Pat Cleveland — “[New York Fashion Week] was fun in the ’70s—all the designers were friends with each other, all sharing one dressing room for the shows at the Plaza Hotel!”
Since its inception, New York Fashion Week has brought out the very best in modeling talent. Several generations of superstars have graced NYFW’s catwalks, each garnering valuable experience, making unforgettable memories, and leaving legendary impressions. From walking for industry legends like Perry Ellis, Calvin Klein, and Bill Blass to traveling from venue to venue in the age before cell phones, Uber, and even GPS, stars like Pat Cleveland, Veronica Webb, and Lana Ogilvie share their favorite behind-the-scenes moments with us below.
Veronica Webb — “My favorite New York Fashion Week show was always with my bestie, designer Isaac Mizrahi! Forget the dizzying technical expertise he puts into everything he makes—which gives a model such a sense of security, because the clothes were always perfect from every angle—Isaac always leaves me breathless with his imaginative use of color and texture and his out-and-out ability to create the most outrageous and practical thing every girl wants but is just beyond her imagining.
“Clothes in the ’80s and ’90s tended to be flamboyant and wild or very intellectual exercises in origami! Into this arena came wunderkind Michael Kors, with his exquisitely minimal sensibility. I loved doing Michael Kors shows because it was always with two of my best friends, supermodels Elaine Irwin and Karen Alexander. We all looked so beautiful and dignified in Michael Kors’s bold, simple classic designs. I can tell you, everything he put on the runway then is totally relevant and just as gorgeous today.”
Nancy Donahue — “The most memorable shows were, of course, the Perry Ellis shows, for me. He chose a wonderful group of my friends who are still my dearest friends to this day. I remember them as being so much fun, alive, and like ‘fantasyland.’ Perry always made you feel so special; he was always happy and upbeat, as were his shows. They were magical! We were always delighted when we were chosen for his show. He did my wedding dress—it was one of only two that he had created—so Perry has a special place in my heart!”
Lana Ogilvie — “I remember that Elsa Klensch was always backstage after every show. She had Style With Elsa Klensch on CNN, the first really big mainstream program about the industry. She would come back to interview the designers with the cameras rolling, and we’d be in the background changing, half-naked, trying not to be taped!”