NYFW is quickly approaching, and with that comes captivating new runway collections, star-studded after parties, and a whole lot of Starbucks.
But unless you’re considered fashion elite, you’re forced to witness the mayhem from miles away.
Lucky for all you plebians (kidding!), we’re here to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos we know and love as NYFW.
In light of the “industry’s Superbowl”, we’ve connected with Natalie De-Banco, founder and creative director of popular fashion label, Bronx and Banco.
From runway to the real world, the Bronx and Branco DNA reflects Natalie’s strong love of all things sartorial.
Russian-born and Australian-raised, De-Banco opened her first boutique at Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach while studying design at Enmore Design School in Sydney.
Launching in 2009, the label quickly garnered a rapid following and serious international retail attention.
Favored by celebrities including Vanessa Hudgens, Lizzo, Ciara, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Hailey Seinfeld, and more, the brand has left a powerful mark on the world of fashion.
The Bronx and Banco name is synonymous with cutting-edge style, vibrant hues, and slick tailoring.
Available in over 15 countries with 250+ stockists worldwide, the brand encapsulates a design signature adored by celebrities, socialites, and sophisticated career women alike.
We sat down with the creative genius herself for the inside scoop on all things NYFW.
Can you talk a little bit about your day-to-day as a fashion designer? How do your responsibilities shift during peak times, such as fashion week?
My day-to-day is pretty normal, pretty much nonstop working on the collection, getting lost in hours of sketching, working with our production team, fittings, castings, and conversations with the sales teams…alternating Lattes and Redbulls ;)
From a design perspective, what does preparation for fashion week look like?
Again, months of subject searching and sketching, brainstorming, hand draping, sample fitting, casting, and styling. And just like that, it’s time for the show again.
Can you walk us through a typical day of NYFW?
A Typical NYFW day starts around 5 or 6 am with a coffee, a trip to the gym, always carving out time to play with my dogs, then straight to the studio for all things collection related.
Tell us about your craziest NYFW memory.
Where do we even start…we’ve seen it all, from late nights waiting up for sample deliveries to fixing broken dresses backstage moments before the model walks – it’s always an adventure every season.
How has your NYFW experience changed over time?
Every season is a totally unique experience, every show has its own vibe, energy, and location. The best thing about the consistency of showing every season at NYFW is that you keep working with the same people in the industry, it’s like meeting up with old friends after a few months of being apart.
As you very well know, industry trends are rapidly evolving. What do you expect to see on the runway this season?
When it comes to each strong, main brand, pretty much everyone has their own trends and styles. It is so interesting to see them evolve over time. I’m expecting to see a rise in sport luxe designs, structured but comfortable staple garments, and sustainable fabrications. I think people are looking for sustainable and long-lasting products – moving more toward timeless, classic, and tailored vs. trendy high fashion. I’m expecting to see more minis, linens and as an extension of Resort – more splashes of color.
If you could describe Bronx and Banco’s brand ethos in one word, what would it be? How is this year’s collection reflective of that messaging?
Rebel. The Bronx and Banco woman is a free spirit, unapologetically herself.
How has Bronx and Banco continued to grow as an international brand, while staying true to their DNA and Australian roots?
Australian fashion has amazing resort designers and is known for its resort wear. Because I grew up in Bondi Beach and have a deep-rooted love for open spaces and the open ocean, I design with that in mind. I strive to incorporate the freedom and movement of the ocean into each of my designs – using cutouts and flowing silhouettes. I try my best to be near the ocean when I’m designing, that’s why I am taking the collection to the Hudson River.
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, what example are you striving to set for aspiring fashion designers?
I believe it is so much better to be a female designer. Personally, I can connect with the Bronx girl, I know what works for the female body and how to adjust our designs to highlight comfort. I use my personal experience while creating the collections to decide what is missing, what staple pieces we need etc. I am constantly listening to all my girlfriend's requests and feedback…..my closet is full of Bronx.
Where do you see the future of NYFW and the industry, in general, heading?
As destructive as it was, Covid did an amazing thing for NYFW- it revived it. NYFW was quieter before the pandemic. It’s uplifting to see so many brands coming back to the city, especially since we never left. New York is historically such a fashion hub, mixing new and established designers, brands, and creatives. It’s such an amazing platform for growth, I love being a part of that.
Photography by: Courtesy of Brand