Fashion week is a time of year that, for style insiders, is kind of like a holiday–it’s exciting…and also extremely hectic. With back-to-back runway shows, parties at night, and events in the morning, models, designers, influencers, and editors often prep for fashion week the same way one might get ready for a marathon. Lots of water. Lots of healthy food. Lots of sleep. Rinse and repeat. To commemorate this thrilling time in the industry, we asked Vanessa Hong, the force behind the incredibly popular The Haute Pursuit and host of the podcast Vanessa Wants to Know, to tell us all about her fashion week experiences, as a front-row staple. She answers our most pressing questions below.

What was your first fashion week experience like? How has it changed now that you’ve become a pillar at these events and shows?

It was really fun because I had never done it before. I got to meet a lot of people in the industry who I still have close relationships with. It’s changed since I started in that I do way less. I have the luxury now of going to what I really want to see; something I probably wouldn’t have dreamed of years ago.  

Can you share a typical day during fashion week/month? 

7 A.M. I rarely like to get up after 7am. My days usually start around 6:30-7am. I take a cold shower, dry brush, and then give myself a facial massage.

8 A.M. Drink a liter of water, then meditate. 

10 A.M. If I have time, I usually eat a light breakfast or just wait to have a full meal until lunch. 

3-6 P.M. During these hours I’ll be attending shows. I also try to sneak in a meal if I can. 

8 P.M. During fashion week evenings, I will sometimes attend an event or show, and have a light dinner around 7:30. I don’t go to a lot of night events anymore though, because I go to sleep early and like to take a hot relaxing bath before bed. 

What are your fashion week go-tos for coffee and lunch? Any hidden gems in NYC or Paris?

NYC is my home so I make everything for myself. If I’m really in a bind, I’ll go get stuff to go from Juice Press using my own cups and jars. 

Paris – Wild & the Moon is my favorite spot. Everything is vegan and their packaging is biodegradable. I also usually stay in the same hotel – Hotel De Nell, who really takes care of me.

Since fashion isn’t always as glamorous as it may seem, could you share one thing that you stress about during or before this busy time? 

My biggest stress is getting enough rest/meditation/exercise. These 3 things are some of the most important things in my life – so I make a really big effort to make these priorities. 

What or who are you most excited to see this fashion week?

It’s always friends – in NYC, it’s always a joy to see my friend Phillip Lim’s show. In Paris, I’m just excited to see my friends and frequent all my old haunts as I consider it a second home. 

Fashion week shows and events are great ways to see what brands have been working on, but there’s also a business aspect to these gatherings. How do you incorporate business into fashion week?

Well everyone is usually in town for fashion week – it’s a pro and con. I make time for things that I cannot gain access to in NYC. Now that I have a podcast @VanessaWantsToKnow (and so many of our guests are jet setters), that’s an additional angle I approach fashion week with now.

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