New York Fashion Week recently concluded it's show that ran from September 9 - 14, 2022. The who's who of designers, models and celebrities were attendance while the latest designs sizzled on the runway.
However, people aren't just talking about the show but what actually happens behind the scenes. Model Marc Sebastien recently posted a TikTok video that has gone viral speaking on the compensation, or lack thereof, received for walking in NYFW.
"You guys know that fashion week is not real, we figured that out this week finally, that it's like just a figment of people's imagination." he says referring to the outside perspective the show projects, "Because I could go into like a thousand parts on how fashion week only exists in the minds of those outside looking in."
Not only do models not get paid to walk but are also responsible for the expenses. "No one's getting paid, none of them. In fact I would say the majority are actually paying to walk in Fashion Week, They're paying for everything. Their flight to New York, the model apartment, the food, the Ubers."
@marcsebastianf ask questions, ill gladly answer. its time for chaos 😤 #fashionweek #nyfw #model #modeling #runway #fashion ♬ original sound - Marc Sebastian
Any compensation that is received nowhere near covers the costs, "And if they are getting paid it's in clothes or maybe like 100 bucks if you're lucky." he says, "But after agency fees come out you're in debt to the agency."
He then recalled his own experience walking in Fashion Week, "Please, when I used to walk in fashion week I used to get...hmm...I don't know a T-shirt, a pat on the back, and half a sandwich backstage if the other guys didn't beat me to it. It's not real."
Other models sounded off in the comments co-signing the video and dishing on their own experiences.
Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski commented "say it louder for the people in the back."
Paige Rabinowtiz Hair & Makeup confirmed it's not only the models that are expected to work for free.
Maritheprotetype did confirm that not only were her expenses covered but that she was also paid $2000 to walk. She offers advice to "Please watch who you're signing to and ask models about them."
While walking in NYFW can open doors for models with the hope of landing a deal or increasing their exposure, it can also be a grueling and demanding job.
Documentaries have been released that pull away the curtain hiding the dark side of the fashion business. With social media providing an ever expanding outlet of information to be exchanged there is very little that can be hidden from the general public.
Netflix documentary 'Watch White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch', outs the fashion brand (which is currently attempting to revive itself) for its discriminatory hiring practices while television series 'Victoria Secret Angels and Demons' details the factors leading to the demise of the lingerie company including a misogynistic environment, ties to Jeffrey Epstein and an unwillingness to evolve as a brand.
Cover Image: Winnie Harlow walking for Puma at NYFW. Photo: Jamie Bruce