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.