Joce Blake X JT KISS event

Source: Courtesy of Joce Blake / Joce Blake

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is a pinnacle event in the fashion calendar, captivating the hearts of fashion enthusiasts worldwide. As an annual extravaganza, NYFW is revered for its role in setting trends, showcasing cutting-edge designs, and providing a platform for renowned and emerging designers to exhibit creativity. Fashion lovers eagerly anticipate this spectacle, immersing themselves in a whirlwind of style and innovation. As for me, I’ve been doing it for almost a decade.

For Black women in particular, NYFW holds even greater significance. It becomes a stage where the narrative about how Black women interact with fashion is rewritten. The vision of creating a safe space for Black women to express themselves authentically takes center stage with spaces like Kensington Grey’s annual events and Essence’s Fashion House. Designers like Maui x Lolita and Sergio Hudson and BIPOC models showcase the richness of Black culture, challenging preconceived notions and embracing the diversity of beauty.

Preparing for New York Fashion Week

How do I prepare? Let me tell ya! First, I prepare myself for the cold. NYFW is a showcase of cutting-edge designs and a test of endurance as attendees brave the chilly February weather. Armed with layers and stylish outerwear, fashion enthusiasts gear up for the week-long extravaganza, ready to make a bold statement on the city’s bustling streets.

Tap into the PR circuit

It’s all about reaching out to the fashion PR companies that lead some of my favorite brands. Securing coveted invitations to exclusive shows and events is a meticulous process that involves establishing connections with the gatekeepers of fashion. Fashion lovers adept at navigating this intricate web of industry insiders gain access to the hottest runways and behind-the-scenes glimpses, elevating their NYFW experience. I have learned over the years that relationships with the fashion PR camps are paramount, so I have a running spreadsheet with contacts. Each season, I have to refresh the list with the newest data, given fashion brands sometimes switch PR companies from season to season.

Get your New York Fashion Week wardrobe together

Then, I start curating the looks. NYFW is not just an event; it’s a fashion parade where the girlies become a part of the spectacle. The meticulous process of curating outfits involves a careful blend of personal style, trend awareness, and a touch of avant-garde flair. I meticulously plan each ensemble, ensuring that my looks are the best representation of my personal style. And in February, it’s all about outerwear. This year, my goal is to shop from my closet to use my statement pieces and lean into the world of sustainability.

Tap into the power of sisterhood

I love that Black women have the opportunity to redefine the narrative about how we interact with fashion. Over the years, I have seen an evolution that still needs work but growth nonetheless. The preparation extends beyond clothing choices; it embodies the vision of creating a safe space for Black women in fashion.

Above all, NYFW aligns with the mission of building extraordinary relationships in this whirlwind of style and innovation. The meticulous preparations and shared experiences create a sense of camaraderie among attendees. Fashion enthusiasts connect over their love for the industry, forming bonds that extend beyond the runway. NYFW becomes a showcase of fashion and a nexus for building a sisterhood where unique relationships are cultivated, and the narrative of Black women’s interactions with fashion is reshaped for the better.

As the curtains fall on each NYFW, fashion lovers carry with them not just the memories of stunning designs but also the inspiration to champion positive change and foster a sense of community within the fashion world.


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How I Get Ready For New York Fashion Week  was originally published on