Written By Taufik Marasabessy, Academy of Art University
Just like you might expect, New York Fashion Week backstage is a mad house. People were running around like crazy, busy preparing for hours for what would be just a 15-minute show. In midst of the craziness I managed to sneak into the make-up and hair room where a sea of Adonis and Aphrodite looking models sat, being prepped and pampered by make-up artists and hairdressers (not that they need any help, they models are all stunning in their own rights). There I met Fusion Agency’s model Eliza Hartmann and Red Agency’s Abiah Hostvedt, who were being prepared separately for the Academy of Art University’s show. Hartmann and Hostvedt are no stranger to the Academy of Art University runway—both have walked in the university’s annual Graduation Fashion Show in San Francisco as well as in the school’s NYFW shows.
They were both gracious enough to answer a couple of questions regarding New York Fashion Week and their lives as models.
So, let’s start off with your name and age.
EH: Hey, I’m Eliza Hartmann and I’m 23 years old.
AH: What’s up? My name is Abiah Hostvedt and I’m 24 years old.
How did you become a model/get scouted?
EH: I actually graduated college a semester early and didn’t know what to do. At that time, I had an aunt who lives in here (New York), she saw models all the time and thought it would be a good thing for me to do during the spare semester. She convinced me… the next thing I knew I had moved to New York and found an agency shortly after. And then, a week later it was Fashion Week and that was my first job as a model!
AH: I was scouted by my agent while I was in Tribeca, New York, six years ago. I have been with them ever since.
What do you expect in a big event like New York Fashion Week?
EH: I expect a lot of craziness backstage, a lot of waiting around for make up and hair, and I definitely expect the amazing shows.
AH: You can’t expect anything, but you also have to expect everything. Because anything can happen, the moment you think one thing is going to happen, something completely different is going to happen and it’s going to catch you off guard. So it’s better not to be expectant but just be ready for anything.
How do you prepare for New York Fashion Week?
EH: I always try to get enough sleep and shower every night. Hygiene is important for me! *giggles*
AH: I would love to say a spa treatment and a massage, but usually I just take it easy because when Fashion Week is on, it’s all going to get crazy and all hell will break loose. *laughs*
What helps you survive the craziness of New York Fashion Week?
EH: Energy bars! I usually don’t have time to eat, but when shows provide food backstage it’s good, but not all every show does that. So when you are on the go and you need something to fill you up, energy bars help keep you going. Also a lot of water.
AH: Sleep! It is the most vital thing, stay hydrated and find nice groove.
What’s your best/worst experience of New York Fashion Week?
EH: This season is very exciting for me as I came back for the second time. All the friends I made in Europe during the other fashion weeks are all here. So it’s good to be back and see old friends again.
AH: My worst experience would be when you are late for one show you will be late for the next one because it’s all back-to-back and you are just rushing. But we all get used to it and everybody in the industry understands what you are going through.
Do you have any advice for aspiring models out there hoping to walk in New York Fashion Week?
EH: Definitely keep a good attitude, work hard and stay positive.
AH: Be prepared for a lot of rejections but don’t ever give up, believe in yourselves!