Kent State students attend, network at New York Fashion Week


Maddie Letourneau

A model walks an outdoor runway at New York Fashion Week. Maddie Letourneau attended this show and others like it while attending NYFW this year.

Jillian Saliba, Reporter

Attending New York Fashion Week is a dream of many fashion students. For junior fashion merchandising major Maddie Letourneau, it is a dream she has been able to live four times.

Letourneau first went to fashion week in 2019 where she met the fashion editor for ELLE fashion magazine who she is still in contact with today.

While on her way to a fashion show this year, Letourneau was photographed. She didn’t think much of it until later that night she found out he was the photographer for Nylon Japan.

“I was just walking around faking it til I make it and ended up being in the front issue so that was really cool,” Letourneau said

Letourneau talks a lot about the importance of introducing yourself to everyone because you never know who someone may be.

“I ended up meeting Christian Cowan at his after party. It didn’t seem real,” she said. “I’m so happy I went out of my comfort zone to talk to people because that is how it all happened.”

“It’s more about the opportunities that are there rather than the shows that you go to,” Letourneau said.

Fashion Week in New York is a time where designers showcase their hard work, and talent for the new season. NYFW attracts over 230,000 people with over 300 shows.

Attendees from all over the world come to be inspired in the fashion capital of the U.S. Some fashion students receive many opportunities while studying abroad at the Kent campus in New York City while others in Ohio search for them.

Junior fashion student Brett Hayes also attended New York Fashion Week where he had the chance to work behind the scenes.

“Being able to go there during a week that is dedicated to what I love was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said. “Walking down the street I felt so inspired, I got a taste of my dreams there.”

This year, Kent State put on their first show with IFA Paris, giving students a chance to be a part of NYFW.

“At first there weren’t any spots available to work, ” Hayes said. “Then some of the abroad students dropped out to go to the Fendi show and they called for my help.”

Hayes worked throughout the chaos backstage helping three models quickly change into the next outfit.

“Watching the fashion show is very put together,” he said, “but what you don’t see is the running off the stage, throwing off clothes, and frantic changes”.

Hayes learned how to find loopholes for quick changes that were acceptable on the runway and gained much knowledge while working the show.

After working a chaotic backstage experience, he got the chance to network.

“I got to meet the head designer of the men’s line for American Eagle,” he said. “She took my name and number down and sent it to HR if I wanted to apply for an internship.”

New York Fashion Week is a reminder to fashion students to not forget about the end goal. Sitting in a classroom taking notes and exams is different from living out experiences.

“Being there resparked my love, dreams, motivation and plans for success,” he said. “I want to move there.”

Jillian Saliba is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]