How NYFW Changed My Life

If I had to summarize NYFW in one word it would be: LIFE

Have you ever dreamt of a place for yeeeeaaaars knowing it was where you belonged but had no idea how you would get there or when? That's exactly how New York Fashion Week has been haunting me. Fashion has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I'm talking watching runway shows on the Style Network every morning before school and requesting college catalogues from Parson's School of Design in the third grade type of obsessed. In my heart, I knew I would make it there but I had no idea how or when it would happen. 

Rewind to this time last year, I was at home watching a few people I know upload pictures of their experience at NYFW. That's what made it real for me. I knew that if they could do it, so could I. So, I set my plan in motion with a clear goal in mind. I had to get to fashion week or die trying (figuratively at least, lol). All my efforts for the following months went into preparing for fashion week. I saved, prayed and did a ton of research (I'm an obsessive planner). Words can't express my excitement when I finally booked that plane ticket!

I looked all over the internet for people who documented their first experience at fashion week and I could barely find any information.  So I guess in the 'too cool for school' fashion world, no one has had a first time experience at fashion week; They're all pros lol. Well, my first time was life changing and I want to share it with you!

 Ok, the shows. The shows! After-all, that's what we're all here for right? Well, I literally prayed that I would be able to attend at least one show. I reached out to different people for advice on how to get in and who to contact. Some people were super helpful and some didn't even respond. Then, the few that did told me that it would be 'hard' and 'difficult' to get access. Here's the thing: bloggers have just recently been welcomed into the fashion circle. Before, it was all exclusive to fashion's elite editors and stylist and a few celebrities. Even now that bloggers are welcomed, you must have a strong following and digital influence. At least, that's what people will tell you. So, here I am with my itsy bitsy website believing the hype that I probably won't get any responses.

You only get what you ask for. So, I literally stalked the fashion week calendar  for months. After sending multiple emails to PR agencies requesting press passes, I heard nothing. Nothing happened. No response. So, I went back to brainstorming and figured out a solution. I needed to ask for help.I knew that I had more chances of getting access to press passes if I worked with a publication outside of my blog. I have been following Empire Life Magazine since their launch last year. As an entrepreneur, their content speaks to my heart and I always find something encouraging and empowering that can apply to my business. I was honored when I was allowed the opportunity to collaborate with Empire Life as a correspondent for NYFW. It was as if everything just fell into place. I dusted my self off and started emailing (stalking) people again for access to shows.

Fast-Forward to January and I had more confirmed events than I had time for. Isn't God amazing? Not only did I surpass my goal of attending at least one show, I was also working as a media correspondent for an online magazine. Mind blown! 

Fashion week changed my life because it allowed me to experience things I've never done before :

My First Subway Ride

I rode the subway

I walked over 21.5 miles

Second Row at the Wendy Williams Show

I sat in the audience of a live T.V. show- another dream of mine

Shun Melson

Let's not forget that celebrity stylist Shun Melson wore my book clutch to fashion week. Who's life is this? LOL

It also allowed me to prove to myself that I have the capability to use my God-given gift to my fullest potential. I created a goal that once seemed so far fetched and I did it. I did it! Oh, and I looked quite fashionable while doing so. Check out my looks from the week below. 

at the PLY Fashion Show

at the Werk 101 Glam Night Out

Headed to the Ladaska Mechelle presentation

Stay tuned to Empire Life for my recaps on the latest trends straight from the runway as well as some of the events and wonderful people I met during my trip.  I left feeling hungry. NYFW in February was just an appetizer for me. I'll be back for more in September and I can't wait to see what mind blowing things happen for that I can share them with you all of course!

-XOX Ashlee




Ashlee Marea

Thank You Nika!!


Such an awesome post. So happy your tenacity paid off. You looked fabulous btw


Ashlee-what a wonderful and insightful article! I look forward to living vicariously through you for the September trip?


Awww Brittany! I’m glad you were able to get something out of this. I love your snaps by the way so you inspire me also lol

Brittany Shontel

Awesome!! This inspired me to 1. NOT GIVE UP ON MY DREAMS, but 2. The importance of collaborations. Can’t wait to see what happens in September.

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