Assignment 2: New York - Empire State of Mind

Some call New York City the Big Apple, Gotham, even Center of The Universe; while others just call it home.  The city of bright lights and big dreams serves as a source of inspiration to the fashion obsessed, artists, designers and frankly to the entire world. New York possesses significant impact on global commerce, the fashion industry and media; with its influence from magazines, editors, buyers, shoppers, designers, manufacturers, photographers, models, and PR houses.  The world is watching its every move.  Whether there is a flash of genius from the streets, people watching, architecture, food, culture, or even that strange smell emanating from that subway grate; it’s undeniable that New York City is an influential force to be reckoned with.

1) The Pace of Fashion

In NYC, life is constantly moving at a rapid fast pace that it becomes the pulse of which the fashion industry lives and moves by. It’s the city that never sleeps; so ideas are constantly generating, creativity a buzz, business ebbing and flowing, and the fashion market is always on the move.  The city houses some of America’s major media and magazines (hello Conde Nast!) that are reporting fashion worldwide at an energized and electric rate.  New York Fashion Week, which occurs twice a year in the Fall and Spring, sets the pace and the tone for the rest of the weeks to come in other countries.  NYFW is the industry leader; think of it as a Balmain-sporting drum major of a fashion forward marching band.

2) Hard Work and Dedication

A little hard work never killed anybody and New Yorkers make this mantra their livelihood.  Designers working around the clock, PR girls schlepping from event to event, photographers capturing the next big campaign, models sashaying and vogueing, reporters writing endlessly and the rest of the city that works tirelessly with them to bring the nation and the rest of the world the latest and greatest American ideas.  Alexander Wang doesn’t dress all the coolest “it” girls because he’s an overnight sensation, but through countless hours and blood, sweat, and tears.  While one fashion season may seem to end, it’s nonstop work into the next.  New Yorkers are determined to achieve their dreams, even with spacial constraints (have you seen how tiny the closets are?) they think outside the box are are always pushing the limits of their creativity.

3) Cultural Melting Pot

New York is a meeting place of minds and with it’s undeniable magnetism that draws people in from around the world.  NYC is known as the cultural melting pot, where all walks of life come to live.  Different cultures mix, but still remain distinct in their own ways and influence the overall attraction of New York fashion.  There is a universal appeal because it is an immigrant mix of backgrounds, cultures, ages and everyone can see a piece of their heritage – their former homes and history.  There’s worldwide appreciation for the Center of the Universe and everyone wants a piece of the Big Apple.  So next time you’re rocking that turban, shibori tie dye prints, French chic stripes, or obi belt; remember to thank New York for the harmonious whole with a common culture influence.  Could you imagine another city to be the host of the United Nations, but I’ll stop before I get all Schoolhouse Rock on you.

4) American Pride

New York City is always showing fashion and offering to the rest of the world a view of what’s bigger, better, and bolder.  We’re the land of super-sizing and Freedom fries, so you know New York has an over the top display of American pride.  The fashion industry sees American pride synonymous with the classic lines of Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.  People flock by the hoards to move to New York City to venture out their way to their dreams.  This is where people come to begin their careers, hone their skills , showcase their designs, become the next “it” model, and break out into the fashion industry.  Emerging new designers vet for their time to shine, classic American designers show what makes this nation great and New York brings people together to celebrate the Americana lifestyle.  NYC has a “can’t stop, won’t stop” attitude, and it translates loud and clear into the fashion world.

5) Rebuild and Rebirth

Life happens.  Events occur.  Fashion and more so, people change.  New York City is a strong and resilient place, and it’s sentiments of recovery resonate loudly throughout the world.  New York and all its great people do not shut down and close up shop, but forge forward and continue on to change their lives, the fashion industry, and the world for the better.   Major retailers have their flagship stores on some of the most expensive and historic real estate, because it literally makes cents and sense. Boutiques add their value to the retail industry by adding their own unique flavor to the mix.  Headquarters and showrooms fill those sky high skyscrapers with cutting edge lines and designs, which the rest of the world are waiting to see.  Anna Wintour rallied up the consumer troops and created Fashion Night Out in order to jump start retail sales during the recession, which now has a global presence.  A unified New York City commemorates it’s past, present, and fashionable future.

6) Street Style and Arts Inspiration

You have your starving artists, hipster kids, models off duty, businessmen and women, tourists, shopkeepers, and everyone has their own unique style and flavor.  The notion of dressing up in hopes of being snapped by The Sartorialist and other street style photographers doesn’t seem so crazy after all.  The fashion industry and the rest of the world has its eye on NYC’s streets not only for the unique urban street style, but also for the art sprawled on every surface imaginable.  Museums, galleries, and spare walls house some of the most inspirational and influential art.  Bloggers eat up NY street style with a viral hunger that translates into worldwide acknowledgement.

7) The New Yorkers Uniform

New Yorkers also influence fashion with their own uniform of the quintessential black.  They are the experts of effortless layering, uptown glamour, masters of accessorizing, and pulling it all together for a simple chic look that no other city can replicate. While you always hear season to season that  _________ is the new black, well, New York City invented black.  Here’s my take on the New Yorker’s Uniform – The vintage leather jacket, Kain tissue weight sheer tee, Express sequin skirt for a bit of sparkle, studded booties to stomp around in, Christopher Kane for Versus hobo bag for lugging around city essentials, classic Ray-Ban shades and Chanel Black Satin nail polish to pull it all together.  All black everything.

So in the wise words of Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind:

“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let’s hear it for New York”

So I heart NY, and hope to call this great influential city my future home.

Sponsored by: Sunglass Hut Photo Credit: All images were taken by me!