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Carrie Hammer

New York Fashion Week was a jam packed collection of runway shows, clothing previews, celebration parties, makeovers, outfit changes and red carpet photos. Of course, there was lots of glitz and glamour at every turn, but there was also a lot of substance peeking out from behind all chiffon and selfie sticks this year. If you paid really close attention, there were endless business lessons being displayed that could help an entrepreneur in any field get a head. The best business tips usually come from the most unexpected situations and Fashion Week was no exception.

Here are top five lessons that I observed during my NYFW experience that you should apply to your business and life today.

Follow #RoleModelsNotRunwayModels

Chanel Cathey, Viacom Director of Corporate Communications
Chanel Cathey, Viacom Director of Corporate Communications

I picked this on up at the Carrie Hammer Role Models, Not Runway Models show that highlighted the fact that women with substance have the type of style we should idealize. The show included 27 business leaders and had them strut their highly-accomplished stuff down the runway in exclusive professional designs from Carrie Hammer. The Role Models included women like Tayla Colton of Keep A Child Alive, Tolu Olubunmi a Dream Act advocate, and Michelle Herrera Mulligan Editor in Chief of Latina Cosmo.

The Business Lesson: The people you choose to emulate should be leaders in the truest sense of the word.

With the Right #SquadGoals Anything is Possible

Essence Street Style 2015
Essence Street Style 2015

Pulling off a Fashion Week event is a major coup, but no one does it alone. Everywhere you look there are teams of people working to make magic happen. Combine that with the throngs of men and women who come out to support their friends and pitch in a helping hand when needed and you’ve got one unstoppable force.

The Business Lesson: Surround yourself with people who support your goals and mission if you want to get ahead.

There is No Such Thing As An Overnight Success

BlackPhumlelele Show
BlackPhumlelele Show

Many of the designers I spoke fell into two camps. Some had been designing for years and had a desire early in life to create clothing that showcased their creativity. Others became designers because a lack of clothing options in the marketplace that met a personal need. Neither group felt that their success was instantaneous. They all put in years of hard-work, sleepless nights, large personal financial investment and overcame countless challenges to get to this point in their careers.

The Business Lesson: There are no shortcuts to creating a successful business. You have to be willing to give it your all and work harder and longer than anyone else if you want to get to the top.

Shake off Losses Quickly And Focus on The Next Win

KIA STYLE360 Hosts Serena Williams Signature Collection By HSN Photo Credit - WireImage for STYLE360
KIA STYLE360 Hosts Serena Williams Signature Collection By HSN Photo Credit – WireImage for STYLE360

This is one that the pros live by. Everyone (Ok. Everyone I know) was disappointed with Serena Williams’ semi-final loss at the US Open. But no one was surprised when she flawlessly debuted her new collection at Fashion Week a few short day later. She is known for her ability to keep all her projects moving forward and execute her vision according to plan. That is an amazing skill to have in every field.

The Business Lesson: A good businessman or woman doesn’t let one defeat hamper their entire game.

Check Your Ego At the Door

Even with the all the fast-paced events, long lines and high stress moments, Fashion Week continues to be one of the best NY experiences because everyone is so down to earth. From the PR girls checking the lists at the doors and finding room for that person who did not RSVP, to the assistants running to grab extra bottles of water or clean a spill off the floor, to the security guard who becomes the de facto bathroom attendant/taxi concierge; everyone is working hard to make sure guests have a really good time and seem to go out of their way to make it happen.

The Business Lesson: To succeed you need to check your inner-diva at the door and be willing to do things outside your “job description” to get things done.


I’m looking forward to the next NYFW and all the awesome business lessons I’ll see in action there. Of course, I’ll share the best tips with you. 2015-09-22 00.09.23

– à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress