Fashion Week kicks off today in New York, and I’ll be happily watching via the internet, on my couch. Most of my blogger friends will be in New York, looking fabulous while working hard, attending glamorous events, crowding into backstage spaces to see the hottest looks first, and sharing that information ASAP. Many of my makeup artist friends will be backstage, beating faces at the speed of light, and setting trends while doing so.
Photos provided by MAC Cosmetics.
One of the makeup artists who will be busy backstage is MAC’s Senior Artist Fatima Thomas – you can follow her on Twitter @MAC_Fatima_T – but she probably won’t be tweeting a lot because she’s working backstage at 10 shows. TEN! She is keying Haus Alkire and Ann Yee, and she’ll be backstage for Libertine, Altuzarra and Zac Posen amongst others.
I’ve been lucky enough to be backstage to watch Fatima work before and I gotta say – backstage at a big show at NYFW is akin to the 9th circle of hell. It’s crowded and loud and crazy and people are demanding and full of attitude, and in the middle of it all, there are the artists working hard to create beauty. Only the strong survive. I had to ask, how does she feel about the annual experience and what advice does she have, as a veteran MUA to aspiring artists who someday want to fill her shoes. Fatima spilled the T. So to speak. Read on to learn what it’s like to be a Fashion Week veteran!
Afrobella – What was your first ever fashion week like? And how many fashion weeks does this make for you?
Fatima – It was over 12 years ago so I don’t remember details, rather the overall impression: It was exhilarating, fun and scary.
Afrobella – What do you look forward to the most during fashion week? And what do you dread?
Fatima – I look forward to seeing what my favorite designers will offer for the season. I also enjoy watching the artistry of my favorite world-class makeup artists. I dread the overcrowded backstage areas.
by Luca Cannonieri
Afrobella – What are your best fashion week survival tips for newbies and those less experienced than yourself?
Fatima – I’d tell any “newbie” to keep busy; no need to be idle and definitely don’t hang around taking pictures.
Afrobella – What new MAC products are you most excited about using during NYFW?
Fatima – I’m looking forward to getting more acquainted with the new Mineralize Moisture Fluid Foundation SPF 15. It has such a luxury look and I feel that it’s like a perfect second skin. I think the application and texture will be a dream come true.
Afrobella – What are your makeup staples that work on every model regardless of skin color or type?
Fatima – MAC Fix+ hydrating spray and Lip Conditioner. Also, a little kindness goes a long way.
Afrobella – Every year there’s a controversy over whether or not designers promoting diversity. As a woman of color, what do you think? Are things getting better in the industry?
Fatima – Great question. Featuring diversity is the norm for a few designers but it still seems cyclical for the industry overall. My belief is if you want my support as a consumer, acknowledge folks like me (and others) consistently. Ethnicities are not fashion trends.
Afrobella – What’s a day in the life for you during fashion week?
Fatima – No two days are alike. Generally, I’m at makeup tests, then at a show or two. In between, I’m trying to collect products needed for other shows.
Afrobella – How do you celebrate the end of fashion week?
Fatima – I turn off my phone and email and go dark for a week; I focus on having fun, my family and friends, and I avoid talking about fashion for a while.