects of Islam that are just randomly dictated to us, via foreign influences (i.e. the rest of the Muslim-World, specifically the Arab-World), which imply that we're not good enough Muslims to give ourselves any form of self-definition, particularly in the realm of fashion.
I have a more clear vision of what my mission is: it's to further contribute to the self-definition of Muslims in the West, from a fashion perspective, and to provide a clothing line that meets the needs of all Muslims generally seeking self-definition. While I was talking to my boy Alan, he told me about to other fashion events, one in Brooklyn, the other in Manhattan over the 9/11 weekend. So, I said to myself, "I'm there!!!". We'll talk about those two events in a later.....
On September 10th, the next event that I ended up going to was way out in the boonies, near the border of Bed-Stuy & Williamsburg. It was a rooftop fashion event, hosted by the company Monkey Face Apparel. It was pretty dope, I got there around 10pm. & stayed until around 11:30pm. It was a really cool crowd, the weather outside was great (which provided a terrific atmosphere for the event itself since it was in fact on a rooftop) & the designs for their clothes were pretty unique & fresh. That night was pretty basic, so nothing much happened after I had left. I just went home & got some rest, to get ready for the event on my agenda for the weekend. Well talk about that later.....
On Sunday, Spetember 11th, during the last day of the weekend, I made my way to an event on Grand St. (near the border of SOHO & Little Italy). It was a photo-shoot event, hosted by Nice In Harlem (much props to Nice for hosting a very dope event.....great job Nice). There all types of other up & coming fashion artists at this event that I connected with, such as myself, who were using this grand opportunity to acquire any type of exposure, from as many venues as we possibly could. In this business, like in other industries, you really have to present/market/sell yourself well.
As exclusive as some of these events are and/or maybe, if you are a rookie, or established fashion artist, and have an opportunity to attend any of these Fashion-Week events, then you owe it to yourself to be where the action is & get in the mix. This event was definitely a cool way to end off my hectic, yet worthwhile, weekend. Honestly, I haven't had a weekend in NYC this exciting or exhilarating in a long time.
There are more events that I plan on attending, but I may or may not write about those. We'll see how well they turn out first. Until then.....stay tuned.
#I'm just sayin'!!!