When Alex Maier got an email from Tumblr asking him to cover Fashion Week, he thought it was a prank.
The 28-year-old Brooklynite, who blogs at Mr. Danger, considers himself a “lifestyle blogger,” not a fashion blogger. An assistant stylist for Sandbox Studio, he mainly takes photographs of his own menswear ensembles.
“At first I thought it was a joke,” he told the Daily Dot. “There’s no way they sent that to me, I’m not even that fashionable. Maybe it was a mistake.”
Joke or not, Maier responded seriously. Three days later he got his reply: along with four other Tumblr bloggers, he would be covering New York Fashion Week.
Maier didn’t think he was qualified to cover Fashion Week, but as it turned out, that’s exactly what Tumblr wanted. He said the first night he was there, CEO David Karp took the bloggers out to dinner to tell them they were picked in order to offer an outsider’s take on the event.
“David told us he didn’t care if we had the expertise of designers,” he said. “We weren’t critiquing the looks, we were there to capture the experience of an outsider’s first Fashion Week.”
The first thing Maier did was borrow a camera from work. He didn’t want to walk around the Fashion Week tents with his Canon Rebel and be mistaken for an amateur. Though Tumblr gave each blogger a standing room pass, Maier wanted to get a seat in the front row to get the best possible photos.
“I would run to the show, take any open front row seat, and wait to get kicked out,” he said. “When they pulled the covers off the runway, you know you’ve made it. You have to act confident, like you’re supposed to be there. My fear for the whole week was that somebody was going to say, ‘Hey, you don’t belong here!’”
Maier did end up getting kicked out of one show’s front row, but said he couldn’t have been happier. That’s because a photographer he admired, Scott Schumann aka the Sartorialist, was the one doing the kicking.
“I was sitting in my front row seat when Scott Schumann walks by, looks at me and says, ‘I think you’re in my seat,’” he said. “I said, ‘I think I am.’ I walked away and said, ‘I just got kicked out of my seat by the Sartorialist! It was pretty great.’”
Maier said he also met Russell Simmons, Coco Rocha, and Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga’s stylist. He also became more of a celebrity himself on Tumblr, where his blog gained 1,000 more followers. (Like many Tumblr users, he declined to specify his actual follower count.) However, he couldn’t get over his amazement of being a part of the star studded event.
“When I met Coco Rocha, I dropped to my knees and said, ‘I’m not worthy,’” he said. “And I meant it, too. That’s how gracious I was to be in her presence. This is as close as I’ve gotten to being cool.”
Photo by Chloe Rice