After a friendly invitation through email and a tug-of-war with myself, I decided it was time to share my talents with NYC. A Nikki Blaine Couture (NBC) show in NYC has been a long time coming, but there are many considerations before undertaking such a project so I’ve been waiting for just the right opportunity. The last thing I wanted was to commit to a show and leave feeling I’ve been robbed or misrepresented. Thankfully, it was an awesome experience and all was well, but as always, there were lessons to be learned.
Stylist, DaNisha Greene, arrived in NYC a few days before the event and conducted the model selection and arranged fitting times. Once I got there, the models were coming in around the clock! I was excited! The models looked amazing and I was pleased with DaNisha’s choices. Along with NYC models, NBC had two of Indy’s own hitting the runway: Ebony Smith from Lmodelz and Valenese Brewington.
The day of the show was like any other show, hectic! I arrived on location and hit the ground running. Once I found a rack and a corner, my game face was on I was ready for final fittings. One downside on the day of the show was that five of the models were late due to other fittings/shows (that’s Fashion Week for you!) and we had to do some quick reshuffling with models and clothes. Thankfully, there was a huge makeup and hair entourage readily available so once we nailed down the looks, getting the models made up was a cinch.
There was a lot of media and press backstage, and they were looking for everyone, but me! Sure a bunch of them stopped by to say “hello” and even compliment the clothing on the rack, but then they would quickly disappear to interview someone else. At one point, I remember looking at DaNisha and saying “You know this is mainstream happening around us…You know that right?” LOL! So who was all there, that the paparazzi was chasing?
There was Korto Momolu, best known for her presence on Project Runway and showing an impressive collection at Bryant Park during the fifth season. Currently, she has a partnership with Dillard’s Incorporated to design eye-catching collection of handbags and jewelry. Then, there was Reco Chapple from the House of Chapple, who is most noted for his appearance on Bravo TV’s The Fashion Show Season 1 as a top four finalist and currently, dressing celebrities. Next, there was Gordana Gehlhausen another Project Runway Season Six contestant. The twin brothers of Haus of Estrada who were selected to participate in Season 7 Project Runway were also showing. Lastly, Nicholas D’Aurizio was present as well, fresh off the eighth season of Project Runway.
But who is Nikki Blaine? Clearly, compared to these guys, the media had no way of knowing who I was or be remotely interested in interviewing me before the show. At that moment I realized the importance of having a strong public relations representative. When going into a new market, It’s imperative to create a buzz for yourself before you arrive. Luckily, the brand managed to impress a few people and I will be taking more of Nikki Blaine Couture to NYC soon.
All in all, a great experience! I ended up walking away with order inquiries, new connections, great images and great video coverage. A huge thank you to my team, to all the models and DaNisha! Kudos!!!