Meet the Women at the Forefront of Influence this NYFW

Meet the Women at the

Forefront of Influence this NYFW

Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

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NYFW is over for another season, and through blurry eyes we’re looking back at the women who, from debuts to production and analysis, wielded the most influence over the course of this crazy week.

As ever, the week was full of surprises, with the designers who chose to present in New York, wowing the crowds from the streets of Brooklyn, to the American Museum of Natural History, the Park Avenue Armory and beyond. It was a week of big debuts, show-stopping returns and fashion history in the making.

We’ve rounded up five powerful (influencers) we think were a force behind NYFW and deserve to be recognized. From new designers to runway reviewers these ladies embody what it truly means to be influential during fashion week.

Kheris Rogers, Breakout NYFW Designer
Kheris Rogers. Photo courtesy of Afropunk

The youngest of the bunch, 11-year-old Kheris Rogers made headlines this week as she debuted her diversity-driven t-shirt collection.

Rogers was bullied in school for her dark-colored skin and would come home crying from school, her self-esteem shook. The negativity began to impact her life drastically, and realizing this, Rogers’ older sister, Taylor Pollard, took action. Pollard posted pictures of her younger sister on Twitter with the hashtag, #FlexinInHerComplexion. The tweet subsequently went viral and was retweeted over 30,000 times. Rogers began to regain her confidence and had a motive. She wanted to make a positive difference in society.

Rogers went on to launch a t-shirt line with the slogan, “Flexin’ In My Complexion,” showcasing her creative ability to build upon a trend she saw a market for. Making history on Sunday, September 10th, she became the youngest designer to show off her collection during New York Fashion Week. She presented her clothing line at the Museum of the City of New York in East Harlem. The show included models with different skin tones to promote diversity, and amplify her message. We salute you, Kheris.

Justine Marjan, Global Stylist, TRESemmé
Justine Marjan

TRESemmé’s go-to girl for all things fashion week SS18 was Justine Marjan, who headed up the hair department for an eye-watering line-up of shows this season. Marjan lead her team for Cushnie et OchsCreatures of ComfortRebecca MinkoffTanya Taylor and Alice + Olivia. She also styled the likes of Shay Mitchell and Lily Aldridge.

SWAAY caught up with Marjan at her last show, Alice + Olivia, where constructing an effortless rock-chic look was the task at hand. “The clothes are pretty feminine so they wanted to edge it up,” Marjan smiled as she explained her flat iron technique to those of us ogling her GHD prowess. 

Sarah Lucero, Global Executive Director of Creative Artistry, Stila Cosmetics
Sarah Lucero. Photo courtesy of Into the Gloss

Make up artists – their work is splattered all over the runways, editorial pages and spreads, but it’s too often they’re forgotten in the mounds written about the week itself.

Sarah Lucero has been a force at NYFW for many seasons now on Stila’s behalf. This season, Lucero headed her team for five shows; sculpting faces at KUR, Cinq a Sept, Banana Republic, BCBG and Cynthia Rowley.

Catching up with Lucero backstage at Cinq á Sept, she meticulously walked us through the shimmering look for the upcoming show. Stila, having launched their new product, the Glitter and Glow liquid eyeshadow were debuting it on the models of the hour. Talking us through the bold face and how it correlates with the line, Lucero comments “it’s very tailored, very structured, there’s a sophistication that I love about it. It’s very Stila!”

Nicole Phelps, Director, Vogue Runway

There is tons NYFW news coverage – so so much, we could spend hours reading. But of that coverage, it’s inevitable that Vogue rules the roost. With access and an army, comes great content.

Nicole Phelps, Director of Vogue Runway since 2015, is our go-to for all things fashion week. Her no-frills, show reviews are incredibly well done, encapsulating the essence of each runway within her opinion, without sounding like she’s churning out her 5000th runway review, which she is. Phelps has been doing this, and doing it exceptionally well, for years now, on behalf of Elle, WWDand Style.com. 

Nicole Phelps. Photo courtesy of Vogue/Benedict Brink
Kaia Gerber, Model of the Week

The Gigi’s and Kendall’s of the world were somewhat, if not totally eclipsed this week by the new gal in town – Kaia Gerber, the offspring of supermodel and legend Cindy Crawford.

Gerber walked in five shows, beginning with a bang at Calvin Klein, strutting the streets at Alexander Wang’s #Wangfest, donning some psychedelic streetwear at Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma and finishing off with Coach and Marc Jacobs.

Kaia Gerber at COACH. Photo courtesy of Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

At just 16, Gerber’s future looks incredibly bright, and we’re eagerly anticipating where next she might show up next on a catwalk. If this week is anything to go by – it will inevitably be somewhere fabulous. 

Amy Corcoran

Amy is an Irish writer, avid foodie and feminist with an insatiable appetite for novels and empowering women's writing. She has enjoyed calling Dublin, Paris and now New York her home.

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