Subject: That one time with Jenna Lyons

During New York Fashion Week last September, Jenna Lyons asked for a photo with me. Yes, you read that correctly. The perpetually red-lipped powerhouse behind J. Crew requested a photo with *me* (italicized), a lowly, seventeen year-old intern who looked and acted a little too much like Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. This, my fellow interns, is the extra little perk that comes with your unpaid profession: being in the right place at the right time.

That day, I happened to be keeping tabs on a backstage lounge managed by our company, PR Consulting, at Milk Studios. Though I'd been told several times that "notable" people would be strolling in and out of the space between shows, nothing could have prepared me for the moment I laid eyes upon Lyons. She had been a role model of mine for years. Just seeing her in the flesh was enough to bring up feelings of nostalgia.

Yet somehow, in the chaos of our backstage lounge, I was roped into a photo-op with her. My memory of that day is hazy, but what I do remember is this: my boss entering the room, speaking candidly with Lyons,  and, to my extreme surprise, the pair motioning for me to come join them. From that point forward, everything moved in slow motion; my boss stepped away, Jenna placed her arm around my shoulder, flashbulbs (they were probably iPhone cameras-- my memory deceives me) popped all over the room. I spent the remainder of that day floating on one fashionable cloud.

The photo itself is horrible. Jenna is a dream in her signature smirk, while I lean on her helplessly, the runt of the fashion litter. But that doesn't matter to me. What matters is that, that day, my dreams and reality met in full force, thanks to the open heart of one of NYFW's best.


Kind regards,


Hannah Rafter