Primer: A Field Guide to Fashion Week's Characters

Twice a year, Fashion Week turns the city into an all-out style spectacle. Here's a guide to the cast of characters.

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The Model
nNatural Habitat: Runways, catwalks, hair and makeup chairs. Note: these creatures tend to travel in herds.
nHandheld Device: Blackberry, iPod, iPod Nano—anything that can withstand marathon texting during marathon hair and makeup sessions.
nSustains on: The 5 C's: Coffee, Champagne, Coconut water, Cigarettes, and (free) Clothes.
nUniform: Well, either the spring collections (on the runway) or skinny jeans and cropped tops (off the runway).
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The Publicist
nUniform: Black on black, clipboard, earpiece.
nMode of Transport: "We are a taxi and subway army, no car services here," says agency honcho Patrick Bradbury
nSustains on: Pressure, canapes.
Natural Habitat: Around every corner, at every restricted-access threshold.

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The Editor
nMode of Transport: Conde Nast car service, the arms of burly security men.
nSustains On: Starbucks, power.
nStatement Piece: Grace Coddington; Impenetrably-dark sunglasses.
nCatchphrase: Silence.
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The Fashion Photographer
nHandheld Device: DSLR-anything (work), Holga/Lomography Cam/Polaroid (play).
nSustains On: Pen tops.
nCatchphrase: "You're blocking my shot."
nDistinguishing Marks: Genuflection
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The Street Fashion Photographer
nSeen carrying: Digital, single-lens reflex camera (preferably a Nikon).
nDefining Trademarks: A photographer's eye and an editor's aesthetic; Purposeful wandering with searching once-overs among fashion week lines.
nSustains on: Gaggles of women vying for their camera's attention; strong working relationships.
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The Fashion Journalist
nSeen Carrying: A scribble-filled Moleskine notebook, a pen and a flipcam; a tote-bag filled with copies of WWD and more scribble-filled notebooks.
nArmed With: A lexicon honed to describe all things sartorial.
nSustains On: The adrenaline of a looming deadline.
nNatural Habitat: Anywhere from which a story may be filed, whether it be Starbucks or the newsroom.
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The Real Housewife

nSustains On: Anything provided by the network.
nStatement Piece: Anything from her own line on QVC.
nNatural Habitat: A step-and-repeat.
nCatchphrase: "I have been doing fashion shows for charity for years, and now I'm hawking this new brand of water...."
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The Teen Blogger
nMode of Transport: Hopefully, something arranged by her parents.
nSustains On: A-list adoration, Japanese Pocky-sticks and Orangina.
nNatural Habitat: School, backstage, and at non-Fashion Week-related parties downtown.
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The "It" Celebrity
nNatural Habitat: The front row; sweaty-but-stylish music festivals; DJ-ing at Fashion Week after-parties.
nSustains On: Home-delivered macrobiotic green juices; VIP discounts; being in front of the lens.
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The Local Ingenue
nNatural Habitat: Brooklyn or the Village; Front row at their friends' shows.
nSustains on: Oscar buzz; Banh mi sandwiches.
nUniform: Their friends' clothes; paparazzi-shielding sunnies.
nCatchphrase: "I'm just here to support [insert first name of said designer]."
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Manila Fashion Observer, Gawker
The Intern

nMode of Transport: Her own two feet.
nSustains On: LunaBars, Diet Coke, and the terror-laced excitement of seeing Anna Wintour in the elevator.
nStatement Piece: Armloads of samples and dry cleaning.
nNatural Habitat: The fashion closet.
nCatchphrase: "If I mess this up, I'm dead."
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The Executive
nNatural Habitat: Boardrooms, Power lunches.
nHandheld Device: Blackberry: One domestic, one international.
nSustains on: Peter Luger steaks, power.
nApproach: With an exclusive, lucrative collaboration deal or an HR scoop involving their star designer.
nUniform: A Zegna that costs about as much as a fashion assistant's annual salary.
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The Celebrity Editor
nNatural Habitat: Exclusive parties among regular celebrities.
nSustains on: Champagne; double air kisses, Twitter.
nUniform: The It-designer ensembles that drive Best-Dressed lists.
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The Crasher
nNatural Habitat: Just shy of the inside (most often just outside Alexander Wang's show).
nSustains on: Free food.
nCatchphrase: "I swear, I'm on the list."
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The Buyer
nSustains On: Catching up with old magazine friends.
nNatural Habitat: About town, all over the world, in a shiny new office.
nCathphrase: "But how will it sell in the fly-over states?"
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NBC Connecticut
The Phenom Natural Habitat : In everyone's good favor; at exclusive parties.n Look: Boyish ensemble of super-skinny jeans, a white T-shirt and greasy locks.n Sustains on: Being cool; Critical acclaim; support from other it-boy pals.
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