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Rachael Wang had almost lost her voice by the end of fashion month last season. We only know this because she continued her addictive Snapchats for Style.com despite her scratchy tone. As market director for the site last season, her coverage felt like the antithesis to the barrage of runway shots flooding Instagram. She instead honed in on ambiance and details: show invites, celebrities, scenery. It basically made you feel like you were there with your best friend, awestruck moments and eye rolls included.
This go-around, she's tackling New York Fashion Week in her new role of freelance stylist and brand consultant, currently working with clients like Levi's, Nike, and Maybelline. Her tailored-tomboy-meets-Cali-bohemian look makes her ubiquitous on street style blogs and also lends her styling work a similar duality: AirMaxes with a suit, midriff-baring tees with faded Levi's, a bandana around the neck of a crewneck T-shirt.
The general idea of "mixing it up" is probably included in a styling 101 handbook, but there is something about the way Rachael does it that feels a little more fearless than the rest. Not to mention her track record of being able to ID emerging talent and trends — she cast and styled transgender model Hari Nef before Nef signed to IMG and creative directed a shoot with ‘90s model Kim Peers before "The ‘90s Trend" was a headline. Wang is one of three fashion insiders we're profiling during New York Fashion Week with Waiting for Saturday, a project by best friends Nicole Benuska and Olivia Villanti with a simple goal: sharing the off-duty habits and interests of creative people.
When we asked her to meet us at a spot that represented a break from the relentless pace of the week, she suggested the back garden of Saturdays NYC. It's a place she tends to hide out during free pockets of time between shows (and a place you probably wouldn't have seen in those Snapchats), but we'll let her tell you about it…
I started coming here a couple of years ago — I love the vibe, it reminds me of home in California, of the beach. I'd actually been in the space a few times before I even realized there was a garden in the back. My husband was the one who tipped me off, he randomly said one day, "I like to take meetings at Saturdays." I was like, "What?!" And then I found out they have WiFi back there too, so once I realized that…I mean there aren't a ton of things that happen in Soho but if I have an hour to kill between shows, and there isn't time to go to the office, there's always somewhere to sit here and do some work. Fashion Week entails so much socializing so this is the place where I regenerate energy.
New York is probably the most hectic of all the Fashion Weeks, but the one I feel most in control of because I set my schedule. In the past in Europe, I traveled with a team and we would share a car to get everywhere together. In New York, I carve out pockets of time to grab a tea and do some work. I go out as little as possible in New York because it's the beginning, most nights in Europe I'm at dinners and then once I get back to my hotel, I'm writing posts and not getting to bed until about 2am.
When in Europe, sometimes I'll take a bath before bed or, if I don't have a dinner planned, I'll go to a market and pick up fresh vegetables. Eating well is something that makes me feel grounded and alive. I'll even keep hotel utensils in my room so I can make a salad out of vegetables while I work.
The older I get, the more aware I am of wellness. If I eat real foods, whole foods, I'll feel better through the month. And fashion month is like the Olympics, you need to train in order to spend 12 hours a day running around and on your feet. At the end, I'll usually plan one dinner with friends I haven't seen all month at Bun-Ker and gorge on Vietnamese food.
Spot: Saturdays NYC, 31 Crosby Street between Broome and Grand, NYC
Rachael's order: "Harney & Sons tea. Hot in the winter, poured over ice in the summer."
Ambiance in five words or less: "A secret, woodsy, beachy getaway."
Her insider tip: "Wi-Fi!"
What she’s looking most forward to at the end of the month: "A good, old-fashioned cross-country road trip."