BYU students participate in New York Fashion Week

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Fashion designers from all over the world have gathered together for New York Fashion Week to present their new fashion collections to buyers, press and the general public.

The Todd sisters pose on the runway before the Stevie Boi show in New York City. (Tycen Lear)

Every February and September, fashion designers, models, photographers, buyers, bloggers and celebrities gather in the Big Apple for the event of the season. Eleanor Lambert launched the international event in 1943.

BYU students worked together in a major fashion show event this year. Twin sisters and juniors Brooke and Lauren Todd modeled for the Stevie Boi fashion show, while junior Lauren Anderson worked for the production company putting on the show.

Stevie Boi is an American fashion designer who is known for being a “designer for the fearless.” Boi is the designer and founder of luxury eyewear line SB Shades and is known for the shades he designed for Lady Gaga’s “Pokerface” music video.

Tycen Lear
Lauren Todd walks the runway at the Stevie Boi show for New York Fashion Week. (Tycean Lear)

Lauren Todd said when she and her sister were in high school they were approached by a model who felt they would be a good fit for the agent she was working with.

“Brooke and I had never been interested in modeling but the girl insisted that we meet her agent, Niya,” Lauren Todd said. “So Brooke and I got in contact with Niya and learned about Niya’s background. She specializes in placing models so that is why Brooke and I ended up in New York. She put us in contact with agencies out there and we ended up moving there after our first semester of freshman year at BYU.”

Lauren Todd gets her makeup done in preparation for the Stevie Boi fashion show. (Tycean Lear)

The Todd sisters modeled for runway shows, print editorial ads, show room, Bridal Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week while they lived in New York in 2014.

“It was really fun and it was a good learning experience being 18-years-old and having to be an adult and not having anyone to answer to,” Lauren said. “You really have to decide who you are and what is important to you and what your values are.”

The Todd sisters agree that doing runway during New York Fashion Week is one of the most exciting parts of the modeling industry. Brooke Todd compared it to her dancing career because of all the hard work and time that goes into one performance. But the end result makes all that time and effort worth it.

“I love seeing all the behind the scenes for the shows, the hair, the makeup, the set-up all coming together,” Brooke said. “The anticipation of it all is just so exciting to me.”

BYU junior Lauren Anderson got an internship with a fashion show production company, Exalt, as its main public relations and social media intern in early November.

Anderson recruited the twins to model for her company in this year’s New York Fashion Week. Anderson was involved in setting up the stage, setting up the chairs and the direction of the chairs and running random last-minute errands.

Lauren Todd and other models prepare for the Stevie Boi fashion show. Lauren Anderson helped coordinate the event. (Tycean Lear)

Anderson said one of the craziest errands she ran was finding food for Whoopi Goldberg 20 minutes before the show because Goldberg was hungry.

“It was hilarious,” Anderson said. “I was running all around New York trying to find Whoopi some food.”

Anderson’s main responsibilities included greeting guests and handling the news media by networking with them and directing them where to go.

“It was my very own ‘Devil Wears Prada’ moment,” Anderson said. “Fashion week was real, and I was actually a part of something so legendary, something that everyone knows about.”

Anderson wishes to continue working in the fashion public relations industry in the future by helping to produce shows and events.

“I loved it; it was crazy and very exciting, there is nothing quite like it,” Anderson said. “You are definitely working with some colorful people with interesting personalities but seeing it all come together, it was something I will never forget.”

Lauren Todd, Lauren Anderson and Brooke Todd pose backstage during New York Fashion Week. (Lauren Todd)

Neither Brooke nor Lauren Todd planned on doing more modeling after returning to BYU, but they both were thrilled to participate in fashion week.

Lauren said a lot of people in New York had heard about Mormons because of the Book of Mormon Musical, but she felt most people didn’t understand the religion.

“It was cool to help them see that we are regular people with a normal life,” she said. “We just have more of a focus on our beliefs. Our religion influences how we live our lives but it doesn’t make us any different because we are all people.”

Brooke shared an experience when she was backstage with a Russian model named Nikita. Nikita was talking about “those weird Mormons” and how crazy Mitt Romney is.

Brooke laughed, and when Nikita asked why, she told him she was a Mormon. She said he was embarrassed at first, but they became good friends.

Now that the music has stopped and the lights have turned off, these three women are back in Provo, back to their studies. But the memories from this exciting experience will last a lifetime.

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