The Business of Fashion: Visiting NYC!

No rest for the weary! Fashion is non stop- a 24/7, 365 job!- Which makes me love it and some times not love it! So I took a “vacation” day from my 9-5 and took the Amtrak train to NYC on the hunt for fabulous fabrics and to meet up with some fashion friends!

My train left at 6:25am.. which was a bit earlier then I am use to. I did not over sleep this time, I did in fact make the train with plenty of time to spare. However, being January I did slip on the ice that  I apparently parked on top of, and barely didn’t hurt myself. This is my life! Its the first time in a while I was able to see the sunrise. I took a selfie and the sun was shining at just the right angle. It was a cool picture.

Me sunshine
Amtrak From Boston to NYC

I visited the DG Expo and Première Vision in NYC! Whenever I travel to NYC it always feels like coming back- almost as if I never left. Boston is my home, but New York is my city. I got amped up listening to Taylor Swifts “Welcome to New York“- don’t judge me! I might LOVE rock and roll, but Tswift has a special place in my heart!

My first stop- Starbucks. Because duh!. 6:25am train doesn’t require coffee because you sleep most of the time. However, I had arrived and now was the time to put my game face on. Luckily right next to the Pennsylvania hotel is a Starbucks, so I didn’t have to go very far! I went right into the DG Expo.

What I love about the DG Expo is that it is set up with new and small designers/brands in mind. Most of the minimums are low, there is fabric, trims, and even a few USA factories. There are also a bunch of useful resources! One of my favorites is the Fashion Law Studio based out of NY and run by Katharyn and Nima. What is great about them is they knew their craft!- Both Fashion and Law, and they make it really easy to understand. Sometimes I know all the legal mumbo jumble can give me a headache! But they work with new designers and make it easy to understand. They say if you can make a dress, then you can understand fashion law. I highly suggest checking them out!

Another part of the Expo I really enjoy is the fabric shopping! There is every fabric you could think of and then some! I love seeing all the new prints and fabrics available. One of my favorite parts is seeing the new trims! Buttons, and zippers, and more!

Fabrics at DG

Then I met up with a friend of mine that I met in college. She is kicking ass and taking names in NYC! I am so proud of her! She is designing full time for a juniors company! I love meeting up in NYC and talking about our college days, sewing for hours on end in our studio! It was a great time! I miss college sometimes. If my college had a reunion I will go. I graduated with only 7 other people in my Fashion Design class! (Because its not as easy as TV shows like Project Runway make it out to be!) It felt like we were in college again, at the end of the day, when we swung by a Fabric shop and took home at least 100 swatches! I just love fabrics; seeing them, feeling them, your mind just starts to go crazy with ideas!

Fabric swatching is part of my development process. Sometimes the fabrics tell you what they want to be, and other times you are finding a fabric to fit already preconceived design.

I am currently working on a new jacket line specifically made and fit for the plus size woman. Check out my progress here and get in the know! www.rose-riot.com I am very excited because I found lots of fabric options for the new line! I can’t wait until the swatches come in the mail! Check out some of my other pictures from NYC here!

Then I went over to Pier 94 to Première Vision.  They had global manufacturers, leather, fabrics and accessories from all over the world. I am pretty such France was represented- as all I could here was French! And maybe a bit of Italian.

PV1

The trends were fun to see, and all the new fabrics and especially the prints! A fashion designer at the trade show is like a kid in a candy shop! I want it ALL! And as a business person my budget quietly reminds me, I am here to order swatches to start.. and then we will see. Another favorite part of attending these Expos and trade shows is meeting new people. I even met another plus size fashion designer! How cool is that? Its VERY cool, because true plus size fashion designers are far and few between, and we need to stick together!

After a quick trip to the fabric store, I was on my way back to Penn station! Time flies when your fabric sourcing! It will be another 6 months before the trade shows pop up again! But not to fret- there is still Tex World, and City Source coming up in the next few days!

NYC night.jpg

That’s the life of a fashion designer for ya! And then it was home to bed, ready to get back to my 9-5 this morning. It was a struggle, but I did it. You push through. You make it work because it means something to you, because you don’t have a choice. Your success or failure begins and ends with you. So I got my ass out of bed this morning.. dragging my feet, and went to my bread and butter job. I am not going to lie, the trade shows are the fun part, the exciting traveling, meeting new people, seeing new fabrics. But these are the things I look forward too, because all of a sudden, I was boarding the train.

Life happens to fast- don’t forget to enjoy it!

 

Stay classy and sassy!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

It all begins with a sketch..

Hello! Welcome to the Koker Chronicles! I renamed my blog- as this is the beginning of my journey- my chronicles if you will. (And my last name is Koker, so it just kina fit). I want to take you into my world of fashion design and the makings of a made in the USA, Plus Size Fashion Brand and Company. Here I will show you my behind the scenes of what it is to really launch a brand and make it work, and of what it takes to get there.

As the title of my blog post today states, it all begins with a sketch. When I first went to fashion design school (Mount Ida College in Newton, MA), I always started with a sketch first. I always had this vision in my head of what I wanted to create- I could see it. My sketching skills weren’t the best- but that was what fashion school was for- honing and perfecting my skills and learning new techniques to justify the visions in my head and realize them on paper.

I have always loved jackets- there was something about them that made me feel strong, and powerful and chic. In fashion school I would make one of my favorite tailored jackets- it was an ivory jacket with forest green contrast cuffs, collar, and buttons. God I loved that coat. I wished that I had made it in MY size. My model was beautiful, and a size 8. The jacket fit her perfectly.

1Ivory Coat 2009

 See it pictured above. Its a lovely jacket and I did spend a lot of time on it. But it got me thinking- why couldn’t I have this jacket in MY size? So, I started sketching..
sketch 2
This jacket would translate just fine into a size range that is plus size (14-28). I might even change the colors. Now that I think of it, I believe the original design was intended to be black and white, or white and black, but due to time constraints of college and deadlines, I ended up going for this ivory and forest green combo.
I love sketching. Its one of my favorite parts of the design process. I think one of the hardest things for me to accept was how the design process changes over time through development. Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn’t actually look good in 3D, or vice versa. Sometimes the fabric you find just doesn’t want to be molded into the design you envision. The hardest part of design for me was letting the design transform into what It needed to be; not being so stuck on your initial design. Sometimes the transformation was even better than what you expected- that’s the fun of it.
sketch 1
Keep an eye out for more sketches!
Did you know I am launching a Plus Size Jacket Line that will be manufactured right here in the USA? Sign up here www.rose-riot.com and be the first to know!
Stay Classy!
-A
© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

#AskLaneBryant- Valid Points Among the Bullshit..

Sometimes I find myself glued into social media, following twitter conversations or getting transfixed into my Facebook feed. I bet this happens to you too? I sit online and all of a sudden 2 hours have gone by and all I have done is read Facebook posts. Something about the internet just sucks you right in!

Well yesterday I stumbled upon #AskLaneBryant on Twitter, while updating my profile: Follow me here! It had not yet begun, it was to be a conversation between the public and Lane Bryant’s CMO. But it was evident that the conversation had already turned before it had begun! I understand we all want our voices to be heard, and as someone who works in the industry its always an interesting experience when receiving feedback or criticism. There are always “take aways”, things to learn from and to think about. However it quickly became a bitch fest.

Its always been interesting to me how bold people are when they have a screen to hide behind. Yes I know what your thinking? Aren’t I the same since this is a blog post? Sure you could say that, but I for one voice the same opinions, in person, to “your” face as much as I would write a blog post about my opinion. But your here reading it so I assume you are interested in an educated opinion.

I admit I did read through a lot of the tweets and some had valid points.

From “Ready to Stares” Alysse Dalessandro- who “Broke the Internet” with her recent release of a red dress that was not clinched at the waist line- a public show of rebellion that plus size women can wear what they want, and reminding us that an hour glass is not the only shape out there. Rock on girl!

askLB

Alysse called for campaigns with 22+ size models. I am all for this. The issue seems to be complex, as there seems to be a call from the consumer for more diversity in model selection- and some retailers seem to be making an effort. I myself (size 26/28) model the clothing in my shop, because I also feel and want to show multiple representations of what my clothing will look like. I understand that clothing always looks good on size 16, who is 5′ 10″, however I am 5; 5″ and usually a size 26.

Its nice to see what the clothing will actually look like on my body type as well. I think more women will benefit and relate. However, in Alysse’s case, when she herself modeled her red dress, that was not synched at the waist line, the internet exploded.  You can’t have it both ways. You either want to see people, models, designers of multiples sizes or you don’t. Its frustrating as a designer and a brand because there is this mixed message of- I want it, but I don’t. Decide People. For me, I am going to keep rocking my size 26 ass on my website (here!) Take it or leave it.

askLB1

Another interesting point of why LB doesn’t carry sizes above 26 in their stores. I do think that they offer up to size 28 online, and in some stores. What most people don’t realize is not all stores are equal. Stores are “graded” based on traffic, physical size and location. Based on this grade, determines the products they receive or don’t receive, this includes the sizes offered as well. A larger store- like the one in Braintree MA, I consider to be an “A” or “B” store, as it has a very large amount of square footage and seems to carry the most local assortment and variety of sizes. However, if I compare that to the Lane Bryant in Walpole Ma, there is a huge difference. Walpole has maybe 1/3 of the retail space, and much less of an assortment and size range. Don’t get me wrong, they carry all the sizes, but they will distribute the sizes in much smaller quantities, thus making getting a larger size more difficult, because there might only be 1 available in that location.

Now I want you to know that I never have worked for Lane Bryant in any capacity, however I do have a corporate day job at a plus size retailer, and I imagine the basics of retail are the same. So to L J Laubenheimer’s point- there just might not be those sizes, or many of those sizes available in local locations. Could this be fixed? Yes- but from a retail perspective it will depend also on the shopping patterns of that location. If certain sizes aren’t selling- or go on clearance, they most likely will not buy so many in the future. I didn’t say that they should buy this way- but it is business. Personally I had an experience at my day job where a store manager asked a executive at corporate for more product in their location. And what was awesome, was corporate listened, and shipped more product to that location. This gives me hope that things can change, and the retailers are listening.

askLB3The wonder Curves and Chaos- who I had the pleasure of meeting in NYC last year- also calls for more diversity. I also think this is a valid point. She points out not just size, but shape and ethnicity. I agree- I think the diversity is better then it has been in the past, but I would love to see models with apple shapes, models who are petite, etc. I personally would love to see a model who Is my size 26 as well. I think its smart because it helps the consumer relate and see what the brands clothing looks like on multiple body shapes. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone can be represented all at the same time from one brand. But that’s the beauty of fashion- its not one brands job to satisfy everyone. If it were, there would only be one brand. The point is to give consumers choices and options.

askLB4On a personal note- that’s me- Rose Riot– on twitter asking about smaller brand collaborations. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for seeing Project Runways Christian Siriano produce a collection for Lane Bryant because he is crazy talented and I fell in love with his designs watching him on TV. However, brands like Lane Bryant have more power then I think they realize. As a start-up/small brand, its very difficult to get In front of consumers and a collaboration with a major game changer like Lane Bryant could be beneficial not only for a smaller brand but for the consumer. I see a lot of women commenting on wanting to see different styles at Lane Bryant. Whether its different fabrics, prints, etc. Style is taste is different for everyone and you can’t expect 1 retailer to please everyone, but a small brand collaboration would be one way to offer more variety and help catapult the next big plus size fashion designer/brand. I wouldn’t mind if Rose Riot was Lane Bryant’s guinea pig.

askLB2It was nice to see that Lane Bryant stayed classy in their response. Not for nothing, and I think people forget this while on the internet- there are people behind the screen. You are talking to people- whether is Lane Bryant or whoever, I think it might be nice to be kinder to each-other. Its easy to be an asshole over the internet or spew uninformed and uneducated opinion.. but remember your talking to a human being. Its one thing to voice your opinion but its certainly another to be nasty about it.

Lane Bryant, and all retailers- don’t own you anything. They aim to please and want you to feel valued and loved, as we should be, however they can’t be everything to everyone. If you don’t like it- go somewhere else. That’s the best part of freedom of choice. There are more choices then ever- there is no excuse. Do your homework and support the brands you care about and give you what you need.

Want to know what I am up to? A New Plus Size Jacket Line that will be ethically made in the USA.. Launching Fall 2016! Sign up and stay tuned!

That’s all for now. Stay Classy.

-Amanda

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

Finally Fall.. Feels like Winter!

Hey! I don’t know about you but today was the first time I had frost on my car windows! Thank goodness I left my amazing windshield defroster in my car! And it was just 60 the other day! That is New England for you!

I don’t know about you- but my driveway is just covered in leaves and acorns. Literally it looks like an acorn massacre has occurred, there are so many acorns covering my driveway. Now they are all squished and broken, and if the squirrels don’t get them soon, its going to be there own damn fault if they starve this winter!

What is your favorite part of fall or winter? I am not a fan of the cold, but I do love wearing boots and hats. Scarves are also a nice accessory. I wore my first scarf and hat today, because it was 29 degrees outside when I left for work this morning!

pink winter hat

I love winter hats. The bigger the “foof” on top, the better. My favorite hat of the moment is this pink one pictured above. Below is two more pictures of me in hats. I usually go for the winter hats. But I did try on this floppy pink hat in Macys. I didn’t end up buying it, but I did have to try it on.

Amanda in Hat 2

Let me know what your favorite winter accessory is! Make a comment below!

You know what I also love are winter jackets! I am launching a jacket line next fall made exclusively in plus sizes, in the United States. Go to www.rose-riot.com to sign up for behind the scenes news, & coupons!

Stay warm!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

Jackets Jackets and More Jackets!

Hello Again!

I want to start out by saying I just LOVE the fall. It is by far, my favorite season of the entire year! Here in New England, I love seeing all the trees lose their leaves, and the leaves changing colors! Highway driving becomes pretty pleasant!

I must admit that I have an outwear problem; meaning I cannot get enough jackets and coats! I just love them! They are my favorite fashion item! And fall is the perfect time to start taking out those wonderful jackets!

One of my favorite jackets I had made when I first graduated from college- pictured below. And it is one of the best jackets that I have ever made. It got me thinking- I wish I had one in MY size! In college they teach you the how-to’s of fashion design and pattern drafting and draping, and typically you build your skills based on using a “standard” model size- usually sizes 2-6. Well I don’t know about you, but I have never been and never will be a size 6!

Black and White Leather Jacket

This is my constant frustration with the fashion industry. I feel like, even though the plus size fashion community has only continued to grow there is still so much more room for improvement.

So that is where I am going to begin. I will make this jacket in MY size, and rock the hell out of it. I am tired of being an after thought for major retailers, especially when it comes to outerwear. I still find myself thinking- I wish that was in MY size. Well No more of that nonsense! This time next year I am launching a full fledged outwear plus size fashion line.

I would love to know your struggles with finding the right jacket for you! What is your biggest complaint? I hate when I find jackets I love that don’t fit right, AND don’t have pockets! I mean really? What person who wears a jacket doesn’t want pockets! It seems crazy to me!

I want to feel funky, and fabulous too! I feel like we are lucky enough to get a rack or two, yet our more slender counterpart gets 20! Its craziness to me. I found myself looking for a new fall/winter coat to wear to my day job, something warm, well fitting and functional that had my kick ass style- and I came home empty handed. There is nothing more annoying then not being able to find what I am looking for! Its getting cold out, and I need a jacket! And I imagine all of my fabulous plus size friends out there need one too!

Keep your eyes pealed for my new jacket line next fall (2016!). It time that I take this problem head on and design the jackets that I have always dreamt of! After all I want a kick ass jacket too! I deserve to feel strong, fabulous (and warm!) and so do you! I can’t wait to show you want I am currently working on and developing!

I would love to hear your feedback! What are the top 3 things you look when shopping for a jacket/coat/outerwear. Please give me a comment below and I might just send you a coupon code for my Etsy Shop! (Shop Here!)

If you LOVE this jacket as much as I do- leave your email in a comment, and get on the mailing list- be the FIRST to know when this jacket will be available for Pre-Order! Woo! Or Sign Up for my mailing list here!  www.rose-riot.com

Thanks for reading!- Stay fabulous!-

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

 

The 1st Annual Boston Curvy Fashion Week 2015!

Woo! Welcome back to the fabulous blog of me and my ventures with ASK Fashion!

This past weekend was the very 1st annual Boston Curvy Fashion Week! Woo! I was sooo excited that my own home town had finally jumped onto the plus size fashion scene.

The Boston Curvy Fashion Week- was actually a weekend- and took place over 4 days; Thursday through Sunday. The first event was the Media and Press event that was held at UFORGE Gallery in Boston. It’s a small gallery that has local art work. It took me a few minutes to find it, and then find walking distance parking. Luckily I found a spot I could park where I didn’t have to pay. It was a beautiful night that night; not that I ended up walking far. (Basically through a Dunkin Donuts parking lot)

The event took place for a few hours that night. The team introduced themselves and gave an over view of the run of events that weekend. They even called on me to give a little speech about ASK Fashion; which was cool but totally unexpected. We mingled and had light snacks- they even had a Instagram board to take large selfies in. It was cool. See my picture below.

What is cool about these kind of events, is even though they are on the smaller attendance side- the people who you get to talk to are sometimes people you have been following for a while on the internet. Which is cool- I like being able to meet someone I have been following online for a long period of time. I’m like- OH OK now I know who you are! Which I like; sometimes we get caught up in this digital age that we forget the joys of actually spending time with people: in person, and not via computer screen.

The next day- Friday- was the Curvy Night Experience Party. This event had vendors- which you could see and do some shopping and have fun! This was at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center- right next to the Back Bay Train Station (Near Copley). This made my commute easy- AND the parking garage was literally right next to the hotel- and I mean like 20 steps from garage to hotel. I was glad I found that out the first next- as I was schlepping all of my vendor table set up with me that night. If I was only attending the event I probably would have taken the train- but I was a vendor and I did a runway show on Saturday- so taking my car to carry all of the garments, combat boots etc seemed like the best option.

The Curvy Night Experience went well! What I love about vendor events too is being able to display all of my garments for people to touch and see. Sometimes it’s about the feel of the fabric, and the look of when you try it on. It’s so hard to shop online it’s much easier to see for yourself what fabric feels like, how it drapes, what color it really is- first, before purchasing. Coming to the ASK Fashion Pop-Up shop is for sure the best way to try on all of my current fashion line.

However I do have an easy return policy; for those who can’t travel and need to purchase online! Don’t worry! I aim to please! But I do understand the need to shop in person as well. See below some of my garments I had for sale on my clothing rack. All are available here! If you read this far- use code BCFWeek15 for 15% off your purchase! Woo! Coupons! Who doesn’t love a coupon!

Speaking of- if your missed Boston Fashion Week and will be in the Baltimore MD area this coming weekend (July 31st-August 2nd) I will be at Curves Rock Weekend!! I will have another Pop-Up shop! Come on by and see me! I love taking pictures and getting feedback and talking to you! That again is one of the best parts of the events; is talking to people and really getting to know you! I love to hear your stories, opinions, shopping woes and hopes! It really helps me out; not only as a designer but as another plus size consumer. See below for the Curves Rock Flyer! Come by and see my table!

I even decided to get in front of the camera myself, and take photos of me (size 26) in my own line! I think more retailers need to shop more “Real” women in their clothing. The wonderful models who are 5’ 10” and a size 14/16 are fabulous- but sometimes it doesn’t help me out- a size 26 and 5’ 5” woman. I am all about real representation! If you’re in the Boston Area and would like to model for ASK Fashion- please send me an e-mail! I am ALWAYS looking for new models! Email me at askfashion90@gmail.com

The vendor event went well. I closed up shop a few minutes ahead of schedule; I was starving, and I had to get ready for the runway show Saturday morning! I did have the pleasure of meeting Dressing Room 8’s Natasha Nurse; who I got a bite to eat after the event Friday night! I love talking to people! I really do- I am a chatter box, I think sometimes I can’t stop talking!

Anyway- Saturday was the Curves are Coming Runway Show! This was held again at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center. Really easy to get to. All the models showed up ahead of time- getting their hair and make-up done. I brought all 11 pairs of combat boots! A few of my models brought their own kick ass combat boots- which went perfect with the collection! I re-showcased my fall/winter collection that was previously shown at Style Week North East. This collection was a darker color pallet, all about British Punk Rock and a Kick Ass attitude. The collection was entitled “We are Taking Over”; plus size fashion is here and we are taking over the industry. We are kicking ass and taking names and we are here to stay.

That’s truly how I feel. The standardized fashion industry can suck it. I have never been any less than a double digit my entire life, and though its now a little easier to find clothing- there is nothing really on the market that caters to me and what I want… AND that helps to support American Manufacturing. Fashion is a global business, but I feel it is vital and important to understand exactly where our clothing is coming from; who is making it, where is the fabric being woven, what the clothing history is. Being made in the USA is a very important and un-negotiable part of ASK Fashion. When you buy from ASK- you buy from me; a piece of my heart and soul that has been carefully cherished and nurtured from my head and heart through a transparent and sustainable supply chain. I don’t mean to sound preachy here- but it means a lot to me.

At the end of the day- you get what you pay for. ASK Fashion is an investment; it’s an acknowledgement that we need to help support American design and manufacturing, and that we are where our clothing comes from; and we look kick ass while we do it. It’s about investing in each other. ASK Fashion is quality garments made from the best fabrics. My clothing doesn’t cost $4, but it’s not going to fall apart the first time you wash it either. ASK is an investment- in our country and in ourselves (and in ME!) You won’t find anything else on the market like it. This is how I feel and what I and ASK Fashion stand for. Take it or leave it.

Sorry to get on a tangent- back to the showcase. I want to point out- this is solely from my (designer) perspective of the show, so I don’t have the full details of the events, as I was participating in the event, and not watching. The models did a good job kicking ass and taking names down the runway. My finale model Nina even strutted her stuff down the runway on the sprained ankle- now that’s dedication! Nina is a rockstar! We even had time to do impromptu photo shoots on the stairs, in the elevator and outside on their little patio.

The girls did great, and my song- “Prisoner of Society” by the Living Dead- I thought was appreciate, and it got everyone in the kick ass mood. It was very catchy. I am not going to lie- I totally listened to it on repeat on my drive home after the show. I just couldn’t get enough!

All in all the show went decently smoothly. There were a few acts in between each show case- (not sure what those were- as I was back stage getting my ladies ready).  For the first time putting on a series of events like this- I think they did a decent job. It’s a lot to take on, and its way more than it seems. I do think some improvements can be made- like more lighting on the runway- but again for the first run- it wasn’t bad at all.

Were you in the audience? I would love to know what you thought of the show? Did you attend any of the other events?

Leave a comment below- I would like to know what you think!

Thanks! Woo!-A

ASK Fashion At Full Figured Fashion Week 2015!

First I want to say hello again, and welcome back to my blog! This is the ramblings of a quirky 25 year old on this crazy journey known as life as a plus size fashion designer and entrepreneur! It is quite a ride let me tell you! Today I am highlighting my experience at the infamous Full Figured Fashion Week in NYC.

This year Full Figured Fashion Week had many sponsors- the biggest sponsor was Fruit of the Loom- who launched a new plus size, and new fit underwear line. I just want to say those ladies were AMAZING and I literally have a least 60 new pairs of underwear! (And I must say they are fabulous thus far!- microfiber being my favorite!)

There were several events held that week- all which were fabulous!

The first I attended was the buyer/press conference that was held on Tuesday June 16th. I got to meet a lot a awesome people! I had a little table set up, with my business cards, portfolio, pictures and logo. It was really cool. This event is the first time you really get a chance to talk to anyone (well, it was for me, as this was the first event I was attending). See below a picture of my little table!

I am also currently obsessed with panoramic views! See the picture below of the entire room! So cool!

It was an awesome event! I got to meet up with a few friends of mine! It was a really nice meet and greet moment- a perfect beginning to the week!

In between- there were seminar type events going on as well. One of the best parts of FFFweek is all the amazing people you get to meet. I met up with friends I made last year, and made even more new friends this year! After a business event that we held- we all went and got lunch together! Sharing experiences, swapping stories and advise- it was amazing. There are so many women out there, business owners, designers, models, editors, etc and they have so much to share- its quite incredible. I must say- one of the things that makes FFFweek so special, is that it is a space where women are just helping each other up and through; such a supportive group.

The next day was my favorite day- it was the day of the white boat cruise! The fitting for the designers and models takes place during the day- but the all white boat cruise is my favorite evening festivity! The fitting went well- as it usually does; the models are fantastic and prepared! It went pretty smoothly, with only a few minor adjustments. Needle and thread in hand!

Right after the fitting, its a mad dash back to the hotel- to get ready for the boat cruise! This year I was running late- as usual- and I couldn’t hail a cab for the life of me! I was so afraid I was going to miss the boat- I ended up getting a ride from a bucket bike driver! He was so nice, and to his word- he got me from 37th, down to Pier 41 in just under 15 minutes! If I had taken a cab, I would have missed the boat!

My bike peddler was really funny and made the trip really fun! So needless to say I got there in time! And even had time to spare! While we waited I found friends of mine, other designers, models etc and took pictures! They even had a fake Instagram picture frame to take pictures in!

I mean take a look at our bad ass boat!

This boat was really kick ass! It had 4 floors, and you could look down onto the dance floor from the second balcony floor! Just look at how kick ass this view is!!

Luckily it didn’t rain- although is was VERY windy that day! My friends nicknamed me Marilyn, because my white dress had a life of its own, and just would not stay in place! The wind would blow and skirt of my dress went up with it! Haha- luckily I was with a very awesome group of inspiring women, who just had a great time! We all had a good laugh! I met up again with Karen Ward and her Husband- of “Her Big Sister’s Closet” up in Canada, and with Madeline Jones of Plus Model Magazine! They were nice enough to take a picture with me! wooo!

Thursday was a nice quiet day. My boyfriend came to the city to support me, and of course to go to our favorite restaurant to celebrate our 4th anniversary! Woo! Our favorite restaurant is a small place called Ninja. It is amazing! A little on the pricey side, but we only go once a year. If you have never been, I highly suggest it! They have an underground/ ninja like atmosphere and all the waiters play the part of ninjas. Each table has a little cubby type place, with sliding wood doors for a little bit of privacy. Its hilarious! The waiters come out of no where and scare the crap out of you! Its really a great time!

After ordering dinner, one of the “ninjas” who is really a magician comes to entertain you for a bit. And I must say, the last few times we have been the magicians have been incredible! We always give them a good tip, and one magician, (all are wearing sleeveless shirts btw)- made a potato come out of thin air. But really- he did- I couldn’t logically figure it out, and it was a real potato- I held it in my hand after. I was like- holy shit!

I just love this picture of the lantern that sits outside Ninja. From the outside it literally just looks like a door. When you step in, you meet a hostess, that brings you to the elevator, and you descend down into the little ninja world. Its quite an experience. This is in NYC, down in the Tribeca area.

Then it was Friday! Show Day!

Photo By Farrah Estrella

That’s me! I love that I now get to say- that I am wearing an ASK Fashion Dress. How cool is that?!? I finally get to wear my own brand! The coolest part I think is seeing my company name in the label. That was surreal.

The entire experience of FFFweek is surreal- as it goes by so fast! You prepare for months to get ready for the once a year fabulous week! And then its over! I can’t believe its already been a month since I was in NYC! Like honestly, where did the time go?

The fashion showcase went by quickly. This year- Gwen Devoe- the fearless leader and kick ass fashionista of FFFweek- made things a little different this year. This year, all the designers were interviewed right before the collections walked down the runway. That was pretty cool- and really exciting. Your in such a state of euphoria that you feel like your floating. Honestly its the best feeling in the world.

And then its over! So exhausted after the show- we hauled ourselves back to the hotel! Thanks to Fruit of the Loom- the main sponsor of FFFweek- I walked away with at least 60+ new pairs of underwear. Not only did we get new pairs in the gift bags from the showcase- (my parents and grandparents each got a bag filled with underwear) but I was given even more underwear at the vendor event earlier in the week! I am happy to say, we found homes for almost all of the underwear- many different ladies are happy; as we received many different sizes.

We finished our NYC trip on Saturday- at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My boyfriend and I spent almost 6 hours! And we barely finished the first floor! We have to go back to explore the upstairs portion. However we did stumble upon the fashion exhibit “Through the Looking Glass: China”.

It was AMAZING! Below is the Buddha dress! This dress was in the center of the room. On the edges of the room were many different types of Buddha-esque statues. It was pretty damn cool.

The trip to NYC was truly an amazing experience! What a blast! I still cannot believe its been a month since we were there! How fast it comes and goes!

They have already announced the dates for FFFweek 2016! Mark your calendars now! See you next year!

Were you at any of the events? Which events did you enjoy the most? Have you been to NYC? What other kinds of events have you been too? I would love to know!

Stay Classy!

-A

Ⓒ ASK Fashion LLC & Ⓒ Rose Riot