It’s been a minute since my 2016 “influencers, they’re just like us!” moment, when I told Observer that I, too, ate hot dogs off the street. A groundbreaking admission, if you will! All jokes aside, I’m ready to give some other people a chance to offer up their own memorable quotes—more specifically, to chat with arbiters of taste and style, from the most exciting events in the industry.
And what better time to debut the first piece in this series than during New York Fashion Week? First up, we have Emira D’Spain. D’Spain is New York’s It girl, especially when it comes to the beauty scene—and she happens to be a close friend. Over the past few years, the former Paper beauty director-turned-beauty influencer and model has amassed over 1.5 million followers across her social platforms, along with coveted partnerships with brands including Victoria’s Secret (she was the first Black transgender model to work for the brand), YouTube, Charlotte Tilbury and Nars. She’s got beauty, brains, style and a bold, unique and truly one-of-a-kind personality that keeps her loyal followers engaged in her iconic TikTok videos
So let’s get into her New York Fashion Week(end). D’Spain sticks to attending the events that align with her style and values; her go-to front rows include Christian Siriano and The Blonds, along with beauty events from brands like Givenchy and Prada.
I first met up with D’Spain on Friday night at the Prada Beauty event, where I caught up with her on all her NYFW plans—and her assessment of the whole extravaganza thus far. The next day, we reconvened at Alice + Olivia, then made our way to Zero Bond to finish up the weekend before she headed to The Blonds. Let’s get started.
Observer: What’s your pre-NFYW beauty routine?
Emira D’Spain: I started by getting microneedling a week prior, to make sure my skin has a radiant glow. I have to keep my skin really well hydrated, and make sure that I’m always cleansing my face after a night out. My hair and makeup usually take about three hours to really make sure it’s all locked in and will last me throughout all the shows and events.
You’re known for your GRWM videos—spill the tea on your glam process for NYFW.
The legendary Donni Davy, Euphoria’s makeup artist, did the glam and absolutely crushed it. I showed her an inspiration photo from Nikki Makeup, and we wanted to bring the same vision to life. Using her brand, Half Magic Beauty, she placed 150 crystals all along my face after executing a stunning dramatic winged liner moment, paired with Anime-style lashes. It took about three hours total, but the crystal placement only took us about 20 minutes, and we were rushing.
How did you kick off New York Fashion Week?
Last night, I had the Siriano show, a Givenchy Beauty event and the Nylon Nights afterparty. A lot to cram into one evening, but we made it work. First up was the Siriano show; it was so incredible and I loved getting to see the collection held at the Plaza—so special. Givenchy Beauty is one of my favorites, so I had to celebrate the launch of the new Irresistible fragrance. The whole space was decked out in the most gorgeous florals and pinks—my faves. I ended the evening with Nylon Nights; it’s always a blast to party with my fashion friends.
Moving on—let’s talk tonight! What are you wearing for Prada Beauty?
I am wearing a dress from Shushu/Tong and shoes from Valentino, paired with a Prada headband and Prada bag from Fashionphile. I’m so obsessed with Fashionphile. I find all the most incredible pieces there and the quality and authentication process is truly unmatched. They always make it feel like a luxury shopping experience.
What product from Prada beauty are you most excited to try?
Definitely most excited to try the foundation; I love a soft matte foundation and I am really intrigued to see how it will play with other beauty products.
What has been your favorite event of this year’s NYFW thus far?
The Christian Siriano show. He always does such an incredible job bringing a whole vision to life. The collection was incredible, the vibes were immaculate and it was the most epic way to kick off NYFW.
What have been your top three favorite brand shows at NYFW?
LaQuan Smith, the Blonds and Christian Siriano. They all always kill it, and make their shows so much fun.
What are you wearing for the Alice + Olivia presentation?
I am wearing a stunning vegan leather shirt dress that gives off sexy trench coat vibes. I paired it with these black and gold Rene Caovilla sandals. I have to change later tonight for The Blonds, and I like to try and wear the same shoes to make it easy.
I love how wearable everything at Alice + Olivia is for the everyday. I feel like we see many things come down the runway that are so fabulous, but in reality, most people don’t have a reason to wear a gold micro mini skirt on the daily.
Your last stop of the weekend is the Blonds; tell us about the look.
This is my favorite look I have worn so far. I saw this come down the runway last season and I remember thinking to myself, ‘I absolutely need that dress.’ To my surprise, it’s like [The Blonds co-founders] David Blond and Phillipe Blond read my mind when they selected this look for me to wear. It’s a corseted gold mini dress, with pieces hanging down giving a fierce gladiator vibe. Very sexy and over the top, which is my vibe.
If you had one message for anyone doing NYFW, what would it be?
Remember to have fun! This is all supposed to be fun, and it’s very easy to get stressed and be overwhelmed by it all, but at the end of the day, we should be so grateful to get to experience all this creativity in one week.
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