How FIT students get into NYFW’s exclusive shows


Make text smaller Make text larger


They wait on line for fashion week sign-ups, work as “pacers” or dressers and clamor for sneak peeks behind the scenes


Photos



  • FIT fashion design major Grace Peisker. Photo courtesy of Grace Peisker




  • Getting in the door at Industria Studios. Photo: Emily Mason




Brightly dressed and designer-clad show attendees flood the streets outside of Industria, one of New York Fashion Week’s main event spaces. Fashion Institute of Technology design student Grace Peisker recalls racing through the streets outside the venue, wearing entirely black, hurrying to get inside.

Peisker is a sophomore fashion design major who worked the Alice McCall show at Industria Studios in Chelsea last year. With only two fashion weeks every year featuring a range of shows from up-and-coming designers to the biggest brands in the business, everyone in the fashion sphere wants a ticket to one of the private shows, but they’re almost impossible to nab. And when you’re an aspiring designer, knowing what the newest trends are is essential.

Nicole Ruffino, a sophomore at Fashion Institute of Technology, says many students watch livestreams of the shows, but the real way to get close to the action is to sign up to volunteer, which requires all-black clothing, comfortable shoes and absolutely no phones allowed. Students clamor to sign up to work the shows, hoping to be assigned to one of the most exclusive.

“It’s a big thing, there’s a huge thing called fashion week sign-ups and people will wait out there for I don’t know how long,” Ruffino said. “They’ll go to extremes.”

Two of the most common roles filled by interns are as a “pacer” or a dresser. Pacers walk the models’ route on the runway so that producers can make sure the timing and lighting is correct. Dressers work with the models, making sure their clothing and accessories are organized and just as the brand wants them. That role allows many students, like Noelle Decastro, a fashion business management major who worked the Coach show last year, to get sneak peeks of the show.

“Even though you’re on your feet for hours, it’s fun — you get to see the set and we have cards to wear with the information of the model and a picture,” Decastro said. “So we even got to see the looks for them before anyone.”

For students pursuing careers in fashion, the shows can be networking opportunities and important resume-builders — all designed to demonstrate to potential employers that you’re willing to do anything to make their show a success, according to Peisker.

“A lot of it is about passion,” Peisker said. “and showing you care about what goes on behind the scenes and not just what goes out on the runway.”

For those who miss the sign-up fest at FIT, volunteer opportunities are emailed out as well. Sometimes the shows are advertised under a company sourced to help put on the event, rather than the brand, as happened last year with the Alexander Wang show, according to Peisker. Volunteers showed up to the event unsure which brand they would be working for, only to discover they were working one of the biggest shows of the week.

“Oh! I get jealous,” Ruffino said, laughing. “I was super jealous about the Alexander Wang show.”





Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments



MUST READ NEWS

The shop that saved kittens
After 54 years and a celebrated track record for animal rescue work, Petland Discounts is expected to close all its stores and face a possible sale or liquidation by April
Read more »
Image

Déjà vu on the West Side
Gale Brewer was first elected to the City Council in 2001 and moved up to borough president 12 years later. As the term limits clock ticks, friends and supporters say, she is now...
Read more »
Image

NYPD to bolster sex crimes unit
As reported rapes increase, the department to add investigators in Special Victims Division
Read more »
Image



Traffic jam on the ballot
They’re not exactly the magnificent 17. But the overcrowded public advocate’s race features plenty of liberal activists, some with rap sheets — and an upstart...
Read more »
Image

“In a word, it’s a horror.”
Two elite Jesuit schools confront painful revelations about priests from their past
Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters





MOST READ

Local News
The shop that saved kittens
  • Feb 12, 2019
Local News
Is it really just nervous stomach?
  • Feb 14, 2019
City Arts News
Old masters in a new light
  • Feb 12, 2019
Local News
You wrote a book? So publish it!
  • Feb 12, 2019
Local News
Blood, snakes and square knots
  • Feb 12, 2019

MOST COMMENTED