I first met Robin Givhan as a 16-year-old who had somehow found the luck and funds to intern at New York Fashion Week. One lunch break, while swimming upstream through Chelsea Market’s sea of tourists and businessmen, a well-dressed, petite figure caught my eye. I immediately recognized her as the woman my mom had told me about so many years ago: The fashion journalist from Detroit who had “made it big time.” I’d looked up to Givhan as something of a homegrown role model since my tween years, so seeing her in person was enough to send any kind of rationality flying from my brain.
On the morning of Friday, June 15, I arrived to the 17th floor of the Public Hotel at 9:05, a few minutes later than I had planned. FashionistaCon 2018 was scheduled to run from nine to five, the length of the standard American workday (though, ironically, nowhere near the norm in the fashion world), but I should have known that like all events in this industry, 9 a.m. means 9:45.
In the Daily newsroom exists a leaning stack of prerelease books, relegated next to a filing cabinet. Too often I would give the pile no more than one passing glance. But in a flitting once-over, I recognized a certain name along one spine: Questlove.
“Questlove wrote a book?” I wondered aloud. “Sign me up.”
“Reach out to Michigan alum, first and foremost, and keep your communication as short as possible,” Blumenthal offered. “And do your homework. And whatever communication you have, don’t make it about yourself. Make it about what you can contribute.”