ME, MY LENS, AND #TOMMYFALL16

photo by oveth martinez

photo by oveth martinez

I am the kind of the guy who enjoys a new scarf or two but the depth of fashion goes way beyond a new scarf. I know how influential this realm is to millions. Fashion is a part of our culture, generation, and art. Anybody who puts on an article of clothing in the morning whether they like it or not is involving themselves in fashion.

On Monday, 04/15/2016, I had a life changing experience. I was able to witness and capture beautiful moments from Tommy Hilfiger’s Fall 2016 Show in New York, New York. 

What was so interesting about this fashion show, other than the fact that it is Tommy Hilfiger and that plenty of famous models are walking for the brand, this was the first ever InstaPit at a fashion show. I had the privilege of being one of sixteen creative and influential individuals to witness this magnificent show from a designated InstaPit area. 

Before I get into writing about the show I’d like to tell you a short story about my early morning commute to the venue. I woke up around 7:30AM-8:00AM and got in my UBER to the venue with tons of gear on my back meanwhile trying to look even more fashionable than usual. The UBER driver took me silently down to many streets of the Big Apple while I was skimming Instagram as I usually do. After a while, I heard my driver say “Excuse me sir. Are you famous?” (WTF LOL moment for me)

Shocked at what I heard and trying to comprehend what he had just said, I raised my head and saw a pair of eyes looking at me from the rearview mirror. I laughed and just said “I wish!” 

The driver further explained his question by stating that I looked sharp and fashionable so he thought I was famous. Then I explained him that I am just a photographer going to the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Show for Instagram. I then got surprised by another question. “So you make the models famous?” the driver said without hesitation. With another laugh, I answered “I don’t think Gigi or Tommy Hilfiger need me to be famous” followed by explaining him how Instagram and I play our role in this glamorous world.

A few minutes later we arrived at the venue and I left my UBER driver with him wishing me good luck at the show. FYI I gave him 5 stars for just being AWESOME!

I arrived at the venue around 9:00AM hoping that I could be one of the early birds to arrive and get checked in, as I was told to show up at 10:00AM. Well that was not the case. About 20-30 more media individuals were lined up to check in. The excitement and networking began right at that point because I was there! After my check in, I was greeted by amazing people from Tommy Hilfiger Corporate and they were kind enough to guide me backstage and around the venue. Once we were backstage I recorded an awesome GIF that was set up as part of the Tommy Hilfiger backstage show which is posted on their Twitter. The stressful excitement I had earlier all of a sudden vanished when I saw all of the wonderful smiling facesI around me. Once we got to the main show room, this giant display of a ship greeted me with smoke coming out of its chimneys along with a starry sky in the background and beautiful benches surrounding the wonderful wooden floor of the ship. It reminded me of both Titanic and of course my hometown, Istanbul, with the beautiful Bosphorus boats that transport you between Europe and Asia.

I got the chance to network with several of the other creative individuals from the InstaPit who all shared the same excitement. Several minutes later the guests started to arrive and it was a flood of stylish people coming to witness the wonderful show Tommy Hilfiger had to offer. As more people starting filling the venue and time got closer for the show to start, my heart started beating even faster. This was my very first fashion show and I had so many questions in my head about how the experience was going to be like. You want to make the best of what you have to offer.

A few minutes later, lights start changing and the music begins with Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” (one of my all time favorite songs). Then there you have it, the gorgeous models start ruling the runway!!! Gigi Hadid shows off her boss skills with every single step she takes followed by amazing models such as Hailey Baldwin, Taylor Hill, Sara Sampaio, Binx Walton Imaan Hammam and many more.

There was my moment to make every shutter count. Without even having the time to look up in between each shot to see how my photos were coming out I snapped away. My finger never left the shutter as well as my eye never left the viewfinder. Then there he was, Mr. Tommy Hilfiger, owning the runway and showing his thanks to everyone for attending his show. Seeing such creative and successful people like Tommy Hilfiger inspired me a lot to pursue my dreams. Outfit after outfit and model after model, I was astonished by what I was experiencing and can definitely say that it was the best Monday I have ever had so far!

Once saying our good byes we all went outside, this time for a photo hunt of individuals who have attended the show. Model or no model we started shooting photos with photographers who were just waiting outside in the snowy cold weather to capture the best pose. I ran into the legendary 86 year old Bill Cunningham who is a Boston native. I managed to capture a photo of him during his hunt for different stylish individuals coming out of the fashion show.

Overall, I am thankful for this splendid opportunity I have received from Tommy Hilfiger and getting to network with all those amazing people with whom I’d love to keep in touch with in the future. Can't wait for the next fashion week ;)