When said out loud, "Fashion Week" has a double meaning — 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. At this point in the game we hope people finally realize that models are more than just pretty faces — what with social media accounts to maintain, photo shoots to execute, runways to walk, and red carpets to dominate. It's a gig that looks effortless, but similar to any major production, a lot goes on behind the scenes. Supermodel Joan Smalls may front major campaigns every season, but she's also a face of hard work and family values (all while living half of her life 30,000 feet in the air).
Currently, she's an ambassador for W Hotels, which means she gets to travel the world, yes, and she gets to design some cool gadgets for visitors, too. We caught up with her at the celebration for the opening of W Hotel Dubai and asked her what it's really like to be her. Let's just say, as expected: It's no cake walk. "We get to travel to so many different parts of the world, but it's always for work, never for play," she says. "You really have to take your time off to recharge your battery so you can do it all over again. I love Fashion Week, because it's filled with different experiences and women that I love. You always feel like you're going back to school, like, you see your friends that you haven't seen for a while. You're like, Oh, let's go hang out! or, Oh, let's go do this!" "I've had a lot of insane fashion moments. A lot of times, I'll have to be in Brazil for 10 hours, then get on a plane, arrive to New York to do a photo shoot the same day that I arrived, to then leave and go to Europe that same day. It's insane. It requires your body and your focus to be there. Like, every time you go to a job, people are expecting you to be aware and inviting." We guess that might explain why some models get a bad rep backstage. So, how does she recharge? "I think it helps to have a sense of humor and laugh a lot," she adds. "You have to enjoy the company you keep and that'll keep you level-headed. For example, family, for me, is number one. It just keeps me grounded." #Same.