For my skimmers, here’s what you’ll find in this post: one look + one life lesson. This one’s on the opportunities you’ll create for yourself when you simply act like you know what you’re doing.
Endless Rose Double Breasted Romper from SerenDipity Boutique // Drew & Co Zircon Gold Hoop Necklace ($48.14) & Gold Open Bangle ($45.85) // Amazfit Activity Tracker ($80.00) // Ella+Mila “Purple Reign” Nail Polish ($10.50) // Alterre Shoes Mist Grey Mule ($145.00) // Styled by Christina Imberlina
I first got bit by the New York Fashion Week bug in September 2013.
We weren’t going to leave for NYC until 9/5, BUT one night when I was working through my chaotic inbox, I received an invite via Fashion GPS for the 10th Annual Style Awards. I instantly RSVP’d and without hesitation printed out the confirmation barcodes that landed in Gmail.
After Googling what the Style Awards were (that was the last year they held them I believe) I was on top of the world. I abruptly changed our travel plans to arrive one day earlier.
When that day came, we arrived in The Big Apple with just enough time to pull ourselves together and head off to the tents (you see, back in the day most of the NYFW events took place in one central location, which saved a lot of time and a lot of shoes).
Well, wouldn’t you know… It was a glitch in the system (some things never change) and a bunch of invites went out that weren’t supposed to. That wasn’t going to stop this girl. I didn’t spend the money for an extra night at the hotel for nothing!
Back then, I typically would’ve just taken no for an answer; my current cojones just weren’t there yet. Maybe it was the glimpse of Kate Upton or the magic of NYFW, but something told me to stay. And so I did just that. I stood proudly in this Tidal Cool mandarin dress, confident I was falsely invited here for a reason.
Lo and behold, an agency had been hired to provide seat fillers during the event – for when the celebs have to pee or whatever so they don’t capture empty seats on camera. The casting director came up to me and with no questions, no words spoken prior to this said, “come with me, that dress deserves to be on camera” (example 3,413 why fashion is remarkable). Who was I to argue?
And so, I spent the evening with A-list celebs, got to see young Ariana Grande perform Tattooed Heart, and my face ended up on CNN behind Nicole Richie.
While this story might have been more of a fluke, the lesson is, don’t underestimate the power of confidence and conviction. Since then, I’ve had this work time and time again at both Fashion Week and in life.
I normally end up with priority standing, or a higher row seat for shows during NYFW. Once the show gets close to starting, they move everyone up and fill in extra seats – there are a ton of folks invited that don’t show up. Instead of sliding into the back, this year I purposefully sat my butt down in the front. Then, sometimes the important front row peeps show up at the last second, so they move people back and do this jenga style hustle to get them in. I sat tall, shoulders back, making small talk with the girl next to me about her outfit, sometimes snapping a photo of the show’s program.
I got away with this at almost every show and here’s why.
I sat back and analyzed the people the crew did move around. It was people with nervous eyes darting around the room, people who would hide their faces in their phones as soon as an usher came around, people who where expecting to be moved, who felt like they didn’t fit in there – not out of what they were wearing or their number of Instagram followers, rather those whose demeanor showed they were questioning their front row credentials.
Fast forward to this fashion week, as I sat front row at the Dan Liu show confirming this influence in my third NYFW look! Can we stop everything for a moment and talk about this Endless Rose romper from SerenDipity Boutique? It fit right in with the warm pink hues, Parisian charm of the Dan Liu Spring/Summer 2017 collection.
I’ve been wearing my Amazfit activity tracker all week to keep my overall wellness in check because it’s about the small steps we take, and a commitment to them every day – one day at a time – that generates progress. While I may have slacked on working out and sleep this week, being able to put a number on it, like surpassing my daily goal to walk 10,000 steps, eased the guilt I felt about not making it to a yoga class. Likewise, and a bit harder to swallow, seeing I only got 4 hours and 1 minute of sleep really put into perspective the toll inadequate sleep was taking on my mindset and energy levels.
I wanted to add on to my Amazfit rampart and since this romper was such a great piece on it’s own, I loved how these dainty jewels from Drew & Co (Zircon Gold Hoop Necklace & Gold Open Bangle) made the perfect, minimalist complement. The owner, Anna, has such a great heart that shines through in each of her pieces. When I asked her about how Drew & Co started, she shared with me, “During my life I’ve worked on things other people considered were the best for me: assistant, receptionist, etc. But my real passion has always been the jewelry design, making amazing pieces that amazing women could wear: soft, delicate and minimal but also strong. This is my dream, were I spend all my spare hours (and those that I don’t know where to find them) and thanks to my effort (and my husband’s support) it has become true!” For being such a new brand, Drew & Co masters the art of delicate, everyday jewelry that you’ll want to wear over and over again. Save 10% on Etsy with code WELCOME10!
Back to the lesson… Here’s what I learned. People are too afraid to be wrong. If you look like you’re supposed to be there, when you act like you know what you’re doing, no one asks questions. They didn’t know I wasn’t an A list blogger or a fashion editor at Vogue. No one wants to risk being the person who sends a Shea Marie status blogger to the second row.
Now, please take this with a grain of salt. I wasn’t going to be bitter or any less grateful to be present if they moved me. This approach only works when used with integrity. Running people over, pushing others out of the way, or intentionally stealing someone else’s seat will surely make you stick out in all the wrong ways. However, when you’re in a situation and see an opportunity to sit in the front row, if you’re going to go for it, you have to act like that seat’s yours.
I just want you to see, if you’re constantly questioning your credibility and where you’re meant to be, other people will too. It’s only a matter of time before someone’s going to ask you to get up – and by that point, you’ll have no other option than to stand in the back of the room.
You’re never going to feel ready or worthy until you go for it. Head high. Shoulders back. You’ve got this. And remember, the actual number of people who have their shit together is zero.
**This post may contain affiliate links and sponsored content because we all have to pay our bills and I’d rather keep creating awesome content for you than get a real job. All opinions are my own.**
Photos: Alexandra Barone