New York Fashion Week 2017 was one for the books! Do you see that smile on my face?! That’s the smile of a girl who has not been able to attend a NYFW show for the past 2 years due to working at one of the top multinational luxury fashion companies. So imagine my excitement when I realized I would be able to participate in this year’s festivities due to the fact that my last day in Corporate America was on August 10, 2017…
Yes, you heard that correctly – I HAVE OFFICIALLY ENTERED INTO FULL-TIME ENTREPRENEURSHIP!!
This year NYFW was held on September 6-13th. Before the 6th rolled around, I had only received two invites and fashion show confirmations — these included the KANIA and ANGEL BRINKS runway shows. That was 2 more than I had attended in the past 2 years, so I was beyond elated and grateful to be in attendance for those! While on the phone sharing my fashion week schedule with my best friend I said, “I hope to have a lot more shows by the end of this week. I know I will!” And just that simple, my faith declaration had been spoken into the atmosphere.
On Wednesday, September 6th, I wasn’t looking to land any shows because I already had a jam-packed schedule during the day and was double-booked that night. I was attending the True To The Game movie premiere to support someone I hold very near and dear to my heart, the author of the book turned movie – Teri Woods. But I had to leave the showing early to record the first installation of my new Youtube Live series with Janelle Langford entitled, “Blessed & Busy.” (view first episode HERE). It just so happened that as I was leaving the theatre to run to my office before our livestream began, Teri was walking down the hallway to go back inside. We immediately embraced. Proud doesn’t begin to describe my feelings towards her. To know her story, to know her struggle, to know her fight, and then see how her perseverance paid off is awe-inspiring! This is the same woman who helped me during the final stretch of my self-publishing journey, and then celebrated me when I surprised her months later with an autographed copy of my first book. Teri went from selling her self-published books from the trunk of her car to years later seeing her story on the big screen in theaters around the country. From one author to another, she is the epitome of Passion Is Pursuit and never giving up on your dreams.
The following day, I partnered with Malik Mack and a few other dope entrepreneurs to host a Hurricane Harvey Relief event. We raised $225 which is equivalent to 675 meals for the Houston Food Bank to feed those most affected by Hurricane Harvey!!! And then Friday rolled around, the big day! The day I would be attending my first NYFW show in 2 years. I opted for the shinny gold pleated dress I bought at H&M for $10 a few months back. Now was the perfect time to pull it out. Layered with the $7 oversized jean jacket I purchased from a thrift store years ago in college, my gold Jessica Simpson ankle-strapped pumps, the $3 dangling flowers earrings I picked up from H&M’s sale rack, and my $2 fuchsia Wet n Wild lipstick from CVS, I was ready! But it gets sweeter. Not only was I able to attend, but my mom was my plus 1 and this was her FIRST fashion show in New York. Talk about putting the cherry on top! We had a blast.
Before the night ended, I was confirmed for 2 more shows! — CUSTO BARCELONA and PHILIPP PLEIN; both on Saturday. Continuing in my “flowy” trend, I paired my favorite black tulle skirt (bought in December of 2015 for my From Nothing to New York book release/birthday party) with the black Mona lace-up crop top from GUESS. On my feet were the Steve Madden black velvet Gonzo platform shoes (bought for my December 2016 Thailand birthday trip), on my lips – Rebel by MAC, and on my back was my pink leather jacket (that I’m 99.7% sure doesn’t have one bit of real leather in it, but hey – let a girl dream and be great!). Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that at the Custo Barcelona show I met the nicest lady who texted me a link to the New York Style Fashion Week shows and said, “keep yourself busy.” I would’ve been able to fit 2-3 more shows in before heading to the Philipp Plein show, but because I was distracted, I missed out on the awesome opportunity God presented me with – the answer to my “I hope to have a lot more shows by the end of this week,” prayer.
What could I have possibly been distracted by? A number of things, but for the sake of this post already being much longer than I initially planned, I will sum it up by saying, “Disobedience has consequences.” Life is always smoother when you obey God the first time. I allowed the conviction of yesterday’s disobedience to become condemnation in my today as I consistently replayed my decisions in my mind. Condemnation is not of or from God, that’s the enemy’s doing…to throw you off track, make you lose focus, and disconnect you from hearing God clearly. God forgives you the moment that you ask, and we wake up in new mercies every day. Condemnation, guilt, self-pity, and regret are all distractions!
To add to the consequence of my disobedience, and the condemnation, I FELL (not stumbled) down the stairs of my apartment while heading to the Custo Barcelona show. Which now that I think about it, is very symbolic of what usually happens when we choose our way over God’s. So in this moment, while laid out on the staircase, I had to decide – would I gather my things and head back upstairs to my place or would I persevere and stick to the plan that was set before me? Needless to say, I chose to persevere. I don’t like to live with any regrets, but I can honestly say my one and only regret from NYFW2017 was that I didn’t persevere and go to those other shows. I had a plan set for the day to help me not make the same mistakes from the day before, but because I was trying so hard not to “miss it” and mess up again, I missed a God-moment. A missed being able to attend at least 2 more amazing shows. Oh, and because I fell down the stairs, my foot was hurting and had swollen so those Steve Madden shoes (that I still wore to the show) had to go before the Philipp Plein show. I was so focused on sticking to my plan of heading home and being productive that I hopped in a taxi in order to make my train on time. So much for that plan though…Once I made it home, I didn’t complete the main thing I went there for in the first place. Instead, I “rested.” You heard that correctly – I missed 2-3 fashion shows to take a nap. The nerve of my decisions!
Determined to make the rest of my day, the best of my day – I grabbed my black Jessica Simpson open toe ankle boots (I needed more support…and absolutely refused to wear flats!) and headed to meet a friend for dinner before heading to the Philipp Plein show. Only three words are able to describe it: BEST. SHOW. EVER! The thing that I loved most about the Philipp Plein show was that it wasn’t just a show, but an experience. From the dancers, performances, venue, and afterparty – everything was perfect! Future x Teyana Taylor x Rae Sremmurd x Nicki Minaj = Philipp Plein.
Of course Sunday morning I had to teach since I’m the Youth Minister at my church – Crenshaw Christian Center New York. That evening for the ANGEL BRINKS show I wore my army green oversized $10 H&M jacket, $3 black H&M turtle neck, and my pink, black, white, and silver floral high-waisted skirt. Again, I paired it with another pair of black Jessica Simpson open toe ankle boots for the ankle support (don’t ask me why I own two shoes that are so similar in style) and blessed my lips with the Rebellious pro longwear lip pencil by MAC.
I have a lot, a lot, A LOT more to share with you but I’ll end with this – EVERY show I attended this season I ended up sitting in either the front row, VIP, or my assigned seating. I DIDN’T HAVE TO STAND FOR ONE SHOW. In shows that had long lines to enter, I was escorted to my seat. In the one show I wasn’t assigned a seat but was given a “standing room only” assignment, I was shown favor and was promoted from standing in the very back to sitting on the front row. I was seated one chair over from Tyrone Hunter and Remy Ma, and across the aisle from Tammy Rivera and Yandy Smith. I’m not sharing this to brag on how dope my experience was, but to share how good my God is! I didn’t have to sneak in or finesse my way into one show or front row. But I’ll share one secret with you, I prayed for this. While standing in the back waiting for the Angel Brinks show to begin, I grabbed my friends hand and led us in prayer asking for favor with the seating (yes I did and I didn’t care who was watching). Less than 10 minutes later, the PR (who “just so happened” to be Janelle) spots me in the crowd, points me out, and tells me to take the front row.
I watched one guy jump ahead of me in line, and then when we were finally inside he hopped from seat to seat acting as if it was his. No lie, this man moved FIVE TIMES! I joked with my friends calling him a finesser, because that’s exactly what he did…finessed his way into a front row seat! As we walked out, I realized – I didn’t have to do much. Just prayed and had patience. I didn’t waver. I didn’t doubt. I didn’t hop seat to seat. I didn’t act as if I was on any seating list. I just waited. I waited in faith knowing that God would give me my heart’s desires. I had no clue Janelle would spot me out of a crowd of almost 1,800 – but she did. I had no clue she would tell me to take a front row seat and that my friends could come – but she did. God answered my prayers. He shined a light on me. Not because of anything I had done. But just because of who He is.
Walking out of the fashion show I looked over at my friends and said, “I don’t have to finesse anything. I know the Ultimate Finesser.“
I’ve posted pictures below of some of my favorite NYFW2017 memories and if you would like to see video footage, please follow me on IG – @CassondraLenoir