Get Well

3 Fashion Week Pros on How They Practice Self-Care and Avoid Burn Out 

by Raven Ishak

Fashion Week— a week-long celebration about the sartorial choices that are bestowed upon us by clothes makers, trend forecasters, and editors. For over seven days straight, chaos is welcomed (if not encouraged) through the lens of unchecked emails, mountains of deadlines, and coalitions of photographers, stampeding through the NYC streets. NYC is already known as the Concrete Jungle, but throw in fashion, and, well, things get wild.

While Fashion Week is a beast in of itself, that doesn’t mean that you should throw caution to the wind if you’re one of the lucky few to partake in this festivity. Makeup artists, fashion designers, photographers, and editors all have tips and tricks to help keep their shit together when it feels like everything is about to hit the fan—and lucky for us, they’re telling us all their secrets. 

We connected with not one but three fashion insiders to find out how they take care of themselves during the most coveted time of year. From self-care tips to what they carry in their bags, here are the best ways these Fashion Week pros avoid stress before and during NYFW.

Harling Ross

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

What do you do as your profession? And take us through a typical Fashion Week day you experience?

I’m the Fashion Editor at Man Repeller, which means I write stories for the site, style a lot of our shoots, and manage the Instagram. In a typical day at Fashion Week, I usually have a show or presentation every couple of hours (though they can also be more back-to-back, depending on my schedule). I do a ton of social coverage during Fashion Week—mostly Instagram Stories and some impromptu snaps from the shows—so I’m constantly thinking about how to get the best photo or take the best video of whatever I’m seeing, much to my phone battery’s delight. There isn’t much downtime between events because they’re all spread out around the city, so I try to take advantage of any small pockets to file timely copy, catch up on emails and find something to eat.

While people from the outside may assume that everything crazy happens during Fashion Week, the weeks before can be pretty insane. How do you cope with the stress? Are there self-care rituals that you take part in to help ease the stress leading up to FW?

The creative team at Man Repeller does a good chunk of advance planning for Fashion Week so we can avoid unnecessary stress when the shows are actually happening. We have two big meetings in August to solidify as much of our game plan as possible for editorial, visuals, and social programming. We can’t plan for everything obviously, but just having a framework in mind is super duper helpful.

In terms of my personal prep, the #1 thing that helps me be my best self (not just before/during Fashion Week, but year-round) is maintaining good sleep hygiene. I know I sound like such a dork when I say that, but keeping up with my bedtime routine (no screens before bed, reading until I get sleepy, meditating for three minutes, lights out) improves my overall well-being in a noticeable way. That, and foam rolling. I bought one of those foam rollers with all the intense ridges on Amazon and I feel like human Silly Putty after I use it, which is a physical state I like to embody whenever I can.

Working during Fashion Week usually means that you’re constantly on the go. What are some go-to items that you always bring with you that keep you sane throughout the day?

Snacks! I always have something to eat in my bag because there isn’t always time to sit down for a full meal during the day and I loathe being hungry. My go-to snacks are salted cashews, bananas, Rx bars and those little packs of almond butter from Justin’s. I’m like a human vending machine. Also, I’ve recently started taking CBD to manage my general anxiety, so I often carry a small bottle of that around with me as well. My favorite kind is the lemon tincture from Lord Jones because it tastes yummy—and believe me, not all CBD products do. Let’s see, what else…lip balm (this one from Le Paradis is the bomb), sunscreen, oh, and spare hair ties—those definitely keep me sane when I’m sweating on a subway platform and my hair starts to feel like an uninvited neck sweater.

Sometimes it can be hard to unwind and unplug at the end of each day during Fashion Week. Are there strict rules you try to follow when it comes to work or events so you make sure you don’t burn out during this time?

I don’t have any strict rules beyond attempting to enforce the aforementioned sleep protocol. If I do start to feel burnt out at any point, I try to pin down exactly what will help me chill out in that particular moment. The answer can vary—anything from a hot shower to a quick text exchange with someone who knows me well enough to roll their eyes at me when my mind is running in circles.

While Fashion Week is exciting to be a part of, it can feel a little exhausting to try to do everything that you’re invited to. What are some ways you try to combat FOMO so you don’t feel bad that you’re missing out?

The beauty of attending Fashion Week in the digital age is that no matter what events you do or don’t attend, you’re guaranteed the ability to live vicariously through the internet. Even though it’s always exciting to see a show in person, there’s something to be said for the special luxury of lingering over each and every detail of a collection on your computer or phone screen. In that sense, there’s no such thing as completely missing out.

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

What are some best wellness practices you would suggest to someone who is experiencing Fashion Week for the first time so they don’t become overwhelmed?

Don’t forget to bask in the thrill of it all. Yes, Fashion Week involves a lot of work, and yes, it can be overwhelming at times, but it’s also enormously fun. Take lots of photos. Write little notes to yourself in your phone about the things you see and love. Look up and say, “hi” to the people sitting next to you. Be intentional about identifying whatever aspect of the experience brings you the most joy and jump in like it’s a jacuzzi.

Griffin Lipson

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

What do you do as your profession? And take us through a typical Fashion Week day you experience?

I am a photographer! I always plan my day the night before, setting different alarms and obsessing over my Google calendar. So my schedule varies on the day, but I usually have either a show/presentation in the morning. If I don’t have a show, I am usually prepping for the next event. Whether that is by partaking in my self-care rituals, which I’ll discuss later in the interview or just relaxing. After shooting, I come home and edit at the end of the day, after I finish my skin-care routine obviously.

While people from the outside may assume that everything crazy happens during Fashion Week, the weeks before can be pretty insane. How do you cope with the stress? Are there self-care rituals that you take part in to help ease the stress leading up to FW?

There are totally self-care rituals I partake in before fashion week. I usually get a facial, and most importantly, create the perfect playlist for keeping up my stamina throughout the chaos.

Working during Fashion Week usually means that you’re constantly on the go. What are some go-to items that you always bring with you that keep you sane throughout the day?

I always have my Swell bottle, always need to have freezing cold water. It’s usually so effing hot, I can’t have my ice cubes melting! I usually have a few energy bars in my bag just in case, but I usually eat the catering backstage at shows. The catering is always really healthy and filled with protein. The most important thing I carry with me [is] my headphones. The stress and pressure of Fashion Week usually forces me to plug in and decompress with a little SZA, Rihanna, Kacey Musgraves, but mostly SZA.

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

Sometimes it can be hard to unwind and unplug at the end of each day during Fashion Week. Are there strict rules you try to follow when it comes to work or events so you make sure you don’t burn out during this time?

My schedule is usually so hectic that this question is honestly hard to even answer. It all depends when I finish shooting, editing, planning. My strict rule is always prioritizing sleep. I’m not the type of person [who] can function on minimal sleep; I need at least six hours to function the next day.

While Fashion Week is exciting to be a part of, it can feel a little exhausting to try to do everything that you’re invited to. What are some ways you try to combat FOMO so you don’t feel bad that you’re missing out?

I usually don’t suffer from FOMO. To me, during Fashion Week, I prioritize work and sleep. Networking is unbelievable, but I’m telling you, I won’t be able to perform [at] my best if I don’t sleep well. After my assigned jobs, if I feel like I’m up for a social event, I will definitely go, but I try not to think too much about missing out. Having tunnel vision, especially during Fashion Week, at least for me, is the formula that I find most successful.

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

What are some best wellness practices you would suggest to someone who is experiencing Fashion Week for the first time so they don’t become overwhelmed?

DRINK A LOT OF WATER!! As dumb as that sounds, it couldn’t be more important. Running around the city takes up a lot of mental energy and drinking water helps fuel me. Try not to have FOMO, Fashion Week seems to have that effect on people, but try to have tunnel vision and really focus on things that will benefit yourself!

Chrissy Rutherford

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

What do you do as your profession? And take us through a typical Fashion Week day you experience?

I’m the Senior Fashion Editor for Bazaar.com, so I help oversee our fashion vertical, as well as run our Instagram account. Each day of Fashion Week can start different depending on the schedule. If I don’t have to be at a show first thing, then I am catching up on photos from the day before, looking for inspiration for Instagram posts, as well as working on our Fashion Week celebrity style gallery from parties and the front rows of the shows. This season we have our annual Bazaar Icons party with Carine Roitfeld so that involves a lot of prep. I’m overseeing our Instagram installation for the big event.

While people from the outside may assume that everything crazy happens during Fashion Week, the weeks before can be pretty insane. How do you cope with the stress? Are there self-care rituals that you take part in to help ease the stress leading up to FW?

I took the week before Fashion Week off which was both a blessing and a curse. It’s so close to Fashion Week that I still had to keep up on my emails to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important pertaining to our event.

Working during Fashion Week usually means that you’re constantly on the go. What are some go-to items that you always bring with you that keep you sane throughout the day?

I always have snacks with me because we’re running around a lot, we don’t always have time for full meals. I bring either my clear quartz or blue quartz crystal around with me as just a reminder to stay grounded. I always have my headphones on me as well because music can really help change my mind space while I’m running around from show to show. Also, if I’m having a particularly stressful day, I like to write my thoughts [and] feelings down. It always helps to get things down on paper.

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

Sometimes it can be hard to unwind and unplug at the end of each day during Fashion Week. Are there strict rules you try to follow when it comes to work or events so you make sure you don’t burn out during this time?

I don’t drink during Fashion Week because there’s just [too] many events, so many opportunities to drink that you could be drunk all the time if you wanted. My #1 priority is staying healthy so that I can make it through to month so I have to be mindful of how I’m treating my body.

While Fashion Week is exciting to be a part of, it can feel a little exhausting to try to do everything that you’re invited to. What are some ways you try to combat FOMO so you don’t feel bad that you’re missing out?

I’ve been in the industry for almost a decade so FOMO is lost on me. I’ve been to lots of parties over the years, and sure there have been some fabulous parties that I’ll never forget, but there will always be more parties.

What are some best wellness practices you would suggest to someone who is experiencing Fashion Week for the first time so they don’t become overwhelmed?

I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. Obviously, this is a very important time for all of us in the industry but there are always things that are out of our control—like New York City traffic for example. Sadly, we don’t have teleportation capabilities just yet so there’s no point in panicking over being late or possibly missing a show. It happens to the best of us! I also just think listening to yourself is important. If you’re exhausted, skip the parties! It’s a marathon, not a sprint and you have to make choices that will ensure you can get through the week with your sanity intact. You will survive without your photo on BFA for a night.

Photo: Bridget Badore for The Chill Times @bridgetbadore

Feature image via Bridget Badore 

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