WWD photographer Steve Eichner sees it all and shares his unique perspective from the front lines of New York Fashion Week — from the runways in the morning to the after parties and after-after parties at night.
9:32 a.m.: I love the smell of Ralph in the morning. It smells like the end of fashion week.
9:37 a.m.: “They do three shows. Why?” A newbie shutterbug asks me. “Because he can,” another snapper jokes. “First one is for friends and family, second is press, third is buyers,” I explain.
10:23 a.m.: Kanye West’s arrival for front row at this show means to me that he has climbed the fashion ladder all the way to the top! King Ralph!
10:33 a.m.: A lot of fringe, Ralph. Like, a lot.
11:33 a.m.: I’m super tired and loopy at this point. I go to Starbucks after the show. “May I have a small French…I mean, blonde roast,” I order. “How about a small French blonde,” the barista chuckles.
12:36 p.m.: On the subway. “I always look like a bag lady when I try and pull off that look,” a lady says to me, pointing to the WWD Kors front page I’m reading. “Well then, try hiring Michael’s hair, makeup and styling team,” I tell her.
1:25 p.m.: How many Italian runway photographers can you fit in an elevator? Always one more.
2:02 p.m.: Girl time. Laura Love fixes Harley Viera Newton’s hair in the front row.
2:04 p.m.: “Ni hao, Ni hao.” (Hello in Chinese) I say, trying to get eye contact from Tao Okamoto. “She’s Japanese,” a person nearby whispers in my ear. “Gomenasai.” (Sorry in Japanese.)
2:19 p.m.: “Would you please turn toward the riser so they can get a photo,” a polite runway photographer requests of Sienna Miller. She looks confused and asks her handler. “Absolutely not,” the handler responds and points her to her seat.
2:33 p.m.: Calvin’s doing a lot of fringe on the runway, too!
5:17 p.m.: With a bounce in my step, I arrive at the last show of the week. “Photo check is around the other side,” a security guy directs me. I walk there whistling joyfully when I see the garments being unloaded from a truck and into the loading dock for the show. I start snapping. “No photos,” an overzealous bulldog security guy barks, putting his hand in my lens to block my shot. “This is a public sidewalk” I say. “I am working press. Call the cops, they will tell you I can be here. I know my rights!” I read him the riot act and keep shooting.
5:33 p.m.: “Red room of death, red room of pain,” I think to myself when I see the set.
5:34 p.m.: Nicki Minaj is expected. Again. We need some fresh celebrities for fashion week.
5:44 p.m.: “This way for marcjacobs.com,” a photographer says to Anthony Kiedis, who then opens his jacket and points to his T-shirt. “This is a nice piece,” he says.
5:58 p.m.: The voice of God: “Please, everyone, take your seats. The show will begin in two minutes.”
6:00 p.m.: The show starts. Still no Nicki. I photograph the collection from the side. Great position! Great light! I can feel it in my bones that these pictures are going to be winners!
6:12 p.m.: “I’m still out of breath. I ran here,” Parker Posey huffs and puffs as we flash her on the raised runway after the show.
6:16 p.m.: “She got here late. She’s backstage,” a publicist informs me. I line up to get back there. Push my way to the front of the line. Heart’s pounding. Sweating. Security lets me in. There she is…wearing a full-length fur coat, Miss Minaj. Nicki! Over here! Flashzam! Relieved. I sing over and over on my way out of the venue: “I only argue wit’ ’em/ when the Lakers on/ Other than that/I’m getting my Marc Jacobs on.” And that’s a wrap. See you in September, New York Fashion Week.