Conversation with a New York Fashion Week show producer: Naomi Alabi

Meet Naomi Alabi; the woman that is providing a luxury experience for emerging designers during New York Fashion Week

All images: Photo credit

You may have attended some fashion shows yourself or simply don’t know much about the people behind the big production that we all love to admire. This New York Fashion week, Meet Naomi Alabi; the woman that rose through the devastation of the pandemic to restructure her businesses while even adding a media arm, CreatorsTV. You may know Naomi Alabi for developing the next generation of emerging designers under her collective, Street Society. Remember Donda? Kanye West’s collective of creatives. In 2012 Kanye West launched Donda( named after his mother) which featured his creative friends. None of them had fashion backgrounds but driven by their passion for fashion, they committed to educating, promoting, and empowering one another under his collective. Where are these people now? Does the name Virgil Abloh, Jerry Lorenzo, Heron Preston ring a bell?  

This New York Fashion Week, you produced your first in person show featuring a live audience since the pandemic. Tell us how the pandemic has changed fashion week. 

One of my favorite aspects of fashion shows is the live experience. The excitement of the audience, the intimacy of seeing the garments up close, seeing the many moving parts that go into making a show a success and that’s something we were missing. We are taking every safety measure and adhering to CDC guidelines and are very happy to be back doing in person shows.

How do you handle all the stress that comes with producing a show? 

My biggest advice in the preproduction phase is time blocking. There are so many aspects of a show to consider and plan for so my best advice for making sure nothing gets overlooked is time management and time blocking. As for the day of the show, I practice mindfulness. Focus on one thing at a time. Be completely present with whatever task you are currently focused on and treat everyone with respect.

You pride yourself on being one of the more affordable show producers. What is your advice for entrepreneurs trying to make pricing their primary Unique Selling Proposition? 

I think most business people fall into the trap of trying to stand out first with affordability. My many years of experience has taught me that it’s simply not sustainable. It was Ben Franklin that said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” I have since removed that catch phrase from our bragging rights per say. To continue to grow and offer our designers the best experience, we have to spend money. The new challenge I have for myself is how to grow and improve the quality of my services while making them accessible for the segment of designers that I have chosen to serve. My best advice to entrepreneurs is to price accordingly. Value your time and try to perform at the highest level possible in your industry. You will find your tribe.

What’s your best advice for a new designer that wants to participate in fashion week? 

My biggest advice is to approach your participation as a collaboration with your show producers. Plan for the outcomes that you want out of the show and be proactive that you have all your ducks in a row. Is your website updated? Do you have a social media page that someone will be proud to promote? Are you ready to do business per say? Are you making sure to invite your own people to the show? Invite local boutiques, Press, and influencers that are coming to see you so you can stand out in a collective show.  

About SFWRUNWAY A division of Street Society, the world’s only platform for Streetwear designers, Street Fashion Week has developed an all-star roster of over 140 streetwear designers. Each season during New York and LA Fashion Week, Street Fashion Week celebrates the work of said designers by showcasing their most recent work in a collective fashion show.About Naomi Alabi Naomi Alabi is a fashion show producer and founder of Street Society. Street society creative collective is a platform that nurtures and develops emerging talent in the fashion, media and entertainment industries. Since its launch in 2018, Street Society has evolved adding a media arm, CreatorsTV, in response to the pandemic as a way to continue to highlight the stories of the talent in their community.