How to Rock NYFW Like an Insider


Got a bad case of stiff calves from wearing high heels for seven hours? Check. In the mood to grab a Pandol after hopping around town aimlessly? Double check. Need to put up a reminder on your calendar every day just to set up a time to leave your hotel room to catch a fashion show or party on time? Triple check.

Congratulations! You are officially initiated into the NYFW life. As one of the busiest periods in the city, nothing matters more than being able to keep up an incredibly tight schedule 24/7.

Regardless of whether you’re attending a fashion show, pop up event or party, there are so many opportunities where you can have fun and expand your network as you make new friends. Despite being a newbie to the NYFW game, you can live it up like you’re an insider!

Here are my top tips to surviving NYFW:

1. Vitamins, schmitamins!

Honestly, I hate clichés, but I cannot stress this enough. When I first did NYFW, I ended up getting a cold. I had to cancel my plans for attending a party just so that I could recover.

For almost everyday, you just can’t sit home and rest. Even if that means squeezing in a glass of wine, you just need to give it up when your body is feeling down. Everyone else and their mother will always tell you to drink lots of water, but the one thing I swear by to keep my health in tip top shape is a tablet of Airborne. All the vitamins and minerals packed in this one big tablet easily dissolves in water, which makes it tastier to drink without having to sacrifice your health.

If plunking down a tablet inside your water ain’t your thing, I swear by Cha Cha Matcha as my go-to hotspot for all things matcha. My top recommendation is the ginger turmeric latte – it’s sweet, yet it doesn’t taste too herbal-y. The herbs cool your body and take down the inflammation. Before you leave NYC, you must try it!

P.S. Cha Cha Matcha has incredibly LONG lines after 4 p.m. and on weekends. Plus, they don’t take cash, so get your credit card ready asap before you pay!!

2. Dress like a VIP, but think like a fan

Stoked for all the NYFW parties and events? Cancel your plans to book a sightseeing trip, stat! Although I’ve mentioned this in my last post, nothing feels better than being able to witness all the VIPs running around in the wild. Whether they’re attending a show, walking around the streets, hanging out at a pop-up event or entering a party, there is a high chance that you will eventually bump into one. (Even if a big name is NOT involved in NYFW at all!)

Last September, I was outside Standard High Line, where I reviewed a fashion show. Across the hotel, I wanted to check out an NYFW pop-up, where they sold exclusive merch and provided free Maybelline makeup. As I was on my way to the store, I saw Ben Stiller and his friend walking behind me. Seeing Derek Zoolander in real life shocked me as I grew up seeing him on the screen. I asked for a selfie, gave a compliment on an old movie he was in and thanked him for his time.

A week later, I was at a party with my friend, who invited me as her plus one. Held at the Gilded Lily, the line was as long as a snake. While I had to wait in line, behind me was Cindy Bruna, a Victoria’s Secret model whom I mistook for supermodel Joan Smalls. (I apologized to her immediately when she introduced herself.) By my side, I saw “Fade” video vixen Teyana Taylor (FYI: she was incredibly tall!), John Mayer and Bebe Rexha (who apparently recognized me as we met at Warped Tour two years ago) walk inside immediately. Once I got inside, my friend and I watched Travis Scott and Juicy J rapping on top of the tables. That night was incredibly unforgettable.

The one thing that stood out was seeing Rihanna. When Fenty x Puma’s debut collection released at Bergdorf Goodman, I couldn’t resist going in there as I wanted to meet the Bad Gal. As a fan, who can’t IGNORE the possibility of meeting your idol?! Due to the high turn up and maximized security, it was impossible for me to say “Hi” to her directly. Despite my poor luck, she filmed me going through the racks on her Snapchat. It was something I didn’t notice until my relative had to get my aunt to film Rihanna’s Snapchat video and tell me that I was in there.

If you want to have a chance to see Anna Wintour, you either have to go inside a fashion show or wait outside the sidewalk with all the paparazzi next to you. (NOTE: I’ve seen her twice that I had to sneak in photos for my mom!)

Most VIPs are pretty down with having a photo with you; however, always remember that they are crunched on time as they can’t afford to be late. (I actually forgot about this rule when I tried to ask Emily Ratajkowski for a selfie, but she was nice enough to thank me when I told her how much I liked her essay on Lenny Letter.)

P.S. If you are at a party, I highly advise you to always approach the host and thank them for their hospitality. (TIP: if you can’t find the host, go for the publicist and/or event planner – these people will go out of their way to kindly accommodate you.) Gratitude doesn’t come for free. 

3. Never be afraid to make a new friend

When you’re in NYC, it’s easy to feel alone as there isn’t much space for you to move around in a crowd. Especially if this is your first time doing Fashion Week, you mustn’t feel intimidated to go to an event alone.

Compared to meeting the VIPs, nothing means more to me than making a new friend. Whether it’s a publicist, blogger, photographer, editor, freelance writer, influencer, stylist, designer or small business owner, link up!

4. Hit up public events

If you are not invited to any fashion show or party, you can thank the calendar goddesses for planning the perfect public events.

Whether it’s a pop up store, art gallery or panel, treat this as the perfect opportunity to enjoy NYFW. I swear by Eventbrite and Time Out as my go-tos whenever I need to find a spot to go to. Trust me, you will find TONS of fun photo ops for your #ootds when you are there!

On top of that, it’s the perfect excuse to score NEW clothes, beauty products and everything else you’ve never owned. *wink*

5. BE charged and fabulous!

During my first week of being in NYC, my mom told me that I can’t leave the apartment without a phone charger. When you’re hopping from one train to another, the signal gets shitty. The fact that you need to turn on your Google Maps whenever you’re out and about also requires a TON of data, which mainly drains your batteries. If you don’t have a portable charger, just go to the nearest RadioShack or whatever phone store is near you.

6. Snack up

If you need a break from being around Skylight, don’t be afraid to walk more than 10 blocks to score a little munchie. Whether it be a taco or a slice of pizza, here are some places that I swear by:

Esquina – 114 Kenmare St

I cannot tell you how much I LURVE their tacos! Not only is it cheap, they are ridiculously yummy and super duper filling. If tacos ain’t your thing, you need to go for the chips, guac and salsa. That restaurant kept me from being homesick throughout my entire stay in NYC.

by CHLOE – 185 Bleecker St

Grossed out by the taste of meat? Hit up this vegan joint for the ultimate meat-free alternative! One of my favorite go-tos is the artichoke dip, which is made with the aforementioned veggie and cashew cheese. Another oldie, but goodie I love over there is the classic guac burger with gluten-free buns. To all the Shake Shack fans out there, I’d rather have a vegan burger any day. While it keeps you fully nourished, the gluten-free bun prevents you from crashing hard. If this is your first time trying out vegan dishes, this restaurant will leave you wanting more.

Joe’s Pizza – 7 Carmine St.

To all my glutenlicious babes out there, I found the perfect place for you! Piping hot, packed with TONS of cheese and a lotta tomato sauce, THIS is what I call the ideal NYC pizza. As long as the size of your head, a slice is equivalent to dinner. If you are extremely tight on cash, spend it wisely here as it’s ridiculously cheap! Thanks to its taste, quick service and budget, it’s no secret that the lines tend to get crazy long.




Published by

Michelle Varinata

Lapis - (n.) a layer Shrek once said that "onions have layers" as he was peeling one. Like an onion, I have layers. Born in Jakarta and raised in Singapore, I grew up being surrounded in a multicultural environment. Then, I moved to the States, where I lived in NYC and L.A. The creativity, hustle, bustle and vibe of those cities inspired me to become a blogger, journalist and influencer. Writing by day and living it up by night, I slay in the streets one OOTD at a time. Full-face makeup included, too. ;)

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