Kansas Citians Take On New York Fashion Week

Kansas City may be half a continent away from the Big Apple, but that didn’t stop three locals from making their mark on New York Fashion Week.

Get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the experience from models Isabella Emmack and Kat Richardson and stylist Molly McPheter.

Model Behavior

Lee’s Summit girl Isabella Emmack made a big impact during her first season at NYFW. The 16-year-old walked for Alexander Wang, Oscar de la Renta, The Row and Vera Wang and garnered plenty of attention for her short ‘do, the result of a haircut last year. We caught up with the it girl, who is represented locally by Voices& Model and Talent Agency and Arizona Model Management, just before she jetted overseas for her first fashion weeks abroad.

Photo via Alexander Wang’s Facebook page.

Q. Why did you decide to become a model? How did you get your start? 

A. I decided to pursue modeling because I was tall and tiny for being 14 years old and sports were not working out well for me. I started because I enjoyed photography, especially photographs of people. I wanted to see what I was capable of with my look.

Q. How did you feel walking at NYFW for the first time this year? Was it overwhelming?

A. Walking NYFW was invigorating. I was nervous at first, my adrenaline was kicking and all I could hear was the beat of the music. My first show was Alexander Wang, so it was very upbeat, just my kind of thing.

Q. What was your favorite part of the experience or moment from this season?

A. My favorite part was seeing the response people had when they saw my hair. It was a defining moment in my life, and it was reassuring to see how many people liked my hair despite my risky decision to chop it off.

Photo via Vera Wang’s website.

Q. Your haircut was the subject of a story and scored a mention from Allure! Were you surprised by the response that your new look got? 

A. I was surprised—coming from Lee’s Summit, MO, things like being on or being mentioned by Allure do not seem like reality to me. I live in a very different world when I’m walking the halls in my high school versus being in front of the camera in New York.

Q. What are you looking forward to about your first runway season abroad? 

A. I am looking forward to experiencing the various cultures abroad. Even though being a model means being healthy, I’m going to go try some exotic foods!

Q. Do you have a favorite show that you’ve walked in or a favorite look you’ve worn? 

A. I loved all the shows and was happy to be part of all of them. But Alexander Wang’s upbeat, sporty style was very me.

Q. What designers would you most like to work with in the future?

A. I’d love to work with Karl Lagerfeld in the future. Also to work with Alexander Wang again.

Model Kat Richardson in the Venexiana show. Photo via Arizona Model Management.

Kat Richardson was also busy making an impression. The former KC Magazine cover girl, represented locally by Voices& Model and Talent Agency and Arizona Model Management, strutted her stuff for designers Venexiana and Nina Athanasiou during her third NYFW season last week.

“I was nervous the first time. I think this time I knew what to expect and I just went in with a positive mindset every day,” Richardson says. “Usually right before I go onstage, I’m so anxious and so nervous, but when I walk out, it’s just like a rush of adrenaline.”

But modeling in the nation’s biggest fashion extravaganza isn’t all glamour and beautiful clothes. The casting process can be grueling, according to Richardson, who spent a month in NYC between castings, prepping and walking in the shows. Of course that isn’t to say that the clothes aren’t amazing.

“Just being able to see designers’ work in person is really cool, to be able to see what they’ve created,” she says. —KMC

Read on for a look at what it’s like to be a stylist during NYFW.