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On Fashion Week | My Musings

Posted on Sep 15, 2018
Melanie Elturk

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Recently on Instagram I expressed an intention to write more. Since that post, I've been trying to find the time to sit down and write. As I toss and turn in bed (thank you, coffee) I figure now is as good a time as any. I want nothing more than to sleep – to sleep for so long, so very long but my mind is racing a mile a minute as it usually does as I try to drift to sleep. 

What's on my mind? So many things. This fundraising round we're finally closing that has been a full-time job the past month, all the new hires we'll be making in the next couple months and all the exciting new projects we have planned at HH once we close said round. 

What else is on my mind? This new commitment of writing when I can, about topics on my mind that I hope will add value to your life. This week, I want to write about fashion week. 

 

This past week marked the fifth season I've attended NYFW. Three years ago I probably couldn't have articulated what fashion week was apart from the fashion shows let alone seeing myself attending. Shortly after I moved to New York in April of 2016 I somehow found myself at the September S/S '17 season with a front row seat. 

I was in awe. I remember thinking, "Me? How did I end up here?" "What is this world opening up that I've only been exposed to from the outside looking in?" After the close of my fifth season, some of the novelty has worn off, to be sure – but there's a reason I choose to attend season after season. And that's cause I love fashion.

I love it all - I love getting dressed, I love seeing what others are wearing, and I love the anticipation of seeing what my fave designers have dreamed up for the upcoming season. Participating in this industry event is a huge honor for me that I remind myself is only extended to a select few. 

That being said, this season I saw a lot of fashion week bashing - from influencers refusing to attend shows because they were no longer getting paid to sit in the front row (influencers were getting paid to sit in the front row!?!) to disillusionment about 'fitting in,' to feeling disappointment in other hijabi influencers to passive aggressive comments that dismissed the whole affair with undertones of pain and rejection.

 

In case you've made it this far and could care less about fashion week - let me get to the part that applies to you. Before I do anything – I take inventory of my intentions. Let me lay mine out for you:

Intention #1

I'm going to put some new outfits together. Few things excite me more than the challenge of putting an outfit together that's not only stylish, but fit for fashion week. I'll get some great content out of it, incorporate some new hijabs and get in the spirit of fashion week.

Intention #2

If I'm privileged enough to be invited to shows of designers I admire, I'll attend to soak up their creative genius, be inspired and walk away with ideas I can incorporate into my own personal style and business.

Nowhere in my intentions are there any expectations about people or about the industry because, if you know me, then you know that one of my 10 life lessons is, "Don't expect anything from anyone." If you're going to fashion week (or anywhere) to seek validation - you're going for the wrong reasons. No one, and nothing can give you the validation you truly desire except yourself and God. 

If you're going because of what others can do for you - whether that's the front row seat you think you deserve (again, insert applicable example in your life here) or the people you thought you'd hit it off with - again, you've got it wrong.

 

Stop asking yourself what others can do for you. Stop obsessing over how this industry can give you credibility and start asking yourself what value YOU are bringing to the table. How are you contributing to the space? Why is what you're doing relevant? Focusing on yourself, your own goals and how to serve is a much more productive and fulfilling mindset that doesn't result in the pain, rejection and discontent that comes with expectations in others.

Now, I didn't get here without a little pain myself. These are lessons I've had to learn the hard way and yes, some of them I've learned during fashion week (there was actually a specific season that was the catalyst for a huge shift in my life, but that's a story for another time). I understand the pain that comes from putting your value and self-worth in someone else's hands – and in an industry that will chew you up and spit you out, it's even more important to have clear intentions, zero expectations and articulate how you are adding value. 

Is this something you guys can relate to? Have you had a similar experience? If so, how did you get over it, what were the painful lessons you had to learn? Let me know in the comments below. Oh and if you liked this post and want to see more like it - let me know as well! I'll be in the comments with you guys ;) xoxo,

    


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