Model and CEO of SkinBySyd, Sydney Blank Discuss NYFW Skin Realities
Text: Alexandra Morris
New York Fashion Week is going to look very different this year due to COVID-19. Most designers are shifting to virtual shows, no attendees. Model usage has also significantly dropped because of travel restrictions and health concerns. Nevertheless, the unveiling of Spring lines must go on, and the realities of the arduous week, though less severe, are still prevalent. Model Sydney Blank used to participate in the strenuous week but has moved her focus to her vegan skincare line SkinBySyd. But, as NYFW approaches, she could not help but reminisce on her experiences and the grueling moments models encounter.
Maintaining a perfect appearance is a models' job, even if they are running through the summer heat in New York City to attend 15 different castings. They have to pull themselves together, touch themselves up and strut with confidence, despite lacking sleep and wholesome meals. Time runs rapid, and though NYFW looks glamorous, it is the week from hell for most models.
"It's very important for people to know what the models go through during Fashion Week and that it is not just for the one week of shows," Blank said. "This could be months of preparation for a lot of models. This includes dieting, working out, little sleep, and many castings running around the city all day. This takes a big toll on the model's skin as they are put under an extreme amount of stress. Many don't know this, but stress is the number one contributor to breakouts."
Blank, a certified aesthetician, recalled always having makeup caked on her skin, stripped off, and put back on in a matter of minutes. Models barely get a chance to let their skin breathe. Last year, Blank was able to supply agencies with SkinBySyd beauty bags to help models nourish their skin before, during, and after NYFW. Her dermatologist-approved line is gentle but effective and keeps skin bright and fresh even with the damaging attributes of NYFW.
The fans that attend the shows only see the final production. They fail to consider the chaos happening behind the curtain, which is why there is this misconception that models are blessed with perfect skin. People only see smooth; makeup filled faces or retouched photos of models on the runway. Editing is the enemy.
"The reality of being behind the scene of fashion week is not always glamorous," Blank stressed. "Makeup artists are working on multiple models in a hurry and not cleaning their brushes. This is how many models get conjunctivitis in their eyes."
A lot goes unnoticed, but this year the models are catching a break with virtual shows. Unlucky for income, but better for their overall health. Blank believes COVID-19 will benefit NYFW models for years to come; whether the shows remain digital or not, sanitation will be the top priority.