What does fashion mean to you?
To me it means making a personal statement about your identity to the world. Who you are. What you believe. What's important to you. What we wear projects who we are to the world without having to say a word.
This year New York Fashion Week became a global platform where art and personal expression took on social and political issues. Designers and attendees alike wore their hearts and voices on their sleeves, sometimes literally, making a visual statement that transcended beyond the realm of a typical Fashion Week.
This September marked my third time attending New York Fashion Week and it was hands down my favorite Fashion Week to date. And it wasn't just because of the couture.
FTL Moda is an international fashion firm and production company with showrooms in New York, Milan, and Berlin. Founded in 2000 by Italian-American producer Ilaria Niccolini, the company has become known for its focus on artistry and producing iconic editorials and some of the most innovative fashion shows that the industry has ever seen.
I first met the FTL Moda team in February 2017 when I attended their groundbreaking, all digital fashion presentation featuring virtual reality technology by Samsung. I became obsessed. Not only was the show breathtaking and inspiring, we were personally greeted at the door and escorted to the VIP lounge by Ilaria herself who immediately treated us like old friends - a true rarity in the fashion industry. We had an instant connection over our mutual love of the artistry and passion that goes into creating clothing, couture, and accessories. Needless to say, when FTL Moda asked me to help assist on their production for September's Fashion Week I booked my flight immediately.
For September's Fashion Week presentation Ilaria knew she wanted to do something different. Inspired by the idea that fashion was created to be enjoyed by the people and not just an elite few, Ilaria set out to create "a movement led by integrity, fighting injustice, breaking boundaries, promoting diversity and cultural change." She set out to create a #FashionStatement.
On the first day of New York Fashion Week we took the the streets armed with dozens of ordinary people who volunteered to be part of our movement and embrace our fashion protest. We marched down 7th Avenue dressed in individually altered white coveralls and posed with signs that shared our message with the world. We are FTL Moda. We are fashion. We want to see real change in the fashion world. This is our fashion statement. People stopped and asked us what we were all about in in turn we shared our message with them. Some strangers even took a pair of coveralls joined our movement on the spot. It was such a cool and spontaneous experience that invoked the true passion and grassroots movement that should drive modern fashion.
Planning for February New York Fashion Week started as soon as September's show was over and I can't give you details but it's going to be spectacular. Going from a spectator to a production assistant has been a surreal ride with no end in sight. I can't wait to share it with all of you.