Kristie Dash is one of four interns working with FIJI Water at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2012 (September 8-15, 2011).
Last September, I remember standing in front of Lincoln Center, watching guests and workers coming in and out of the tents for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. They would hold up their passes and walk in, and I would think, “How did they get so lucky?” Well, somehow this is now my reality.
As a FIJI Water intern, I’m acting as a brand ambassador for the week, so my main job is to be friendly, smiling, and enthusiastic as we pass out water to every guest who attends the show we are assigned to. It is not hard to do this because I genuinely am so excited to be here. There are two carts of water on either side of the main doors to the theaters, and we stand there as everyone goes through, asking each entrant, “FIJI Water?” Most of the time, people take one graciously. Sometimes they don’t, but we don’t take it personally.
I am obsessed with all things pop-culture related, so I have obviously been having a great time spotting everyone from editors and designers to celebrities and socialites. Where we are passing out water is in a prime spot because we get to see every single person walk in. It is hard to list every notable person, but here are some good examples of the household names we’ve spotted at certain shows:
DKNY: Brad Goreski, Shay Mitchell, Nina Garcia
BCBG Max Azria: Beverly Mitchell
Vivienne Tam: Matt Settle, Wendy Williams
Monique Lhuillier: Mandy Moore, LeAnn Rimes
Diane von Furstenburg: Rachel Zoe, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Corinne Bailey Rae, Bill Cunningham
Betsey Johnson: Nicki Minaj, Jonathan Cheban, Nigel Barker
Donna Karan: Andre Leon Talley, Grace Coddington, Wyclef Jean, Anna Wintour, Anna Dello Russo
Once everyone with a seating assignment goes in, the standing room section storms through. We try to give them water, but most are too focused on securing their spot (understandable). When they all pass, we are allowed to follow in behind. Depending on what the crowd (and our luck) is like, we can at the very least see the show from the back in standing room. This is not bad at all, because I actually like seeing over everyone and onto the runway, much like I prefer to sit in the mezzanine over the orchestra section in a theater.
If we are lucky, right before the show starts, we get to fill in empty seats. This is nice because you can focus, give your feet a rest, and see everything really well. Now, if we are really lucky, one of the empty seats to fill in is in the front row! I sat front row at Monique Lhuillier and, honestly, it was the coolest thing ever. The seat I was in at that show was right next to where Rachel Zoe was sitting for DVF’s show! You can see every little detail of everything. I would say you are so close you can hear the models breathing, but they don’t really seem to breathe, so you can’t hear that.
(Side note: It really is bizarre to see models in action on a long runway. They are very robotic — it is kind of freaky. And you know how the camera adds pounds? Well, these creatures are definitely thinner in person.)
That front-row seat was probably the highlight of my week so far. I know an experience like that comes very rarely, so I soaked it up completely. I felt like I was meditating. Nothing else was going through my mind but what I was seeing right in front of my eyes.
While I am originally from Pittsburgh, I am currently living in New York for college. School doesn’t stop for me during Fashion Week, but with the way the schedule worked out, I have only had to miss one class this whole week. I have two online classes and a work-study job as well, so although it has been difficult keeping up with them in the midst of all this craziness, it is so worth it. I have seen many of my former editors from an internship I had at a fashion magazine last semester, and they are really impressed with the experience FIJI Water has given us. With my previous internship, the closest I got to Lincoln Center during Fashion Week was to deliver invitations to an editor by the famous fountain in the center of the complex. Shows like DVF, Donna Karan, and Michael Kors are not shows just anybody can get into. I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity. I knew I would somehow make it into the tents one day, but I never thought it would be this soon.
I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone who voted for me! I blog about my eventful life in New York, including this very eventful week, at www.kristiedash.com. Follow me on Twitter (@KristieDash) for even more updates.
P.S. As a Fashion Week intern, I get a year’s supply of FIJI Water. I am so excited for this because I love water and I have always loved FIJI Water the most. Now, FIJI Water can help quench my thirst as I conquer New York!