Hannah Yakobi is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist. Throughout her career, she has written for the National Post, OK! Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, Canwest newspaper network and dozens of publications around the world. Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief of FAJO Magazine, a Canadian publication with staff in Canada, U.S. and U.K.
I finally made it there.
A life in five countries and many global travels later, the Big Apple has eluded me for years. I don’t know how it happened, but it just did. And, frankly, when I headed there on a sunny and unusually warm morning of Feb. 9, I still wasn’t sure what to expect.
Everyone I know who has ever been to New York either loves it or hates it. This city seems to evoke very strong emotions in people, but regardless of what they are – they are memorable. How convenient then that I would arrive there to explore it and spend time with friends, but also to cover the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
I’ve covered many fashion weeks throughout my journalistic career, but let me tell you this: nobody does it like New York. Sitting in the front row of the shows at Lincoln Center is an unusual experience; you are surrounded by people who don’t just know fashion, they live it.
At one of the shows, I had a renowned make-up artist on my left and a fabulously cranky lady on my right, who complained about half of the pieces on the runway and praised the other half in her thick French accent. She was exceptionally elegant, knowledgeable and mildly unimpressed. At another show, I sat next to a successful recording artist. And then there were also eccentric hairdressers, trendy production managers and very friendly bloggers.
One of my favourite places in between the shows was the media lounge. I loved chatting with reporters, most of whom were from various parts of the U.S. And they loved the fact that I was from Canada. We talked for hours and helped each other in many ways – whether it was sharing information about upcoming shows, or providing my brooch to help a photographer eject the jammed SD card from his camera.
And, undoubtedly, the best part of it all was…the clothes. Clothes on the runway, clothes on the guests, clothes on display – framed, worn, cherished.
For one week, I headed straight to the Lincoln Centre with FAJO’s New York columnist and photojournalist Nicole McLaren. Sometimes we worked for 16 hours, straight. Soon enough, I knew the place like the back of my hand.
On certain days, the street style photographers happened to particularly like what I was wearing and they would surround me in a matter of seconds, snap dozens of photos in a matter of milliseconds and disappear before I was even able to open my mouth. Forget asking who they were shooting for – now my photos belong to the Internet and good luck trying to figure out what website they will be on. Every fashionista who caught their fancy suffered the same fate.
At one point, I managed to quiz one of the photographers – “Where is this photo going?” “A magazine!” he happily announced and ran away at the speed of lightning.
He may have been fast, but everything in New York is. Except for the traffic, of course. I took the well-known yellow cabs everywhere, and even while we drove from one part of the city to the next, I would be immersed in the fashion week, as it played and replayed on the small TV screens installed on the back of the passenger seat in front of me. I think I know some of those videos by heart now, including the one by Michael Kors, where he talks about the start of his career in the 80s.
There were many great memories that week: the runway shows; Betsey Johnson’s after party at the Stone Rose Lounge, where all bartenders wore her dresses; front row reporting; chatting with designer Katya Leonovich after her presentation; finally meeting designer Christina Makowsky at her show at The Plaza; and everything about SoHo.
Thank you for a fabulous time, New York.
I will see you again soon.
P.S. For our full coverage from the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, visit www.fajomagazine.com