University Fashion Group Student Shares Favorite Memories From New York Fashion Week Trip

A model pauses for photos backstage before walking in the Global Fashion Collective fashion show during New York Fashion Week.

Every spring, style icons and up-and-coming designers from around the world flock to New York City for Fashion Week. As one of the industry’s biggest and most exclusive events of the year, the Manhattan-based runway series consistently makes headlines for its seasonal debuts and celebrity appearances. But behind the glam of these famed catwalks is a bustling backstage ecosystem comprised of makeup artists, tailors, and even select volunteers from The University of Texas. For years, students in University Fashion Group (UFG) travel to Fashion Week each spring and fall to assist in the production of independent shows. Many are Textiles and Apparel students hoping to someday premier their own collections at the iconic event. Others, like Lauren Logan, a second-year marketing student, also see the trip as an opportunity to explore one of the world’s fashion capitals. 

“I was looking through my journal recently, and I had all these pages written where I was just manifesting getting to New York someday,” Logan says. “It has been one of my biggest dreams since I was little.” 

Logan is a Memphis native whose first trip to New York City with UFG was from Feb. 9–13, offering a glimpse into her potential future. Re-inspired by her dream of someday moving to New York, Logan shared her top nine moments from traveling to Fashion Week with the Alcalde.  

1. Arriving in the City

I’ve always dreamed about flying into New York, which sounds so cheesy, but that’s kind of a movie-like thing that has been played up in my mind a lot. From the airport, we took a train and then we took the subway into the city. It was a long ride, so once we finally got off the subway we looked hilarious. We were all lugging around 50-pound suitcases down the streets of Manhattan, and we still had to walk a few blocks to our hotel. We saw all the taxis and these huge buildings and people were honking every second. It’s overwhelming in a way, but it was also energizing for me to see the city after dreaming about it for so many years.

2. Working Backstage at a Fashion Week Show

The show I worked at was in Brooklyn with a company called Global Fashion Collective. It was a combination of designers putting on the show including Liza Ju, Nolo, HEEYONGHeE. All the brands had very different vibes, like one designer was working with these eccentric ballgowns, and another was using a lot of cutouts. It was neat to see them at work because they were very focused, even though it was a little chaotic backstage … and a lot of the models were walking in multiple shows. When I first got there, I was just helping set things up, but then they split us into groups and had me in charge of [creating] line sheets. Line sheets provide a basic description of what models are wearing and what order the designers want to present the clothes in. Basically, I would go up to each model once their outfits were finalized, write down a description, ask for their name, and take a picture of them. Then I brought all that information to the designer and helped put everyone in the order they would walk for the show. It made me realize how much thought goes into every single detail. It’s about so much more than the clothes themselves; it really is a show, and it takes a lot of work from a lot of people to do the presentation of it.

3. Trying an Authentic New York Bagel

When I first came to New York, I knew I wanted to try a bagel. We ended up trying this place, Bagel Pub, in Brooklyn before we went sightseeing. I ended up getting a plain bagel with lox and za’atar cream cheese, which was really meaningful for me because I haven’t had za’atar in forever. It’s a Palestinian spice that I grew up eating because my mom’s family is from Israel. My grandma used to cook with it a lot, and she passed away recently, so it just took me back to my childhood and made me nostalgic. And I cannot tell you how amazing the bagel was. They just pile the cream cheese on, there’s a whole layer of it.  

4. Seeing the Thierry Mugler Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum was something that we talked about going to for a long time before the trip. The second we got off the elevator [at the museum], it was just decked out in all these archival Mugler designs. They were showing footage from the ’90s of runway models wearing his work, and then you could see the real pieces there in front of you.

Looking at the designs up close, you could see how intricate the beading was and how much time it took to get the cutouts and the feather placement exactly right. I definitely want to work in the fashion industry someday, so it was cool for me to see how one designer can have so many pop culture moments and how much goes into it.

5. Visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I ended up going to the Met with one of my friends, Victoria. It was both our first time in New York, so we wanted to devote an entire day to sightseeing. The Met is situated in the Upper East Side, so it has this very expensive feel to it. You can pretend you’re a celebrity walking up the steps, and it’s a really fun experience. We didn’t go with much of a plan, but the museum has a bunch of different rooms that you can just walk through at your own leisure. There are all these surprises as you go through and start seeing these really famous paintings. It makes you stop and you’re like, “Wow, I can’t believe this is the original.”

6. Going to the Top of the Rock

After the Met, Victoria and I went to the Rockefeller Plaza. Initially, we just planned to walk around and see the ice-skating rink, but we decided to go up to the top of the [Comcast Building] to see the view. When you finally get to the top, it’s the most amazing view ever. I know people talk about the Empire State building a lot, but I’m glad we decided to go to the top of the Rock instead because you get this great view of the skyline. You can see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and even Upstate New York in the distance.

7. Exploring Manhattan Nightlife

We went out for a couple of nights to parties, and that was the best. I met all kinds of people and got to just dance with my friends, so it was this very carefree moment for us. [One] party we went to, we didn’t stay at long. It was literally an hour and a half wait to get in, so we were in this long line standing out in the cold together in our cute little outfits. It was one of those moments where you just have to laugh at yourself to keep from going insane because you’re absolutely freezing and huddled together. But, it was honestly a really great bonding experience because everyone in our group just talked to pass the time until we went in.

8. Going Shopping

I expected us to go shopping [during the trip], but I didn’t expect there to be as many good finds. I thought we would spend more time in the shops in Times Square, like Forever 21 and places like that. And even though we did check those stores out, we ended up spending a lot more time thrift shopping and exploring different hole-in-the-wall shops. We went to Buffalo Exchange and another thrift store in Manhattan [called] 2nd Street Vintage. I felt like every piece I picked out, I could see myself wearing, which never really happens when I’m shopping in Memphis or Austin. Even though there is good thrifting here, the sheer volume of stuff in New York is crazy because there are so many people around. There’s a large variety of clothes and styles, which I think kind of pushes you to experiment.

9. Finding alone time in the city

I’ve always wanted to live in New York post-graduation, so I knew I wanted to have a few moments where I was walking around alone and exploring the city without everyone around me. I love the group I went with, and I had so much fun, but I wanted a few moments of peace. I left the hotel and walked around to people-watch and just see what was happening on the street. I feel like it was very gratifying for me to just walk around and pretend that I was finally living in New York and I had made my dream come true. It was energizing, but also calming in a way because I was able to remind myself that things would be okay. When you’re in such a huge city, your problems seem small by comparison. It helped me put things in perspective a little and it reminded me that there’s life beyond what I’m going through now.

CREDITS: Courtesy Lauren Logan


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