Getting the phone call about New York Fashion Week triggered a flood of emotions. I began to worry about travel plans, doing the job and about returning to the place that has become home. Once I stopped worrying, I was able to let my mind wonder to the endless possibilities that awaited me. Living in Brooklyn and attending school in Manhattan…I was blessed to walk the streets of New York City on a daily basis. Being back wouldn’t be too far out my comfort zone. Because of this, I was able to focus all my energy on doing a great job at Fashion Week rather than worrying about conquering the city as well.
I was a bit disappointed when our first show was rescheduled due to snow, but other opportunities were presented to Gabby and I. We got to have dinner amongst a sea of greatness. We were offered a seat at the table. I am originally from Texas…I am a Southern Girl through and through. Southern ways run in my DNA, and there are certain qualities we look for in others that let us know if this is someone that is honorable or someone we need to keep at a distance. Grace, humility, integrity, genuine behavior and an unconditional respect for others…I saw all these traits in Tippi Shorter, I had seen them before in our prior interactions, but this dinner allowed me to see more of her spirit. I knew I was in the presence of someone that was trustworthy… someone I could listen to and learn from. I was in sponge mode. That night…that dinner helped keep me calm for the Hellessy show that followed the next day. Seeing my leader cool, calm and collected, put me at ease. She set the tone for the entire team.
We arrived at the given address and checked in. I was ready for whatever was waiting for me. I had all the tools and after working in a salon every day for the past two years, I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t handle. Tippi gave out model assignments, and we got, Lula T Kenfe. I was beyond thrilled. I loved her natural curls. Anyone who knows me knows I go crazy over natural hair. Gabby and I rejoiced for about 15 seconds then regained our composure. LOL, it was as if Tippi had just given us our favorite candy. While waiting for Aveda makeup artist Justin Wire to finish up with Lula I decide to observe Tippi.
She was in the zone, she moved from hairstylist, to model, to show production crew, to model, to hairstylist all with grace. I remember thinking to myself, “That’s the level of greatness I want to reach.”
I remember when I was attending Bellus Academy in Manhattan, Kansas that this type of work is what I said I wanted to be doing. Being human, I had doubts…I had doubts that being in Kansas I would be limited; however, Kansas has been liberating. Being at New York Fashion Week was a dream come true. I am forever grateful and thankful for this opportunity! NYFW A/W 2017 goes down in history for me…this is only the beginning. -Carlisha A Nunnally