Off the runway, however, a different story about what is
fashionable will be told on the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn,
Queens and the Bronx where vintage pieces, unique footwear and
comfort are highly favored by people living in the city's
In Brooklyn, fashion is identity-driven and liberating, says
actor Seth Hatch, who works at a Williamsburg thrift shop.
"Most recently I've been embracing a softer, more feminine side
to my fashion," said Hatch while sorting a rack of women's
Abby Felix, a 23-year-old who works in fashion public relations,
shops at retail stores such as ASOS.com and American Apparel as
well as thrift shops to create a 90's-inspired "eclectic" look.
She says one reason for taking an off-beat approach to fashion
is that mainstream designers are "starting to all look the
"We have to find a new way to create again," Felix said.
"There's not a lot of originality."
In Queens, Priti Shercsan, a 31-year-old illustrator from Nepal
who follows Nepalese-American fashion designer Prabal Gurung,
says she does not pay attention to fashion trends.
"It becomes a lot of waste," Shercsan said. "You get to a point
where it doesn't matter and it's more about being comfortable
and having your own sense of personal style."
MODISH IN PINK
To the untrained eye, Nia Indigo might look as if she left home
wearing a night gown and sneakers, but her appearance is quite
The 23-year-old stylist's affinity for mixing trendy high-end
designer clothing with thrift shop finds led her onto a bustling
Brooklyn street in a vibrant pink silk dress and Louis Vuitton
Archlight sneakers that retail for more than $1,000.
"I love galleries ... and I get inspiration from installations
mostly," Indigo explains while waiting with friends for a table
at a popular brunch spot. "I like to look like walking art."
Walking down a lower Manhattan street wearing a white collared
blouse, blue jeans and pink suede heels, Kat McClanahan, 23,
says she derives her fashion inspiration from film and
television characters and music.
"Best way to describe my style: If Lou Reed ever had a daughter,
it'd be me," said McClanahan, a merchandising manager.
[to top of second column]
RECYLCING IN VOGUE
At Zero Waste Daniel, a unisex clothing store in Williamsburg that
is the brainchild of Daniel Silverstein, clothes are eco-friendly
and made from 100 percent scrap material. Silverstein says he aims
to reduce textile pollution and raise awareness about the fast rate
of consumption and waste of clothing that is driven by fashion
"I try to make stuff that is wearable and comfortable, that you can
wear around and really move in, that you can style in different ways
and is versatile for your life without contributing to that issue,"
Silverstein says while stitching T-shirts on a sewing machine.
In the Bronx, Diondre Cruz, 17, says he sets his style apart from
"dressing regular" by tapping into the creativity of Japanese anime
characters and rappers like Trippie Redd and A$AP Rocky.
"I'm not really big on New York Fashion Week. I kind of just do my
own thing. I wear whatever I like," Cruz said.
Along the Fordham Road shopping strip in the Bronx, Robert Norman,
37, wears an all-white, gothic and western inspired outfit while
selling sunglasses on the street. He says a good look starts "from
the ground up."
"Your shoe game ... that's the foundation," says Norman while giving
a nod to his Versace-inspired white boots with gold charms. "If your
shoes are all scuffed up it kills the whole thing. It does the heavy
Although Fordham Road is not a runway, it is one of the streets New
Yorkers strut in all their self-styled glory.
See related photo essay https://reut.rs/2MPQkJG
(This version of the story adds correct seasons for fall New York
Fashion Week in first paragraph.)
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Toni Reinhold)
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