My College Fashion Week Experience

This year, I had the opportunity to strut down the runway in New York City for College Fashion Week with women of different ethnicities, religions and colleges from all over the country. It was truly a representation of the “real” runway.

Every single model brought something to the table. Some were TV personalities, others were computer science majors, newspaper editors, sorority presidents.

This experience all started with an application that I sent on a whim to be a College Fashion Week model. I never thought in a million years that they would actually choose me. When I found out, I felt complete shock. I felt excited, but scared. I never, in my entire life, have walked down a runway as a model, but, I decided to go. It was one of the best weekends of my life. Here’s a walk through my whirlwind adventure.

Friday, Oct. 4th, 2019

I flew out of Orlando at 7 a.m. to John F. Kennedy Airport. The air was crisp and definitely not like humid Florida weather. From there, I navigated the train system by myself (!) and got to my AirBnB. My fitting was scheduled for that afternoon. I arrived a little late (thank you New York traffic) and got a lost in the mall, but I eventually found my way to the fitting area with the other models. There were pre-chosen outfits for each of us. All of our outfits were pieces from Primark.

My first look was a cropped hoodie, a black skirt, chunky sneakers and a black beanie. My second look included a gray sweater dress, black boots and a black beanie. Little did we know at the fitting, Primark would be gifting us our outfits! The fitting went smoothly and it was pretty straightforward. All I could think about was how in the next 24 hours, I would be walking down a runway.

Saturday, Oct. 5th, 2019

Saturday was the big day! All of the models met up and had brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn. We had a plethora of food: warm pastries, chicken sandwiches, salad, fruits and scrambled eggs. The brunch location was filled with photo-ops with amazing lighting that every single person took advantage of. The Her Campus team gave us goodie bags and plenty of polaroid film. There were balloons and pebbles scattered around the floor. All of the models were able to meet each other. There were models from Colorado, New Jersey and Boston. We were told that the Her Campus team had not done a brunch in the past, but they believed it was important because Her Campus believes in building community; what better way to build community than over brunch?

Afterward, Her Campus called us Ubers to the venue, BKLYN Studios. We saw people set up the venue for the show. As we walked around the venue, people steamed clothes, set up mirrors and laid out all of the free goodies. In that moment, I found out that the show was completely sold out.

As we explored for a bit, our hair and makeup stylists arrived, and we were quickly sat down for hair and makeup. Even though the models had only known each other for *literally* hours, we all became close so fast. When I sat down to do my hair, I asked the stylist what she planned to do, and she said that she’d slick back my hair with a middle part. At first, I didn’t know how to feel about it because 1) I had never down a slicked back hairstyle and 2) Middle parts are definitely not my thing. However, she worked her magic and I looked model ready. I have never felt better about myself.

After hair and makeup, the venue opened for VIP hours, and we got to go around and check out the booths, grabbing all of the free goodies before long lines formed.

Then, the show was about to begin. Everyone frantically changed in the back. Everyone felt nerves, but we cheered each other on and lifted one another up. Changing backstage before a show is about to start is a true bonding moment. We changed, and the show began.

There are no words to describe how amazing it felt to see everyone walk down the runway in confidence — especially walking down the runway myself and hearing everyone cheer me on.

When I found out that I was chosen as a model, I didn’t want to go. I was terrified of all of the things that could go wrong. I missed UF’s homecoming weekend, and I feared traveling by myself. As I walked down the runway, with lifelong friends I made cheering me on from the back, I realized that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I take this entire experience as a lesson to always step out of your comfort zone.

The entire weekend was a reminder of what Her Campus is about: building community. I was surrounded by women from all over the country. Even though we barely knew each other, we supported each other like we were best friends for years.

I am grateful for Her Campus and how it manages to bring college women from all over the country together.

Yes, the free goodie bags were nice, but the friendships and relationships I created in a 12-hour time span? Priceless.