Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogging for my Life

Nicole Z. during the fitting with George
The past three months have been beyond hectic and jam-packed with fashion related activity.  Finally, I realized that I just didn't have the time to dedicate to blogging.  But I am back now and ready to share some of my adventures with you.  I listened with envy as many of my friends shared their stories about summer vacations while I was busy with my nose to the grindstone.  But I'm not mad because all my work seems to finally be paying off.

If you've been keeping track of me, you know that I reached a career high when I was featured in the August 8/15 issue of JET magazine.  It prompted fashionable women across America to reach out to me on facebook, twitter, and through e-mail to find out how they could get their hands on SK WiLBUR dresses.  It was a validating moment and I still find myself basking in the afterglow.  My business partners and I are looking to use the new demand for my aesthetic as leverage when we approach stores in the coming months.  I am now very excited about what the future holds for Sorta Kinda Enterprises.
Nicole Z. wears the finished look for the show

The fashion reality show that I shot over the summer has already started getting some mentions in the press.  Although I am still bound by reality show secrecy, I want you to be on the lookout for a new show that will be airing on Lifetime in the near future.  Stay tuned because you will definitely find me on one of those episodes.

As NY Fashion Week was drawing nearer, I was preparing for my first plus size runway show on September 13.  Although I had a deficit of $5000 to contend with, I was confident that the universe was supporting my efforts.  After all, I had just gotten national press and taped a reality show.  While I continued fittings with my seamstresses and tailors, I remained faithful that the money would come through.  Foregoing paying my personal bills, I poured every dime I had into the completion of my collection.  It was not only important, but necessary, for me to continue the momentum that began with the JET article.  I implemented an initiative to raise the money through  With kickstarter, you must raise the full amount to get the money.  If you don't, you get nothing.  Since I only received pledges from 5 people totaling $335, it was an idea that crashed and burned.  My diva friend, Josette Robinbson, who is in public relations, my boyfriend, one of my dear friends whom I met  a few years ago during my commute into Manhattan, and my great Aunt Edie all made donations to my cause.  But I was still short.  In the eleventh hour, the day before the show, it was my sister and business partner who was able secure the last $4000 through a personal loan.  My faithfulness paid off.  I still get choked up about it.

Edward Wilkerson & me during FNO

Days before my big runway show, Josette convinced me to come out for Fashion's Night Out.  I didn't want to do it because I still had plenty of work to do.  I had decided to gift the guests of my runway presentation with mini SK WiLBUR tote bags.  I couldn't afford to order them, so I decided to make them.  What a daunting task!  But back to my story, for Fashion's Night Out, Josette and I met at Lord & Taylor where I introduced her to my friend from several years ago Edward Wilkerson, the designer of the fabulously chic and affordable line Lafayette 148.  It had been years since I'd seen him and he is just as funny and lovely as I remembered.  From there, Josette and I moved on to the BCBG store where we might have been too early for the party.  But then we separated and I headed off to Lane Bryant on Fulton Street in Brooklyn where I was surrounded by plus size lovelies and the cast of the reality show Big Sexy.  Although I was exhausted, it was important for me to make an appearance so the ladies knew that I still had nothing but love for them.  But by 9:00 p.m. I was on my train headed home.

I was super excited about the show.  Women's Wear Daily had already confirmed that they would be in attendance.  Afterwards, writer Marc Karimzadeh from the trade newspaper interviewed me.  It was all too surreal.  The next day, my friend Albert who lives in Paris sent me a note on facebook with a link to the article.  Yippee!  Another validating moment for my career.  NY Fashion Week is not just for the rail thin models anymore.  It's time for the curvy woman to be represented.   And I am doing my best to be one of the proponents of that.

Peace & Fashion!

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