Meet: The Style Senders

Finishing up this paper for class tomorrow and it’s killing me because all I can think about is a few photo-shoots I still have to do and this upcoming season of New York City Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I still need to get all my writing done and contacts finished with celebrities before it starts and it’s only a few months away. I remember back when I was able to cover New York City Fashion Week. All it took was a Facebook message, a meet up in NYC for a photo shoot with a fashion author, and then out of nowhere I was asked – “Would you like to work with me at New York Fashion Week this season?” “Wait what? Did I hear you right,” Just joking. “Yes, I would like to!” – I can’t believe I was able to get in, I mean I really didn't know much about fashion (I still don’t know everything either), it was very unsuspecting to be asked to work at such an event. But I felt honored to. I know I’m not the only one, meet my friend Dara. Her story with meeting Fern Mallis with the help of her mother is pretty inspiring. Most people wouldn’t have the courage to do something like that or even think of something like that would work. But it does. So meet Dara Senders and her story about her love for fashion, how she landed herself into New York City Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and fun around the city.

What got you into fashion?

I was always into the arts! Theater was a huge passion of mine from a very early age and I always saw myself being a Broadway star for many many years! Simultaneously, fashion always sparked a massive interest in my heart! From the age of four, I was always sketching and drawing what I would want to be my latest collection. That turned into family and friends asking for my advise when dressing themselves. When it came time to applying to colleges I was torn between theater and fashion studies. I ultimately chose fashion and haven't looked back! Fashion is my favorite art form and I absolutely love that I am so lucky to be working and paving my way in this very rigorous, never stopping, cut throat yet glorious, textural and storied industry! 

Where did you go to school and for what?

I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology for Fashion Merchandising Management with a concentration in Product Development! I also did a semester in Fashion Design. 

What made you interested about writing about fashion?

I love writing! I find it very therapeutic! So by taking my love for the industry, my love for critiquing collections and my love for sharing my thoughts and opinions on many facets of the lifestyle industry, I thought there was no better way to do this than to start my own website where I can express all of this!  Voila, The Style Senders was born! 

How long have you been working NYC Fashion Week for?/How do you get in every year?

I have been attending NYFW for almost 10 years now! Here's my story if how I got started. ​In 2004 I had applied to be a volunteer for IMG at hat was once called Olympus Fashion Week at Bryant Park. Being a 15/16 year old and in high school I was rejected. Two weeks later I received an invitation in the mail from Academy of Art University inviting me and a guest to their senior showcase during New York Fashion Week. Receiving an invitation to go to NYFW at such a young age was so unbelievably mind blowing especially since I was so upset about the rejection two weeks earlier! The day of the show as my mother and I we are waiting to go into the tent, my mother saw a woman who looked very familiar to her. Being the outgoing woman she is, she went over to this woman and played a little game of geography which wasn't very successful. After the fashion show the liaison from AAU told us we were speaking to Fern Mallis, President of Seventh on 6th (The creator of New York Fashion Week). Straight away, my mother and I both went over to Fern and reintroduced ourselves to her along with apologizing for not knowing who she was. She gladly took time to speak with us asking why we were at fashion week. My mother let me have the floor which lead into a twenty minute conversation of her wanting to know all about my current and future dreams and goals revolving around the fashion industry. She quickly realized how knowledgeable and serious I was at such a young age. I also informed her of the rejection letter from IMG not allowing me to volunteer because I was only on High School. As soon as the conversation was over, Fern immediately contacted the sponsor coordinator "Patty Hughes" and confirmed my ability to volunteer at fashion week. Patty asked if I was available to work Zac Posen’s, Chado Ralph Rucci’s and Betsey Johnson's shows. My parents ecstatically &  immediately gave me the permission to do so! ​Volunteering and working backstage and front of house while being singled out and asked to do a few personal favors from Zac Posen and Kelly Cutrone was like taking a crash course in fashion show production and PR. It was the greatest experience I had ever been fortunate enough to have! The lessons learned during the week have stayed with me all throughout my education at The Fashion Institute of Technology and till this day as I pursue my career endeavors. I will always be forever thankful to my mother and Fern Mallis for launching the onset of my career within the fashion industry. Although this took place almost 10 years ago, this will forever be my favorite fashion moment. As time went on and I began writing for myself & other publications, this allowed me to be invited to many shows! Don't get me wrong, I networked the life out if myself to be given these opportunities. As MBFW's rules have changed and have become more strict over time, I started applying for press passes and was granted them for the past three years and still get personal invites from designers to their shows! I love fashion week, but to me and many of my fellow colleagues, it's a ton of non-stop work for seven days straight! But, I wouldn't trade it for anything!   

What's your favorite part of living in NYC?

I live in New Jersey at the moment. However I lived in NYC for six years! My favorite part about living in my favorite city on earth is how much life there is! The endless possibilities that are at one's fingertips is priceless to me! You never know what may happen when turning the corner & I find that fascinating! Even if I was burning up with a fever, as soon as I'd cross the river I'd start feeling better! (As my mother would always say to me growing up, but never really understood till 2005) New York City is an elixir for my soul! With the amount of art driven activities and opportunities provided in the big apple; from theater, visual arts, and fashion I always knew that no matter where my professional life may take me in the world of the arts I knew NYC would be my city of residence and business! 

Favorite pizza? 

My favorite Pizza would be a white pizza with spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms with hot pepper flakes.  

Favorite Italian place to eat at? 

My favorite Italian restaurant in NYC is Bianca in the bowery!

What's your dream?

This is a very loaded question! (Giggles) however, my dreams in the world of fashion would be to expand my brand Dara Senders New York (  into a lifestyle brand encompassing accessories, women's wear, menswear, children's swear and home decor! As for my blog, I would love for it to prosper and eventually grow into a full-fledged lifestyle & fashion blog that empowers all women! 

The Style Senders
Photo Credit: Molly Torian

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Mahipal SoCal & @mahipal_socal


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