Why This Style Star Stopped Traffic At NYFW, Literally

Photographed by Daniel Graindorge.
When said out loud, "Fashion Week" is a double entendre — and for anyone who's ever been a part of all the action, feeling weak is not only par for the course, it's often the reason we love fashion to begin with. So, in honor of the moments of chaos, beauty, and excitement that made us feel weak, we present My Fashion Week-ness: a compilation of accounts from some of the industry's biggest players. They're spilling their most memorable stories from Fashion Weeks gone by, and the ones that keep them coming back for more.

As far as street style goes, most often we're only privy to the final results: the photos that end up on Instagram, in magazines, and (ahem) right here. But, actually witnessing a street style photography session at Fashion Week is a whole 'nother story. Picture crowds forming and cameras following a model as she crosses the street with that killer stride and — as Irene Kim tells us — sometimes stops traffic all together. The Korean-based model and blogger has been major camera-fodder for the past several Fashion Months. And, photogs have gone to extremes to capture candy-haired Kim in the perfect shot.   

“Hood By Air was at noon, and then DKNY was at 1 p.m. We had a car throughout the day, and I was changing on the way to DKNY…late. They had sent me clothes to wear, and I just felt like I should get photographed somehow, someway. So I got out of the car, and I was like, ‘Well, there aren't going to be any street photographers.’  Then as soon as I crossed the street...there were a thousand. They were photographing someone else, and I was trying to run [to the show]. Then somebody screamed, ‘Oh my gosh, Irene!’ 

"All of them turn around, and they just start shooting me. I was wearing a huge red fur coat — they couldn’t miss me — and I had long purple hair at that time. There were literally 30 street style photographers in the middle of the street, stopping traffic. [The cars were] honking because it was a green light, but they were not moving. [The photographers] just kept telling me to pose, and I was just like, ‘Okay, whatever!’ I got into some kind of high. We all could’ve easily gotten hit by a car or run over, and they were just in the middle of 10th Avenue shooting me for five minutes straight. That was a pretty crazy moment. It’s one of the most memorable, because it was my first season doing the shows, and nobody really knew who I was yet. I hadn’t really established myself in the States. It was really fun and unexpected.

"Something like that happened to me at the most recent Fashion Week in Paris, too. There were garbage trucks involved — I didn’t stop traffic. I was wearing a crop top and a denim jacket, and this skirt that was the exact same color green as the garbage trucks in Paris. So, I was on my way out of the Acne show and I was being photographed on the street, and then a garbage truck goes by. I had no idea why [one of the street style photographers had] grabbed my hand and was dragging me over to the other street. Then I turned around and saw I was the same color as the truck. They got some amazing shots of that, too.” 
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For all things Fashion Week around the world — including street style snaps, designer news, and the trends you'd actually wear — head over to Refinery29's Fashion Month hub.