BENNETT’S TOTAL BACKBREAKER: New York Fashion Week can be one backbreaking schedule, just ask the designers who stand all day for fittings and castings, or the messengers lugging garment bags all over the city. Even the interns are looking a little more sloped than usual by week’s end. But this time around no one knew back pain like Catherine Bennett, IMG’s senior vice president and managing director of fashion events and properties. She literally broke her back a few weeks ago, while horseback riding in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

A MRI confirmed the injury the day before NYFW got rolling. And on the morning of day one, her physician, Dr. Brian Halpern, called to say, “‘You need to get up here and get fitted for a brace immediately.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding? It’s the first day of second grade and my first day of fashion week. I’ll come tomorrow,” Bennett said. “He thought I was crazy. So I took my daughter to school and then went to the Hospital for Special Surgery.”

Appearing not the slightest bit weary, Bennett soldiered along and smiled through countless shows, parties and special events. “I’ve been good. I’ve been wearing my brace, but I can’t do flats,” she said. Now that the weekend is within sight, she is starting to envision a lower sense of gravity. “I’m taking off my heels and spending time with my daughter,” Bennett said.

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